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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Ultimate Cruise Vacation

Going on a cruise is a long time favorite vacation idea, but this is one step better! Going on a luxery boat completely crewed and vacationing in the ultimate of luxery. I know how great these boats are because I went on a short cruise just recently on a boat like these on Lake Michigan, but crewed yacht charters on the ocean have to be even more magnificient!

Now those are the 'mega' yachts, there are all sizes and crew outfittings available and many different cruise locations to choose from. What a way to pamper yourself. I know the moment I stepped onto the yacht that we went on I felt like 'Ms Howell'... of course I didn't want to end up on Gilligan's Island even though my husband does sort of resemble the 'Skipper'.

Self-disabled

The buzz on 'Dancing With The Stars' is all around Heather Mills and her ability to perform such stunning dance moves with an artifical limb. It's terrific really. I have a sister-in-law with two artificial legs due to an on-going bout with diabetes and she barely gets around. She just gave up mostly and it's sad because there's so much she could have still done but the longer she languishes in pity the worse her abilities to move become. She is disabled, but she did most of it herself by giving in instead of fighting to go on. Seeing people like Ms. Mills is a breath of fresh air and a renewal of hope that life doesn't have to stop because of a disability.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Where To Put Us

Usually when we have visitors from out of town, as most of our family lives out of state, we have to worry about where to put them all. On the rare times that Bob and I do take real vacations I really dislike staying in cramped hotel rooms. So many options are available now for traveling and renting homes and cottages -- even a bed and breakfast is preferable to an impersonal hotel room in my opinion. I really like renting though. The last time I visited Florida because we have family down there I stayed with them... that can be nice but there are a lot of drawbacks to it as well, and you always feel like you're imposing. They have to worry about where to put us. Another kind of drawback is they're on the 'Gulf side', and everything really interesting in Florida is on the ocean side--Miami, Orlando etc... I'm due a trip down there soon. It's been a few years since I saw my Southern relatives. This time I think I'll check out an Orlando Rental for a nice place to stay in the 'hot' spot of Florida while giving me the easy opprotunity of driving over to the Gulf and visiting the Fort Meyers crowd when I want to, and not having them feel obligated to give up their home to us for the entire trip.

Road Trip

Most of my 'road trips' are involved in picking up animals from one location or another. It seems the animals I want are never anywhere close by. Next month on the 18th we're making a trip to Wapello Iowa to pick up a small herd of Boer goats, and now I have a lead and am in communication with a lady in South Eastern Ohio about a doe (female goat). Why do they have to be so far away? I did get lucky just last week and found a beautiful Alpine doe in Indiana only about 45 minutes from me. That was a really nice drive on a bright sunny Saturday to get her. I wish they were all that close. For not though, I guess I'll have to be content on taking the view that at least hubby and I get to spend lots of quality time together -- in the cab of the truck. LOL

Make Someone Smile

I love personalized pens. My husband is worse than I am with them. He orders them all the time for everything--usually with our ranch name on them. Me I like using them for promotion of my writing endeavors. They're great though even just for fun--and hey, the girl at the next desk isn't gonna be able to swipe your pen anymore, you'll know it's yours if your name is on it! Better yet, get cute saying on them and make others smile when they just 'happen' to walk off with your pen.

Have A Heart

The medical profession is coming under fire once again. I heard it on the news when my alarm clock went off this morning (I have it set to an all news channel--it's the only thing that wakes me up. I'll just lay there listening to music), and I read it first thing when I got on line this morning on Yahoo's front page too. It seems that many heart surgeries that are being done are unnecessary. Is this news to anyone out there? It's such a fine line. We certainly need the medical community. Our generation is probably the longest lived as each generation before us has gotten healthier and longer, and diseases overcome etc... but then the line gets crossed where if a little of something is good, then a lot must be a whole lot better--it's not. It almost never is in any aspect of life.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Toolbar With Power

I love horoscopes. I used to love them even when I was skeptical of their overall validity, but after paying some attention to the more involved ones dealing with the actual signs and what they stood for I came to believe there's a lot to a horoscope. I fit the 'Gemini' bill perfectly.

Sometimes they're just fun to read. Whether you believe in their accuracy or not you can get lots of fun out of a daily 'insight' to your life. I had to laugh at one I got a few months ago. It was rather long, but at the end it said something to the affect of 'a makeover can make one feel rejuvinated and beautiful--oh boy it's going to take one heck of a makeover for you'. Okay, that was such an insult, but I am fairly sure they weren't talking beauty wise (although that would have been accurate enough--just mean) rather the fact that I was pretty stressed at the time and feeling rejuvinated was going to take a heap of work--right enough. Still, it was funny and I didn't stop laughing for several minutes.

