I Hate Blackberries!


I have spent over two hours on phone with service center for Blackberry with men from technical support.  This is my 3rd Blackberry since last January.  I haven’t dropped them, haven’t dropped in water; or anything like that.

First one was defective, within 30 day warranty period and exchanged without questions.

2nd one started acting up, locking up on every application, and ended up being without my phone for a couple of weeks.

Current one I’ve had since February of this year.  *facepalm*

Yes I text a lot, I have teens!  I check my FB notices on my phone.  I use the IM services!  I check my email on there.

Er, well I did.

The men on technical support were nice enough but not helpful.  My phone is still broke.  It even gave me this message: “Help Me!” Contact your service center for help.

I had a much better post planned for today, but honestly this has taken a great deal of my time.

These unexpected road hazards that cut into our time management, technology is supposed to help us not handicap us!  Do I continue to waste more time in trying to get them to back up their product or do I cut my losses now and shell out a large amount of cash for a better phone?   I can guarantee it will never be a Blackberry again.

I”m sure somewhere out there, there are people who are happy with theirs but I”m not one of them.  When I spend my money on a product I expect to get my money’s worth not extra hassle and headaches and an inadequate product.  I researched before I purchased and reviews stated that this was supposed to be a great business phone.  Haven’t seen it!

Ah well, tomorrow is another day.  Hopefully I’ll have a phone again and have time to actually write!

What products were you less than satisfied with?  Care to leave a comment?

Write on my friends write on!

Madness I Tell You, It’s All Madness!


My usual Monday motivation is going to have to be put on hold.  I’ve spent the morning in the waiting room at the hospital for my sister’s surgery.  She has gone through with it, and when I left was doing well.

I took my computer with me, working on my projects while I waited.  That was my intention anyway. There are times when it’s necessary to socialize with those around you,  especially when you haven’t seen them in over a year.  Honestly I got little writing done, but it was good to catch up with family.

3 days left before school is out, my D-day is rapidly approaching.  I lost several hours into the time vortex of research, I lost several hours visiting at the hospital, and of course the hours in traffic.  Tomorrow, I’m making an extra pot of coffee, turning the answering machine on and not answering the door.  Possibly at this point, extending my deadline may be the best option, but I’m not ready to surrender yet.

There’s still some fight left in me.  I’ve got approximately 5 hours to dedicate to writing tomorrow and I made some headway over the weekend.  With that last bit of research, I don’t think there are any other “holes” in my story that need to be filled.  It’s just adding some details and tweaking a bit here and there.

So close I can almost taste it.  This will be my FIRST complete manuscript.  I think I’ve shared the unfinished project problem in the past, didn’t I?   Many are close, but not quite there.  It almost seems like fate is stacking against me here on the last stretch to the finish line.  Either that, or the finish line is just a mirage.

In addition to the time stealers, and distractions, the “life” distractions I came up with an entire new story on Sunday.  The hubs thought I was really into the sermon, taking pages and pages of notes.  I was inspired!  At some point near the beginning of the sermon, the pastor mentioned that it was Pentecost Sunday, or the Sunday of Ascension.  Ascension, hmmm.  Inspiration struck me!  I nearly jumped up and yelled hallelujah, but I didn’t want to waste any time.  Before he reached the end I had outlined and plotted through a series of bubble charts, and if- then-else flow charts my next story.  It’s going to be awesome.

But wait, I have to rein it in and finish Kiss Of The Dragon first.  GAH!  How can some writers say they have writer’s block?  Are you kidding me?  I have enough ideas now to write books until I’m 126.  Which means, I need more time to write, and less time for nonwriting activities such as house cleaning, and cooking.  I really need to sell some more articles, and a book or a dozen to be able to afford a new laptop that I can read outside, so I at least don’t look like a vampire.  Also to afford to quit at least  one of my other jobs.  Where are my rich relatives to leave me an inheritance anyway?  Some estranged uncle that liked me best, anyone? anyone?

If only money were as easy to come by as it is for some of my characters.  I think it would be so cool to have the dragon complex.  Not necessarily the hoarding gold part, but the attracting part would be totally awesome.  Life takes money, and since I can’t just print my own – well I could but I don’t want to go to prison – I am part of working class Americans that have to keep my day job.

