Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I have had a major breakthrough in my manuscript. It will shift the POV between chapters (which has been done, obviously) but it is a brand new way of helping describe the character and action that I don't believe has been tried before.
I am very excited about this and now that I am over the nuclear scan and thus can write I will be able to actually concentrate on my writing again. All with a fresh perspective.
I will let you know how this goes but if any writers out there would like to discuss shifting view point from main character (protagonist) to another character (part of the wider antagonist organization) in the comments, please feel free to drop by. Would love to hear your input. Anyone who is aware of the ramifications of using a widely known organization, with or without a pseudonym, please leave a comment as I am very interested.
Yours truly,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Do not disparage the power of the receipt

If anything, I am certain in my certainty. One of my dear friends who help me out with the chores that I used to do without thinking* used a mop she had bought from a local grocer. She said after using it that she would take it back as it wasn't any good. I remarked, "Oh, I doubt they'll take it back after it's used." In response, she said, "Well we still have the receipt." "But it's been used." (All kindly banter but we were both sure of our own comments.) She brought this up today while helping me again and the same conversation ensued. After several iterations, I put a bet on it. A gentleman's bet for woman but I would still happily pay as I was sure she would come back with the mop, even visualizing the service-counter-help actually saying to her, "No, we cannot take it back as it's been used." She came back with nine dollars, some odd cents and a big smile on her face announcing, "I win," she proclaimed joyfully. I was equally amazed and joyed, adamant that they would never take anything back they couldn't resell. This ingrained in me by "the box and packaging theory of technology" for any returns. (You know the drill.) I made ritualistic bowing gestures and told her that money was hers to keep as it wouldn't exist in my house otherwise. And it was because of her innocent face that they actually did that because if I had brought it back with my worldly or world-weary face, they would tell me,"!#$%^&*!@#$!". Again, I am certain of the latter. We are now bantering on who gets to keep the money. I'm sure I will win this one. Certain of it. 
Moral of the story? Keep your receipts and if you don't like something, take it back. This is a consumer driven economy and if a product is not worth the money charged you, it should be returned. Instead of voting with your feet it's voting with a receipt.

*Please read the world-renowned Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino

Monday, July 30, 2012

Does your blog need tweaking? Want tips?

Are you a blogger as well and want the latest and greatest tips. Well, this is the de facto place to go for all of your answers on both blogger and wordpress. There is a link below but search Spice Up Your Blog and Google will take you there.

35 Best Free Blogger Templates Of 2011 | Spice Up Your Blog

Please see comments on Beauty is Skin Deep or Hard Day's Night for what has been going on. (throw in chemo and flu and computer problems and you'll get the big picture.)
And please do comment. I love to hear from my readers.
Hope all is well in your world.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tips for saving space and saving your wallet.

Who doesn't need more space? Raise your hand. Okay, no hands. Who doesn't need to organize something; your drawer, your office shelf, your storage shelves, your bathroom shelves? Again, no hands. Who would like to save money and do all of the above easily? Wow, lots of hands. Here are some tips to do that in 3 fast steps. First, we are in a consumer driven economy. And yet many people think the first step to organizing is...a trip to the 'organize-it store'. (I will not name names here.) But that trip will take money right out of your wallet. Back to 'consumer driven economy'. Well, we also consume a lot of goods. And if you recycle (I hope all hands are up on this one), you will find a number of good, solid packaging that will work wonders in organizing those pesky junk drawers or wires for all of the electronic goods. Even batteries or our dear postman's rubber-bands. For instance, I am a lover of Crystal Light. If there is a sale on the larger containers (as I've found the box kind to be cheaper; another tip for you), I just take off the label and I have a sturdy, perfectly shaded container with a steadfast lid that I didn't have to spend some odd dollars for at the 'organize-it store'. All I have to do is find a need for it (easy) and slap a label on it. If you don't have a label-maker, then grab some tape and a marker and write up what you need to fill it full of; cotton swabs, hair clips, band-aids, etc. Done. A secondary benefit to getting all of the lemon-aide you want. Who likes coffee? Most of the coffee, for instance Folgers come in a small or large container. Just cut off the label and you have a sturdy tub with a snap-on lid for anything in your bathroom closet. Slap and label on it and your done. I am sure you have some great containers that you purchase your favorite food item in that would make perfect organizing containers. Think of what you buy and take a new look at the items you recycle. Can the labels be taken off? If not, give your kids a fun, new art project to change those labels with a little art supplies into great labels for containing and organizing. I bet they have a great deal to organize. They will more easily grab a container that is emblazoned with their artwork and spelling on it to help keep things tidy for you. It's also a great way to help them think outside the box (or, more to the point, inside). What twenty things are like five more? What's a name for them? How do you spell it? What is a good picture to put on it to help remember what goes where? From you to your kids, nieces, or nephews; it's a great way to re-use and utilize something without having to spend a penny.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Video now another authors' new platform?