You can even get a horoscope right on your browser's toolbar. This really cool toolbar even has a reference link right at your fingertips. I like that. Talk about easy research. Of course there's the standard search box, but how about having 'related search terms' appear in a panel while you browse a site? That's an EXCELLENT research tool. There could be a term that hadn't crossed your mind that will yield all kinds of great information that you would miss without that handy feature.

I don't generally like extra toolbars as they cut down on visible space in my browser window, but this is a powerful toolbar that is a must have for writers, students, and has the added horoscope bonus to boot!

Something For Nothing

I've always known that 'standard' was the way to go with a mortgage. All the gimmicky come-ons of low monthly payments (usually meaning you're paying only the interest and no principle for x amount of years), balloon payments. Whoever thought that was a good idea deserves a swift kick in the pants... of course, the lenders though it was a great idea--lots of money for them, unless when the poor sap who got the loan realized that the balloon at the end of the rainbow would burst on them leaving them with payments they couldn't afford, and then the lender is left with a defaulted loan and a house that they probably couldn't resell for the inflated value they granted the loan for in the first place.

I have a friend whose house is in foreclosure. They are fighting the bank in court. They believe deceptive lending practices were involved. They may win. It's still being fought so I don't know. The thing is lots of folks are doing just that--fighting the banks in court over the foreclosures. Now deceptive or not, I knew my friend's mortgage deal sucked when she told me about it. I said, don't do that, you'll regret it... she never listens. This wasn't the first time. I just shake my head and stand back and watch the fall-out. What can I do? I can't make the decisions for her and her husband. It's their business. But I have to say that she and all the rest of the folks fighting in court over the foreclosures should have known it was too good to be true. Should have stopped and thought hard about it.

If my friend wins--as many have in similar cases--I can't help but feel a bit angry. My husband and I pay our mortgage. It's not fun. We'd be pretty darned rich if we didn't have a mortgage to pay. We didn't get stupid and opt for a 'fancy--easy' loan. A standard 30-year fixed suited us just fine thank you very much. Still... my friend and others like her may get their houses free and clear while my husband and I continue to pay our monthly mortgage. I don't think that's quite fair.

Should banks be allowed to practice stupid lending practices? No--and I call them 'stupid' rather than deceptive because just about anyone who is thinking clearly and has an ounce of brains can see what those mortgages are about, they just don't want to. However, while banks should be stopped from offering rediculous mortgages to people they know will never be able to afford them, those that take them should have to own up to the responsibility of their own actions.

I remember a time when 'ignorance' was no excuse. Now it's a common complaint. Who doesn't want the easy money many of those stupid loans offer? We're a world of people wanting something for nothing, and not wanting to pay the price when we find out nothing is free.

Memories

Unlike your own memory, your computer has a definate capacity that very likely will be reached in your lifetime.

When faced with a lack of storage space on your computer you will have one of two options. First: go buy a new computer. Second: attempt a computer memory upgrade. I've done both. There are pros and cons to both, but if you chose option one and buy a new computer you will be faced with rebuilding all your programs, trying to get old files from old computer to new. Perhaps many of your old programs may not work on your new computer because the new version of operating systems no longer recognizes such old op programs. Upgrading the memory on your computer seems like a daunting task, but it's really not that hard at all. 'The Memory Store' has several ways to help you make the best selection possible for your computer, and your needs. The first step is conquering the fear... the second step is finding a great resource like 'The Memory Store'.

A Clean Sweep

Well you know there are folks out there that adopt principles of 'homesteading' for the necessity of when the 'shtf' (sh!t hits the fan). I admit to have come onto the idea of homesteading not long after moving into our current rural home when the threat of Y2K was looming on the horizon. We moved into our ranch home in 1996 and in 1998 everyone was buzzing about the very probable collapse of the economy and all automated networking our society is so reliant on now finacially and market wise when computers wouldn't be able to adjust to the year 2000 roll-over and would automatically assume it was 1900.

Obviously nothing happened when the millenium scooted in. Of course many homesteaders believe that even if it wasn't that, finacial ruin is in our destiny as it has been in nearly every society in history. Especially since we mirror Rome in so many ways, that correllation never fails to come up. Add to that heightened states of terrorism, and ever improving manners of computer espionage and destructive devices like virus' and such and perhaps they're fervent fears aren't too far fetched. It would be egotistical to believe our society in America, or even the world's as a whole since so much is interconnected nationally via computer than could have ever been possible in even the recent past, could never collapse.