The writing disease is apparently an inherited condition.  My Great Grandfather wrote a couple of books, they were  religious teachings as he was a minister.  My daughters are both infected, and pursuing their own writing dreams. My eldest daughter who is 17, has one story planned and is about half way through.  She has asked for my assistance over the summer to finish hers.  I’ve read it, and it’s really good, better than some published books that I’ve read.  She also has a ton of ideas for books, and came home today complaining that school was cutting into her creative time.  (insert eye roll here)

My other daughter, the quiet calmer one that is more like my husband is also writing a very creative story.  She is a stickler for details, (Hmm, I wonder where she could have gotten that from.)  and has voiced her plans to spend a good portion of the summer writing her book to be published before she turns 18.

I for one will never discourage them from pursuing their dreams.  I will advise them to have a backup plan to be able to provide for themselves while they are pursuing publication.

If all the stars were in alignment, and all the gods were in a favorable mood, we could all three get our works published before the end of this year. That would be amazingly awesome and I would do a celebratory dance on video and post it here.  Oh yes, I can dance – this white chick got some moves!  I’ve won the DDR and  Just dance challenges we have here many times. Not bad for a 48-year-old competing against teenagers.

Top Ten Reasons Writers Rock!


Welcome to my Monday pep talk. It seems the naysayers and critics are out in force. Why is it the common masses have devolved into grumbling malcontents?  It seems the greater percentage of the population spends more time complaining than anything else.  ARRRGGGHHHH!  Which is why I give myself these pep talks.  What if malcontentment was the first sign of zombification?  I’d have to learn to survive!  So in the preventative  effort of avoiding being turned into a zombie, here’s my top ten reasons why being a writer rocks.

  1. Imaginations:  Who else can come up with the stuff that makes excellent movies, excellent books?  Regardless of the genre, the worlds that writers create takes us to magical places. Whether it’s Neverland, Narnia, or Middle Earth,  the deep magic of the writer’s imagination fuels the reader to experience dangerous thrilling situations without ever being in physical danger.
  2. Deep Pools:  Writer’s tap those deep inner recesses that common folk lock away behind padlocked doors. Some suppress it with Xanax, some with Seagram’s.  You know all those times in movies when you are yelling at the actor on the screen “Don’t go in there!”?  Writers are the twisted individuals that put the “scare” behind the door.  A writer’s mind has more twists and turns  and underground tunnels than the world’s best rollercoaster.  Don’t go into the deep – it’s where the monsters reside.  Unless you’re the writer, then they are your pets.
  3. Power:  Depending on what we write, writers can rule the world.  Disagree? Consider the following: the Harry Potter phenomenon,  created by writer J.K. Rowling; True Blood – Charlaine Harris; Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin;  The Twilight phenomenon – Stephanie Meyers.  This is the type of success the rest of us strive for.  The power to influence the minds of an entire generation; and crossover to some of the other generations as well.  We really can rule the world.  At least the world we create in our minds.
  4. Therapy:    Both sides of this coin:  those that employ therapists, therefore helping the economy by keeping at least one therapist employed. and those that avoid therapy by the cathartic by-product of their writing.  I’ve heard arguments for demonic exorcism, but I’m not convinced.
  5. Pride:  You know all those people who tell you “Get a real job” ? Think about the pride that we provide for them.  Without a creative, specifically a writer, those working stiffs might not feel so high and mighty about themselves that are so inclined to criticize our daily pursuit.  When the big day comes, and they are scratching their heads or their butts, wondering how it suddenly happened for us, we can take pride in every single hour that we have labored in our pursuits, knowing that we didn’t give up our dreams.  Yeah, like sweating blood is for wimps.
  6. Tensile:    (tnsl, -sl)
    adj.