Do Authors Have Time to Do All that is Required of Them and Write a Book???

I have run into a great number of writer websites and blogs that are posting a very professional looking video. These videos often are from sites such as DailyMotion.com and are essentially a trailer for their new book. Now normally, when we hear the word 'trailer' we think of movies, and movie production companies put a great deal of money and time into their trailers for each of their movies, as that will get tickets sold and "...in seats" as it is referred to in the business. However, authors are now using this same tool not to sell tickets but to sell their books. And each video, from the ones I have viewed boast high quality and professional effects. This takes a great deal of time, I would imagine, as the production artist would need (and, of course, want) to read the book and then pull all of the actors (and pay them), sets, costumes, etc. into the video and then schedule a shooting day. Cut the video, do production values, screen it for the author (who is footing the bill), and then upload it to their site or YouTube on whichever account agreed to or both the production company's account and the authors, if they have one. That's a lot of time and money. Forget the time and money the author put into to write the book, promote it, send it around to publishing houses, et al, or if they are indie publishers (which a lot of these authors are), the cost would be on top of the cost of publishing their work. As it appears to be the oevre du jour, what do you think about this, yet another, platform that authors must consider? My own opinion is that it is a wonderful way to market, as the marketing industry is saturated; but also a great deal of expense in addition to the other expenses required to "get your book out there". Please let me know by commenting and also use the feed buttons to let others contribute to this conversation. Happy writing!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My vote for best of the best Websites

This is the most thorough and professional website for authors and readers alike that I've come across in a long time. Follow her for great content.

How does buying an #urbanfantasy novel equate to donating to #autism?

How does buying an #urbanfantasy novel equate to donating to #autism? Though I am not a writer in this genre, it seems to be all the rage. And this website by Becca Hamilton is the most thorough and professional that I've come across. Have a look and see if you agree. ljt

Please note that the author has autism as her pick for donations. See her site for more details on how to do this. #Wonderful ways to help others.

Book Blog Find: Nilsa's Book Blog #BestBookBlogs #AmReading

Book Blog Find: Nilsa's Book Blog #BestBookBlogs #AmReading Great blog for authors and readers alike. ljt

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Today I Cried

Today's doctor trip final call: bi-weekly trips to hospital for drip in arm,  nuclear scan of my left femur and hip, chest x-ray, tb test, and chemo by injection. I can take all of that. It was the explanation by the doctor that the insurance, which has me on $620 spend-down per month, might not okay the Zofran (the label drug for the generic drugs that still have me going to the throw-up throne), or the drips, or the nuclear scan. The last time the insurance gave everyone, including my doctor, the run-around, was March of this year. It was two weeks of up and down, "We got it", "The insurance nixed it", etc. I finally hung up the phone, opened my mouth and nothing came out. Just tears falling from my eyes. My friend came over to hug me and she started crying, too. Today, another friend at the hospital, trying to console me, said, "Don't work yourself up. You'll just wear your body out more." Not understanding; only wanting to help. The thing is, I didn't work myself up. I just broke down ...Generally, I don't cry in front of my friends. I usually try to crack jokes. It is only when I've had enough, had too much, that I break down. I never cry in front of strangers. When trouble happened at home and the police where called to the door; I stopped the tears and put on a smile. "Everything's fine officer." They always step around to the door. I figured out it was because other people wouldn't open it if they say them in the peep hole. It got to be rote for me; stop crying, don't show your tears.