The likelihood that a collapse would encompass the greater part of at least the modern world--perhaps 3rd world countries would be spared and consider themselves lucky for once not to be a part of the technological era. For 3rd world counties it would probably be life as usual, but how many of us accustomed to the industrial and technological age would be so uneffected?

Anyway, we do employ much of the homesteader lifestyle while not going to complete extremes of being 'off the grid' (I like electricity and gas just fine thank you). I know that if the SHTF I'd be able to grow and raise enough of our own food stuffs to be self-sufficient. We have meat animals, dairy animals, gardens, and chickens for both meat and eggs too... but what about something as simple as toilet paper.

That discussion came up today on one of the forums I frequent. There are alternatives. One, however not especially 'homesteady' although it might work without power... just not for us because our well-pump that supplies our home with water is powered by electricity--is something I didn't even know they made and sold for everyday homes. The hand-held bidet. I've always thought bidets were cool, but distinctly European and I didn't even know you could get them, much less that they were so reasonably priced, and easy to install... I know what my next purchase is going to be. :)

Finding The Bigger Market

If you are at the point in your marketing and promotion where you've done just about everything maybe it's time to get professional help. Like with everything you get what you put in, and branding is so important to a good promotional plan. Before you can brand you have to know exactly what your market is, and what people in that market expect (want) out of promotion. In other words, what works. A good marketing company will do the market research for you and give you all the facts you need to properly promote to the masses. Niche marketing is great but to really generate sales you need to reach people outside of your little 'world' and get them interested. That's harder for any one person to do because your perspective is geared toward your own experiences and those that share the same types of likes and dislikes. A good marketing firm can not only tell you what the market is, where it is, what influences them best, they can also tell you how to make the most out of your 'branding' campain while working within your budget.

When Life Gets Hectic...pamper yourself

I have felt so time crunched lately. I barely have time to get the work done online that I NEED to do to make ends meet. I'm glad for the spring like weather we've been having and it is making me all too happy to complete the many neglected duties outside on the farm, not too mention that springtime means new babies everywhere and lots of attention needed in that direction. It's great, and everyone is happy and healthy and I know this is a temporary problem that will correct itself fairly soon--still I feel like the woman in the old 'Calgon' commercials screaming 'Calgon-Take me away!'

I think it's time for a nice long bubble bath, and a tub full of chocolate too tonight. I may make Monday nights my 'pamper me' nights. We all need a little of that when life gets hectic.

Who's Calling?

If you've ever received your phone bill and sat there with your jaw slack wondering where all those charges came from (most of us have) then you can appreciate the need for Telecom Audit. As a business it is even more necessary for complete awareness of where money is going, and multiply your awe at your single house phone by many, many employees and there's a great need for a service that will audit your bills and see where un-needed expenses are flowing out, and how to curb them. Telecom Audit is a tool no business, big or small, should be without.

Just not

Just as a random thought I find myself regularly amazed at the level of arguments on message boards and forums. I don't know why it is that people can't accept that not everyone does things 'their way', or that there may be more than one 'right' way to do something, or to think about something.

While it can probably be said that there are definate 'wrong' ways when it comes to 'doing' things, and maybe even arguably that there are certain 'wrong' ways to think about something... it can also be said that most times there is more than one 'right' way to do things, or think. Still... anytime a newcomer (or even a regular long-standing member) of one of these forums/boards comes and asks a question the threads of answers is ripe with emotions, and fueled responses when someone disagrees with one way or another of doing something/or thinking.

Such is nature I suppose, but you'd think far more people would be more understanding of the concept of different ways than not, but not.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Where to Put Everybody

We live way out in the country, so when family, or friends come to visit, it's often for the night (at least). Then we're faced with where do we put everybody? Although our home has three bedrooms, in the past all three were occupied, hubby and mine's, and the kids in theirs. Now that the kids are grown and gone, both of those bedrooms have been turned into offices for my husband and myself, and there isn't a bed in sight. We do have a futon in hubby's office, and one in the livingroom for those overnight guests, but I've been thinking about putting a sofa in my office.