    1. Of or relating to tension.
    2. Capable of being stretched or extended; ductile.
    • 3. capable of being shaped or bent or drawn out; “ductile copper”; “malleable metals such as gold”; “they soaked the leather to made it pliable”; “pliant molten glass”; “made of highly tensile steel alloy”  There is no way on this green earth that a writer can endure the hardships, the financial strains, and emotional frustrations of the writer’s life without developing some brass. Yeah, notice those descriptives?  Bent, gold,  malleable – oh yeah, I could so go on a tangent there .  * OK secret huddle – yeah, I’m telling you that writers learn to grow a pair, whether they be cahoneys or casabas*  Don’t piss off your writer friends, they are made of tougher stuff than you think.
  7. Sense of Humor  If you don’t learn to laugh, you’ll end up back at number four paying for Dr. Flabio’s Ferrari.  We develop our sense of humor, laughing at ourselves and our failures.  You know that old thing of “this will be funny – someday.”  At the moment the situation may seem bleak, but it’s subject to change.  Circumstances always change.  Great writers learn to not take life so seriously.
  8. Observative Powers  We live in the same world as everyone else, well mostly. We observe the same daily routines as those around us, yet we can see inspiration all the time.  Example:  That little old man who lives down the street using a walker.  Most people see him as a harmless old man, maybe a cranky old man who doesn’t like the neighborhood boys in his yard.  A writer however can create an entire life for the man.  What if he was a former criminal?  Maybe he robbed banks. Maybe he was a murderer that served time, or never got caught.  What if he was the romantic sort in his youth? He romanced his wife, spent several happy years until cancer took her and now he fights putting a bullet in his brain every day. Raw material is all around us.  The non-writer walks by and never sees it, but a writer takes notice of details.
  9. Devious Minds  Refer back to Number 6 when I said don’t piss off your writer friend.  Yeah, we have devious minds.  We will kill you in our books.  It fuels our antagonists, and provides plot points to our work.  Devising torturous methods for the character you become to suffer.  It’s usually not a quick death either.  That would be too simple, too compassionate.  It’s best really that you don’t find out what lurks behind door number 3.
  10. We Are Writers!  Come on, did you really have to read all ten to realize that we as writers are more than the average bear.Most of us work other jobs. Sometimes multiple other jobs.  It’s not what gives us satisfaction.  For a writer, satisfaction will never come without engaging in the act of writing. It’s our life blood poured onto the pages, oozing out from our finger tips, casting a magical spell over the reader as well as a euphoria within ourselves.  It may sound weird for some – but the writers will get it.  Even if we do take a day job, we still write;  sometimes in secret, sometimes in public.  It’s our obsession.

CREATE


I’ve been attending a webinar series for the past week and a half.  Every day for a couple of hours at a time, I listen to the instructor of the day share their particular area of expertise.  This past Monday night was on marketing and was very informative and helpful.

The presenter for this session was Melissa Galt. I greatly enjoyed her style in the presentation.  I found it disturbing though, the lack of professional courtesy of some of the attendees in the comments they were making.  Really, why do some people feel the need to be such jerks?

In this presentation she mentioned Ponts of connection.  I’ve heard the phrase before, but never explained to the depths that she did in her presentation this night.   Points of connection for those not familiar are the things you have in common such as attending the same school, common interests, favorite restaurants, stuff like that.  Men do this all the time by connecting over a game of golf.  Alright, I suppose women do too but I don’t play golf so just go with me on this.

This is why writers connect with other writers. No one else understands a writer like another writer. Even though our techniques, methods, quirks, and difficulties may vary there’s a sense of camaraderie.  Consider this, as a writer you  are researching the effects of various poisons to see what the visual effects would be, what evidence would be left behind and how it would be detected or not by forensics.  Have that discussion with a nonwriter friend and they will be looking at you rather oddly, and will be very guarded around you.  However, have that same conversation with a writer, and they get it.  They understand why you need to know the details to know how to write the story and how the clues will be discovered to solve the case.  Of course you have to take into consideration the person that overhears that conversation and starts thinking you’re some sort of serial killer, and blanches completely white when they happen to see you in Walgreens.  (Really, it’s the little pleasures in life after all.)

I found the information that Melissa shared very helpful in our business as well as in my writing.  Marketing is a key area for any author.  Isn’t it the “top-selling author” that we all dream of some day?   One main reason I wanted to attend this webinar is that I don’t know enough about marketing.  It takes different techniques to market to the boomers than it does to Gen Xr’s, or Gen Y’s.