Every home needs to have one or two sleeper sofas and one would fit just right in my office, giving a place to sit in the daytime when hubby comes in to chat. There's a chair in here now, but a couch would be more comfortable plus if I wanted I could lay back and 'think' on my couch if I had one. Oh no, that's not napping! That's working! Really. The bonus is that they're the perfect piece of furniture when family, or friends come to visit. The styles and sizes are so varied now. Most times you can't even tell a sleeper sofa from any other couch. The mattresses now are so much better than they used to be too. I think it will be the perfect addition to my office.

The Circus Is Coming?

A blogger friend of mine Liz (Shadows Of Time) had a post about the circus coming to town. I wasn't sure if she meant it, or if that was a sort of code for being gone for a bit, like 'going to see a man about a horse'. The circus is cool though. The air is full of sounds and smells and excitement. I love the circus. We don't really get 'real' circus around here though. Fairs come the closest. I love our yearly ag fair. It has a 'circus' type of atmosphere.

The Circus Is Coming?

A blogger friend of mine Liz (Shadows Of Time) had a post about the circus coming to town. I wasn't sure if she meant it, or if that was a sort of code for being gone for a bit, like 'going to see a man about a horse'. The circus is cool though. The air is full of sounds and smells and excitement. I love the circus. We don't really get 'real' circus around here though. Fairs come the closest. I love our yearly ag fair. It has a 'circus' type of atmosphere.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Finding Comfort

Finding comfort when you've lost a loved one, or a way to comfort someone close to you who is grieving is easier when you know where to find special gifts that they will cherish as a memorial forever. Find elligant sympathy gifts like comfort crosses, and locket pendants, or even a book that will help them deal with their loss like 'Experiencing Bereavement' at Comfort and Grace. Sometimes you don't need the 'right words'. Sometimes there are no right words. At those times just a simple token of your understanding can make all the difference in the lives of those suffering loss.

Independant Publishers

A great many lengthy, and heated, debates arise over this singular issue. What constitutes an Independent Publisher? Much of the debate arises over a simple misconception. The simple definition of what we consider to be the appropriate definition, by use more than actual dictionary reference, of what a publisher is.

There are three camps in the independent world of today’s publishing, and they are often divided on account of these two concepts: publisher, and published.

By literal definition, a publisher is: A person, or corporate entity that accepts material from an author, or many authors, to prepare for publication and distribution to the general public.

But by popular concept, a publisher is also: A person, or corporate entity that edits, provides proper documentation, prepares cover work for, and marketing promotions for such accepted works at their own cost and free of charge to the submitting author in exchange for a percentage of profit from the sales of such work.

So to put the literal definition, and the popular conception together, a publisher is: A person, or corporate entity that accepts material from an author, or authors, to prepare for publication by editing, providing proper documentation, cover art, marketing promotion, and distribution at their own cost and free of charge to the submitting author in exchange of profit from the sales of such work.

By literal definition, to be published is: To put out an edition. Be it newsletter, article, novel, or any written work with, or without, monetary gain.

Here are some of the reasons the above concepts have become so hazy. The world of publishing has expanded beyond the huge corporations that later in the 20th century dominated the landscape of modern publishing. A great many authors have taken it upon themselves to produce their work with great success. Still more enterprising people have taken on the task of producing other’s work without the benefit of corporate strongholds. So we now have the three independent publishing camps that are made up of the actual independent publisher, and the two remaining groups that are actually independently published authors:

1) Independent publishers: A person, or group of people, who accept submission from authors, and make decisions based on quality before selecting appropriate pieces for publication. Who then edit, process, market, and distribute for public consumption at their own cost and free of charge to the submitting author in exchange for a percentage of the profit from the sale of such work without the benefit of corporate, or investor, backing.

2) Independent authors: A person who pays to edit, print, gain cover art, markets and distributes his/or her own work for public consumption.

3) Self-published authors: A person who pays to edit and have their work printed and distributed by a company geared for such purposes so as to make available for public consumption.

There is one final group that is actually a ‘sub’-group to this listing, and that’s the service oriented self-publishing company that the third group, the self-published author uses to service their publishing needs. This group is by far the most dangerous, and difficult to define and regulate. The companies, whether run by individuals, or groups of people, up to actual corporations that do this type of service are not actual publishers in the respect that the definition provides from above because although they do provide the services that the actual publisher provides, they do it for a fee, and do not normally engage in any specific selection, rather they are a service industry akin to that of a normal printer only with distribution and other services provided at cost to the author, and they almost never provide any source of marketing or promotion.

There is nothing inherently wrong with service oriented publishing companies. They do the self-published authors a great service when they perform their duties respectably. The problems arise when they either 1) charge for services they do not perform equal to the performance of a publisher, or 2) try to dupe unsuspecting authors into believing they are an actual publisher… sometimes both. This cloudy area is where most of the trouble lays for authors, and for the ability for authors to gain respect for their self-published works.

Even with the problems that can be associated with these companies, there are respectable ones amongst them, and the number is growing quite rapidly as the ilk is weeded out. The trick is to be able to understand the difference. While this publishing company does the chores of a publisher, it is not the publisher proper, rather in these cases it is the author who is the publisher paying for their work to be created in proper format by a printing and distribution company. The fact that these companies often times call themselves publishers rather than publishing companies, or publishing services compounds this problem. The works they produce are no less viable and honorable than those of the independent author’s self-published books, however, and should not be viewed as such by any member of the community.

In a world where all of the above fight the stigma of going against the mainstream of corporate America, and the old-fashioned term, vanity press, it would behoove all involved to treat each other as equals in the battle. There is strength in numbers. Unfortunately these three ranks are most often bitterly divided. Most of that division is a matter of ego, especially between the later two divisions.

There is truly a small frame of difference between independent authors, and self-published authors, in fact, close to none at all except that the later uses a printing corporation as both a printer and a distributor, where the independent author is usually a self-distributor. Neither of the two divisions encounters any form of selection process before publication; therefore there is no bastion for quality besides that of the authors themselves. The bigger problem arises when the middle group, the independent author demands to be considered an independent publisher. The self-published author rarely is cause for such debate, as they most likely will never consider themselves a publisher.

How the concept of the independent author has developed into such a state is not that hard to disseminate. In fact, it’s steeped in tradition.

At one time in England, and then here in America, when publishing was first conceived it was a cottage industry. So named because the business often took place in the home, or cottage, of the person in charge, even run by a single person, humorously enough, much like the independent publisher of today that now fights the stigma of not being a large corporation. In those times, however, it was not stigmatic, but rather a new and bold endeavor to educate, enlighten, and bring enjoyment to the masses that had previously been unexposed to literature.

However, the problem with the independent author attempting to usurp the title of publisher is today’s currently acceptable definition of a true publisher as noted above, and the fact that there is no true selection process, the author is his/or her own acceptance for publication. The independent authors have their own publishing imprints as well, lending to the confusion in their minds as to the validity of their claim as publisher, and the general publics as well.

If these groups would work together more efficiently there would be a greater tide of acceptance in the public eye than there is even today. The change is occurring however, and independent publishers, and authors of both types are gaining much greater acceptance and accolades as the process improves.

A Very Important First

When a special child in your life acheives certain milestones finding the perfect gift is a treasure. Sometimes the hunt can be frustrating though. Make sure you check out The Catholic Company for the perfect gift for first communion gifts for the most important gift in their spiritual life.

Free Reads

Visit my website for a peek into my worlds. Download four free reads from Tammy Lee:
(All stories intended for those 18 and over)

SKINNY DIPPING-A chance encounter sparks an afternoon of fun in the water.

CORPORATE GESTURES-Life as the assistant to a famous musician could be frustrating, but Karen was about to find out how exciting it could be as well.

LILAC MEMORIES-A lazy afternoon on a sunlit porch with a handsome new stranger.

A MOTHER’S PREROGATIVE-A mother discovers the darker side of her teenage son.

WHAT FATE ALLOWS-Human nature takes a decided twist when the whims of fate
and destiny arrive.



Tami (Tammy)
http://www.tparrington.com
http://tamiparrington.blogspot.com
Just released! - COMPUTER GAMES
Find it at http://www.ladyaibell.com

One Piece At A Time

I love to 'window shop' online. I've been in the process of redecorating my home for the past six months and have found some wonderful sites for both remodeling and refurnishing my now 'childless' home. Piece by piece I'm re-claiming my house. Some mothers suffer from empty nest syndrome. Not me. My nest is mine again finally. No more buying furniture that is 'kid proof', or has to be protected from spills and dirty shoes. Powell Furniture has beautiful pieces for every room whether you have kids or not, and their prices are fantastic.

Computer Games Excerpt

COMPUTER GAMES
By: Tammy Lee

Daria has a secret lover with dark secret of his own that she can
never reveal, except to a fanatical few on-line who would love to
believe the fun-loving chat room joker was telling the truth.