For a writer, you have to consider who is your target audience.  Hmm, same as in the business world.  Where is your target audience?  Are they local, regional, global?  Instead of listening to the devil’s advocate of why write the book, think about who would want to read your book.  Trust me, there are like-minded people out there like you whether your book is about voodoo economics or is a fantastical tale about dragons.  OH, did I mention I’m writing a story about dragons?  (shameless plug)

I wouldn’t buy a book on accounting or nursing because to me those subjects are a big yawn.  If that’s your thing great, it just isn’t mine.  Taking into consideration though, what my audience would look like  would be people who are interested in the same types of things I like.  Melissa gave an excellent breakdown on the 80/20 principle.  With that in mind I’ve begun my cliff notes bio, keeping my points of connection forefront in my mind as I consider my target marketing questionnaire.

In this age of cyber connects: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest marketing has never been easier to connect worldwide.

If you’re interested in learning to market your business, your books, or yourself better check out this site:  www.superchargesuccess.com   Insider Tricks for Growing Your Business.  There are a couple of resources that are available on her page for free that are well worth the time to look at.

One very valuable little tidbit that Melissa shared was her acronym for CREATE.  This is really the ‘piece de resistance’ to success in marketing.

CREATE:

  • Connect
  • Relate
  • Educate
  • Act (Interact)
  • Touch
  • Engage – EXCITE!

It’s not about how many, it’s about how hot you are!  I know some people who have thousands of friends, thousands of likes but they are really rather flat Stanleys and their followers are superficial.  On the other hand , you may only have 100 followers but they are white-hot, supporting you and encouraging you to keep doing what you’re doing.

This morning I got some feedback from my first real fan.  I have a couple of prepub readers who are anxious to read my scribblings, but none have ever given me the feedback like my friend Melissa Venerable.  I’m going to take Melissa with me when I tour Scotland, as I know she has similar appreciation for all things Scot.

Here’s part of Melissa’s comments:

I really think it is hot.   I am no writer…just a reader and I love what I have been reading.  I feel like a junkie wanting so desperately to have more of my choice of drug…not that I  know what a junkie goes through…I think your descriptions and details are amazing…feels like I can see it as a movie in my head.

WOW! I’ll even say it backwards, WOW!  Is there any higher compliment a writer can get?  I’ve been on cloud nine all day feeling empowered.  Somebody gets me!  Somebody gets my writing, and in a way that I was shooting for.  Notice that comment about the movie in her head?  Yeah.

I’ve learned some valuable information in my webinars  AND gotten high praise from an eager reader.  If I had some chocolate this would be the perfect day!

Creating Success


Success rarely just happens.  I remember as a child singing along with Doris Day as she sang “Que sera, sera”.  I bought into that philosophy of life and  it dumped me in an ocean full of sharks.

When I let life just happen, it took a downhill turn, to the path of least resistance.  Status quo was an intolerable existence for me.  The majority of people live their lives in this fashion – passively allowing things to just carry them downstream.  I think this is why so many people are unhappy as well.  Just my personal philosophy, based on observations.

In this year of change, I have reevaluated where I am and where I want to be.  I”m not exactly sure what “success” will look like in the final outcome, but I can tell you that it isn’t where I am now.  Where I am now is a little further along the road to success than I was at the beginning of the year.  Progress is important to keeping your motivation!

Progress helps increase your confidence.  For example progress in an exercise program builds your motivation to keep going.  A good measure is to take an assessment test before beginning, then after about a month, and the next month, and so on.  When I first started my workout, I could only last 15 minutes on an elliptical.  Each week, I’d bump it up just a few minutes and before you knew it, I was doing 45 minutes.  That is progress!  Each little milestone you pass, creates a feeling that you will achieve success.  In this area I have a pretty clear vision of what my success will look like, and I’m not there yet.  I”m working on it though, and although I’m currently sidelined due to a knee injury; I haven’t quit.  I can do this, it isn’t too difficult.  I”m in no shape to run a marathon, but I’m no longer going to eliminate the possibility in my future.  Three years ago, my attitude was there’s no way I could ever do that.  Now, I’m seeing how it could be possible.  That’s progress.

Ultimately, it comes down to choices.  You can choose to coast along and let life happen, or you can take control and steer your own destiny.

Creating success starts first in the mind.  The first choice is if you are going to let life happen or create success for yourself.  I’ve tried the first one and didn’t like it. Now, I”m working on the second choice.  I’m liking this one much better already!