Get your copy today: http://ladyaibell.com/bookstore/product_info.php?products_id=134

Excerpt:

"Ha ha, very funny. Tell them you'll be back later." He smiled, and
pinched through the cotton. He watched as she wiggled, laughing,
squirming, trying to ignore the impossible-to ignore fingers that
worked their way around her breasts. "Tell them, or I'll have to
throw you over the desktop and do you while you type." He pushed her
forward until she was on her feet and he threw back her chair, which
glided on its casters halfway across the room.

Standing behind her, he caressed her back as she continued to type;
now it was a competition to see if it would be possible for her to
continue her on-screen conversation while he worked his magic behind
her. His hands slid up under her shirt and ran back down her sides,
thrusting her jogging pants to the floor in one swift motion. He
squeezed her bottom and she moaned, but kept on typing and
continuing the conversation as if nothing out of the ordinary was
happening. Of course, to be completely correct, this wasn't exactly
an unusual situation.

Just another one of their games.

©2006 Tammy Lee

Too Poor To Die

I've always told my kids I was 'too poor to die so they'd have to put up with me a few more years'. While that may be funny it's not really fun to think about what would happen to my kids if I left them with the debt, and burden of taking care of the bills after I'm gone. Death Insurance is certainly not something one likes to talk about, or even think about. Death, however is certainly the only thing you can really count on. It's going to happen. You hope it won't happen for a long time to come, but it's just going to. So, like the many unpleasant things you have to think about and do because it's necessary, and important, you have to think about what will happen when you die. For me insurance is a necessary part of living. I can sleep better knowing my kids won't have to go into debt to pay my remaining bills, or put me in my final resting place.

Marketing For Writers

Okay, shake your head. It's okay. I know a lot of new authors are overwhelmed by all the prospects for marketing, and various ways to use them, and that's normal, and perfectly understandable. You see, it starts out slow.

Pre-publication:

You barely even think about marketing. You see ads and promos on line from other authors and react basically the way the 'normal' viewing public as readers do. Either you like it, or you don't. It effects you in the same manner... with just a little bit of sub-conscious memory compiling how that possibly might be of use to you and storing it way back in some dusty rarely used file in your memory for future use--if you can ever find it when you want it at that time, because this memory file is seriously crammed in the vast recesses of some memory black hole that you think you can find, but really never will again when you want it.

First book:

You know vaguely that you'll have to do some promotion. You've seen others doing things, and think it's cool, but wow, you could never do some of that stuff. This is the OMG this is too overwhelming stage. Now you start to remember all the things you've seen in the past as a reader, and struggling writer... yep, here's where you try to find that damned file you've shoved in the black-hole of your memory. Good luck finding that.

Still, you know you DID have it once, so now you set out to figure these things out again. At this point it's still pretty slow. Now mind you, I'm writing this from MY perspective to a certain degree, and back when I had my first novel published Internet marketing was WAY less complicated, and WAY less abundant. It's quite likely that you, starting where you're at now if this is your first novel have a much greater degree of savvy in these regards as those of us that started out even five or six years ago with our first pubbed works.

Even so, you'll do what's considered the 'normal' things here. Blogging, website, groups etc... Some of the more complicated things will most likely be a bit beyond your mental ability to cope with all of the changes. Unless, of course, you are just that talented, and I know there are a few of you who are.

Second book and on: This is a fun time. You are much more settled in and comfortable with your abilities and budding career, and have quite a bit of the basic marketing knowledge so ingrained now that you no longer have to bother with that stupid file you can never find. Now it's second nature and permanently etched in some auto-response part of your brain.

Now you begin to find an entirely new world opening up. Neat, creative tricks. Fantastic new ways to promote. Since you're more secure in other areas of your craft, you now are more likely to have the mental ability to absorb more of the possibilities than you had before and you are off and running.

There is no finish line though.

Ooops, did I neglect to tell you that at first? You never stop finding new things. You never stop getting excited over being able to create something fun... at least God I hope you never do. How boring would life be if it suddenly held no new challenges, or surprises?

Godspeed on your journey as a writer, and here's to many more challenges and surprises on the path ahead.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The New Man In My Life


I got a new Boer buck today! He won't be coming home until April but he's mine, all mine, and he's just what I've been looking for to be a mate for my new little girls I've been telling you guys about. Here he is in the flesh... all of it!