The hardest part is changing mind sets.  We grow up with a certain mind-set, and learned behavior that we accept.  Go to any local factory and observe the workers.  The vast majority have settled into the “life happens” philosophy and they are working for their paycheck to enjoy the next weekend, the next family vacation, to pay off their bills, or  a variety of other things.   Getting our mindsets turned around is a miracle within itself.  Creating a vision, allowing yourself to hope once again, and setting your sights higher is a major step in achieving success.

There’s so much more to life than that!  I like this new aspect of letting myself dream.  The excitement  that is inherent in any new project stimulates the motivation, and the motivation keeps  me going in a forward direction.  The forward direction is moving me to crossing the finish line step by step.  One step followed by another and  before I know it, I’ve passed the halfway mark.  It starts getting exciting!

Whether you are a mom, an attorney, a football coach, a nurse, or a writer you can achieve success.  It’s a really simple two-part plan that is easy to tailor to your own needs, and follow.

STEP 1:  Make a PLan

Whatever your plan is, write it down.  By writing it down it gives a sense of accountability.  Hold yourself accountable to achieve your own dreams, and if you’re bold enough post them publicly to have others hold you accountable.  Figure out what you have to do to achieve your plan by making it a SMART goal.  Break it down into achievable steps that you can implement.  Remember, the journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step.

STEP 2: Work the PLan

Yep, it’s just that simple.  Start doing the things you need to achieve your goals.  Whatever you do, do it well.  Give it your best effort!  If your goal is to be the best mom to your children then give it everything you’ve got.  If your goal is to be the best football coach then give it your best effort.  Do the things you need to do to achieve your goals, and by giving your best effort it will give you the sense of accomplishment of a job well done.  that gives you momentum for the next time.

My father used to always say  “Anything worth having is worth working for” and “If you’re going to do it, do it right!”   Whether you are building your marriage, your abs, your business, or a career these two expressions apply.  It’s going to take work to get to the top and achieve success.

Without applied effort, the six-pack abs end up looking like a keg.

Here’s a little secret: the majority of the world is content with status quo.  If you are one of the 15% that dream of a better life you’re already ahead of 85% of the population.  If you write down your goals, you’re in the top 3%, and if you take it to the next level of applying concerted effort in achieving those dreams, you are in the top 1.5% of the world’s population!

While my friends and family are relaxing on their tubes floating down the lazy river of life, I’m paddling my canoe fast and furious upstream against the current. It’s hard work, but worth it in the end.  I hope some of you will join me!

 

 

Vampires!


For all the Bram Stoker fans, Anne Rice fans, True Blood fans and the Twilight fans, sorry but this one’s not for you.  The vampires to which I refer are the bloodsuckers that are very real.  Every one of us knows at least one.

They are clever, hiding in plain sight.  I”m not sure how many I had encountered in my life up to my first discovery, but I know they were there.  My first discovery took a very long while, as  conventional society doesn’t recognize their existence.  True blood suckers that drain our life-force, the leeches of society.

I’m talking about the downers, the dream stealers, the whiners, and time stealers.  My first discovery was a time stealer.  She wanted more and more of my time.  After spending time with her I felt drained, exhausted and couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong.  There were signs along the way, I just ignored them.  One of the down sides to being an eternal optimist is that I tend to be too naive and trusting.

The pieces started coming together though and I started seeing the bigger picture.  There was the constant complaining, bashing her husband, and fault-finding in numerous people.  She didn’t want to get better, and was pulling me down every time I was around her.  After a couple of years I had to cut her off.  It worked out conveniently when I went to work full-time.  I felt guilty at first, but honestly after getting that particular brand of poison out of my system I felt better.  No hard feelings, I just can’t hang around with her.

Over the course of years there have been many people who I’ve crossed paths with that were  vampires.  The hardest ones for me are the one in my own family.  It’s more complicated to cut ties with family.  Family has always been an important part of my life.  After my mother’s death, the vampire nature manifested in blood relatives.  It was ugly, but I survived.  You find out who people really are when pressure is applied.  I discovered that the already strained relations weren’t what I thought they were.  I still see them on occasion.

Presently, I’ve been dealing with a special breed of blood sucker.  Someone that I thought was a friend turned out to be pure arsenic.  I gave plenty of chances, even forgiving when they blasted me for no reason other than they were feeling down.  When it progressed into attacking my character and hurling insults I cut them loose.

It may sound like I”m being harsh, I”m not.  I”ve been such a people pleaser before that I”ve allowed abusive behaviour.  I”m sure there are psychological reasons why I do this but I’m trying to take back my life now.  I”m working on achieving my dreams and not sitting on the sidelines any longer.

Why does it take me so long to recognize  vampire behaviour?  Because essentially there is that inner belief that everyone else thinks the same as I do.  It’s heartbreaking when you realize that not only is that not true, but some are vicious and downright mean!

Why do I allow it to continue for so long before I cut them loose?  I don’t know. I”m working on that one.  I will say that the first one took me three years to cut off, this latest one has only been six months.  I think that’s progress.

In the online world of Facebook; there are many pretenders. I belong to a fan group online that the players post fake pictures of the characters they are pretending to be.  This is known going in and it’s purely for fun!  However in other circuits where you are assuming that the people are being honest it makes me angry when I discover that their entire profile is nothing but lies.  There are certain reasons for anonymity and I understand that.  However, the personality of the poser comes out eventually.  It’s just a matter of time.

The true vampires are out there everyday, all around us.  You’ll know who they are if you would just stop a moment and be honest with yourself.  Are they constantly criticizing?  Are they complaining about everything? Are they unhappy in their own lives? Do they dump their emotional garbage on you?  Do they ever really listen to what you have to say? Summon up your inner Van Helsing and stake those suckers before they destroy you!

I’m on a path of achieving my dreams – I’ve stated that before.  I’ve wasted many years of my life by not getting in the game and giving up on my dreams.  Vampires will gladly help you delay progression towards your goals. You hear their faint whispers of “come to the dark side”.  They’ll coax you down a dark path and isolate you where they can attack.  Linger there long enough and they’ll drain you dry.

As one of my favorite authors would say “Stay to the light”!

Branson bound!


In the old days it would be wagons ho!  I’m very excited to be going to Branson.  Today’s blog will be brief, I’m on a time crunch here.

I made the decision to do this for myself.  That is a huge thing for me, being a mom I haven’t really done much for myself in ages.  It feels scary, and exciting all at the same time.  This is one of those “here be dragons” areas for me.

I’m tackling my Brave New World with a certain degree of apprehension.  This is such a strange feeling for me to step out in an area for myself.  I feel guilty for being selfish, and at same time thrilled like I’m being naughty.  Conflicted much?  Yeah, I am.

It’s usually the small things that make or break us.  The devil’s in the details.  A small step for many, but a huge step for me to do something for myself.  I’m not one that goes to get mani-pedis.  I get a haircut when I really have to have one, and have been known to let it go way too long before taking care of it.  Looks a little wild some times, and people often interpret it that I’m a wild-child.  Well, maybe I am in ways.  In this rediscovery of myself it feels like I’m being a little wild.  I know, going to Branson isn’t a wild thing, but this is a monumental step for me.  I’m not taking my kids or the husband , but rather going on my own.

I’m not a codependent, I’ve just sidelined myself for many years.  Getting back in the game is scary.  An unknown – the dragonlands.  So it’s not so much about Branson, but rather stepping out into new things.  I have friends and family that do this sort of thing all the time, I just haven’t .  Until now.

It’s easier to face a live audience for me than to do this.  Fear of public speaking is higher than the fear of death in over 50% of the population.  Oh well, I always knew I was a little odd.  I’ve never taken the well-traveled road.  No, it’s the scenic byways and the shortcut through the woods, the gravel roads and footpaths for me.  It’s always an adventure!

So this is not about travel but rather exploration.  Exploring my horizons, my boundaries, my self-imposed limitations.  I’m going boldly where I’ve not allowed myself to go before!

I’ll be sure to take pictures of Branson – post tornado.  Photography is NOT my forte, so I don’t know if I’ll have any worth sharing.  For great photography check out PHOTOBOTOS!  They rock!

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.howtofindajobwhentherearenojobs.com%2F&h=aAQETswPI  For anyone looking for a job or a different job check out my friend’s book.  It’s currently #4 on Amazon!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my transformations.