Only Human

I just finished reading a book by one of my favorite authors. I love her vampire series and never miss picking up the latest installment. I had to laugh though. Here is a book that is published by the big name publishers, by a fairly famous author (this is the reason I'm not mentioning who the author is, or what the name of the book is) with a funny line in it that was completely unintentional. By funny I mean 'not right'. The line read 'the lack of windows offered good ventilation but a lack of privacy'. Now really wouldn't it, shouldn't it be the other way around?

Editors can't catch everything, and writers are only human after all.

A New Reason To Worry

Wow, scary stuff! I think most of us know that our computer hard drives can carry quite a personal history of us on them, but who would think about their copiers? Well apparently it's something to think long and hard about. Copiers have memories just like computers in many cases and can be as suseptible to identity theft as your computer can. Read more about it on yahoo's article--Copier+Hard drive: A dangerous combination.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Famous For Being Famous

It's common in today's culture of personality that there are people who are famous just for -- well for being alive. People like Nicole and Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie. Nicole and Paris have lots of enterprises and one might even say they are hard working, but even with all that, if it weren't for their money, and their last names most likely the majority of people wouldn't know who they are--instead, because their last name is Hilton they are household names--doesn't hurt that they're flamboyant as well. As for Nicole Ritchie, even WITH her famous last name and father most people wouldn't have more than an inkling she exists unless they are big fans of Lionel--but she's best friends with Paris so she's famous and everyone knows who she is.

The very saddest occurance of famous for being famous is when someone who was famous--mega famous--out of this world famous for what the did rather than just for being alive goes down hill and becomes famous just for being famous. People like Michael Jackson come to mind. A man with more talent, and ability in his field than arguably any other ever--lately, while he can still draw a crowd like crazy--it's because he's famous just for being in his skin on the planet, not because he's done something amazing in recent memory. Promises abound that he will make more music, create more stunning masterpieces, but they seem to be feeble attempts to keep a name in the paper and an image alive that is beginning to fade in the ever changing, fast moving world of entertainment. One hopes that it will spark again, and he won't spend the rest of his life living on his name.

Monday, March 12, 2007

On The Home Front

Be sure to check out my ranch blog 'Country Haven Ranch's Itty Bitty Hooves' for constant updates on all of my critters including the daily antics of Annie and Amber, and their new partners in crime Angel and Amelia. Angel and Amelia came to us today. They're purebred Nubian dairy goats and just beautiful. Don't miss it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Specatacular Canyon View

The tried and true tourist attraction The Grand Canyon has a new twist. They've added a glass-bottomed viewing center. I don't know about you but there's no way in heck you're going to get me to stand on glass over a one-thousand foot drop into a mountain canyon. Nope, no way, nadda, not on your life. It might be the most breath-taking sight I could ever imagine, but I just don't need to see it 'in flight'. I went to the Grand Canyon once in my teens on the way to California to visit my dad and it was a spectacular sight. Well worth the trip and something I will remember for ever, but standing at the edge looking in was just fine thank you.

Old School... well, just old.

U2's Joshua Tree album is 20 years old... does that make anyone else feel old? All the big names and 'famous' albums of my time are turning big milestone ages. Led Zeppelin's 'The Song Remains the Same', Michael Jackson's 'Thriller', are all fanatastic old school which makes me old school. Sometimes though it makes me laugh when I hear someone on a television show proclaim a song or record that's maybe two or three years old as 'old school'... time flies faster now than it ever did I suppose, but to me 20 years is 'old school', not 20 minutes.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'll Shake Your Hand For A Buck

Michael Jackson is apparently in Japan now doing a meet and greet to the tune of thousands of dollars per handshake. Okay that's an exageration, for a little over a grand he had a meet and greet for corporate type folks and they could shake his hand, and be in his general vicinity for about 8 hours... that's still a lot of dough. There was a seperate day set aside for fans I hear where the cost was a more reasonable 130 bucks for the event. I'm not sure how many of his screaming admirers actually got to touch him for that amount though. For a has-been (as the media tends to call him) it seems he can still generate enough excitment that folks are willing to cough up big bucks just to be in the room with him. I understand much of the procedes were to go to charity. Still... seems kind of pricey--I'd shake your hand for the price of a cup of coffee. LOL

Monday, March 05, 2007

Don't Tell Me What To Write

I was on the Yahoo webpage earlier today and one of the headlines was 'Should sports fans be banned from blogging'. No I didn't read the article, but the very idea of it got my blood boiling so bad, not reading the article was merely a defense mechanism on my part. If I'd read it I'm fairly sure I would have written the author an insanely angry letter if they'd ended up really supporting such a crazy idea. Who died and made anyone else God but God? While the WWW is a 'world wide' endeavor and not all countries ascribe to the free speech amendement in either law or ideal--it still just floors me that anyone could even think that they would have the right to dictate what someone can, or can not write on their own blogs. Feel free to disagree with something someone wrote. Feel free to read or not read... but the key word is FREE HERE.

The Weekend Crunch

I missed Supahstar Saturday again this week. I suppose I could have still done it like I did one time on a Monday but the idea is to do it on Saturday. I can't seem to get on here long enough on Saturday's (or even Sunday's most times). Those are the busiest days of the week around here family wise. There are lots of things that are important to me, and lots of things I do, but none of them are ever allowed to interfere with family time. Hopefully though I'll be able to squeeze out a few moments next Saturday.

Friday, March 02, 2007

From The Outside In

One of the things my husband and I dream of doing as one of our remodeling projects is either the addition of a sun room, or a large porch. I like the idea of a sun room because it's like the best of both worlds--like being outside without the mosquitoes or if it happens to be raining. Out here in the country lightening storms are a form of entertainment. I can't tell you how often we've sat in the living room looking out the big picture window at the lightening striking down in the fields. You can see for miles out here with no buildings blocking the view so it's quite a show. I can't even imagine how cool it would be to sit in a sunroom during a storm, or even a light rain. I love sitting out in the barn when it's raining. The sounds of the rain hitting the roof, I usually leave the big doors open so I can watch it too.

The designs on the SunPorch Home page are really great and a fantastic new design feature are the easy slide windows. Really like being outside indoors. You can even remove the upper and lower windows and make it into a screen porch on days when you want the breeze to come through. The folks at Sunporch.com are celebrating their new design with a 10% off discount promotion. I think it's time Bob and I made the final decision. It would make a terrific summer addition. It makes me feel better about the yukky weather we're having here now just thinking about the possibilities.

More Articles

I just submitted two more articles to Associated Content this morning. I really like writing for them, and have always enjoyed non-fiction writing almost as much as fiction. The one negative about writing for them is you really aren't sure how much you will be paid for each article until they send you the bid. It isn't based on a traditional so much per word, or flat rate, it's basically up to a fairly elusive criteria that the reviewers have to use to make the offer. I've been pretty lucky though with the last three articles in that the offers have been on the high side of their pay range. The articles today will be a new experience in how they pay however since they are not 'original'. That's right, they will pay to publish reprints as well as original work. Don't misunderstand--it has to be YOUR work, but it doesn't have to be exclusive only to their site. The two articles I submitted were previously published on my various blogs. I've heard that they pay about the same for non-exclusive as they do exclusive, but I'll let you know. It has taken about 7 days as a rule to get an offer on each article.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Check Out Big Money

Check out Big Money today at Chippewa Publishing.

Blurb: Richard, and Marie Jordan are an average suburban middle-class family. They have the American dream--a happy marriage, two kids, a house, two cars, plenty of credit cards, and lots of debit. Faced with the threat of losing their main source of income, Marie decides to take a chance on playing the lottery. When she wins, Richard and Marie find out exactly how much things change when faced with more wealth than they’d ever dreamed of, and more predators than they could ever imagine.

Are you one of the Best?

Have you heard of the Guru Blogger List? It is a listing of the most knowledgeable bloggers on the internet! Click here to nominate your favorite Guru Blogger http://www.best25blogs.com/gurus.htm

Paypal

I know there are a few people out there that have had negative experiences with Paypal as a method of accepting payments and making payments online, but I have had nothing but great experiences. I especially like their debit card which means I can go shopping in the 'real world' using money that is online without having to wait until the funds transfer to my bank account which can take up to 4 days. Everything is quick easy and works great. The typical guardian type things will keep your experiences with accounts like this from going bad. Never answer a random email even if it looks legitimate. Companies like Paypal, Ebay, and even credit card companies will usually not send you emails to say there is a problem with your account. They'll either snail mail you, or it will be on your actual account site inside their company. ALWAYS go to the main site and log in there to find out if there is trouble, or something you need to address... even if it's an offer of some sort it will show up there whether they did indeed send you an email or not.

Cover Snark

If you've never been to Dionne Galace's Book Reviews and Cover Snark, you're missing a fun show. Her blog takes no prisoners. Some of her comments are gauranteed to leave you in tears of laughter. Take a look at her current post 'Girl Eats Boy' and see if you don't agree.