Today I cied. I cried in front of my doctor who has worked so hard to help me. I cried in front of strangers waiting for tests to be run. I cried in front of the social worker at the hospital who, after hearing of my story from my friend, wanted to come and meet me "to put a face to the name". I cried while telling them my birthdate, what state I was born in. Cried when I thought of the birth hospital, all the stories of the birth in the elevator- going down, of course- when I was born. The question, Why was I born? went through my head. I stopped crying, though, when the woman taking my x-rays -who had me breathing in and out and turning 'round and 'round until I finally said "I'm gonna faint"-asked, "What makes you think you're gonna faint?" It wasn't until my ears stopped ringing , my skin stopped crawling; that I thought back to that woman's question, "What makes you think you're gonna faint?" What kind of question is that? That point where the cartoon character looks into the tv at the audience with a look of complete wonder. the zen koen, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" It's the utter stupidity or wonder at the world that makes you stop crying.I sat in wonder. How did I get here? Why did I get to this point? What is the meaning of all of this?  And, ironically, all this crying has made my Sjogren's worse. Now I must not cry. I will not cry. Stay strong and carry on.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Great video to fill the void. Terrific artist.
Not great lately. Chemo backlash. Will write soon.


If this  doesn't show as hypertext on your browser, please copy and paste to url. You will love the music experience.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Secret tip for saving your skin, your wallet and your time.

I must share first a completely ironic story about a frugal living website. I went to this site looking for coupons and nearly clicked on an box touting help with monthly budget goals. But in order to sign up, you are charged $39.99 per month. Thank you but my free database works fine by me.
My secret for saving your skin and wallet is apparently quit a secret. I know this because the woman who helps me take showers after hospital visits has never, in her decades of showering people and raising kids, seen anyone else do what I came up with while working and actually trying to save time in the morning. (Thus this is a time saver as well.) Just take your hair conditioner and put it on your legs to shave instead of buying shaving cream. Then when you are almost done showering, take this same conditioner (which is hopefully the $2 brands) and rub it over your body. Do a quick rinse. No need to use expensive, or even inexpensive body lotion after you get out. Your pours are open in a hot shower so this helps the skin absorb the lotion.
Voila, you are ready to start your day fresh with smooth skin!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Every blog has a soul.

I need to define why I am writing this blog. First, this blog will be about two things; writing and writing with a disability. They are integrally tied together. Alternately, one works against the other while the other is a grounding force. The disability puts me at, well, a disability. I am often sick and cannot write. But what keeps me strong through the hard times is knowing that I must go on to continue writing as writing has been at the core of "me" since I can remember. It is what keeps me going. I've often wondered why God has decided to put me through not only this disease but the trials in my life, which are many. In jest, and God must have a sense of humor, I have always joked that God won't let me die until I publish at least one of the four books I'm working on. I have a wry and dry sense of humor, honed over many years of bumps and scorching. So 'publish or parish' is a large poster in my mental interior decorations. Along with the war time saying 'Stay calm and carry on". Strength and honor are part of who I am and what I value. So this is a blog about getting through the hard times with steel and truth, and writing. Writing, writing, writing. It will also include, on the side, humor posts, culture posts, tips on daily life I have learned and will share (for anyone and other posts for those with disability). But writing through trials will be the main theme. There are lots of blogs out there; some people see in a negative light. But if you think of each blog being written by a person, having a provenance from a hard won life, then the blogs become to have a soul. The words attached to hands pumping blood to a heart, brain. This is mine; to flesh out what is mere binary digits and 'characters'. That is all for today as I have a swollen hand and am having trouble hitting the correct keys. A minor but cogent problem to add to the overall subject. My best. Be strong, carry on.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hard Day's Night

The Beatles have a song for everything. I slept finally, my brain drained from the pain; screaming in my sleep where I used to laugh. None of us know when we are going to die but it gets a little closer when you are facing down the barrel of the gun that is going to kill you; in my case, the gun is an unseen disease called 'autoimmune disease'. One of the ironies of my life; I have something that attacks my body and causes it to slowly eat away at every cell, organ, bone on the inside. What the normal process of life is but sped up like night lights on a fast photo time lens. When the doctor had first mentioned it to me I had to ask him to say it again and slowly. "Your cells are attacking themselves." blah blah blah; no please how can that be? It was like the game my older brother and sister played with me as a child; "stop hitting yourself". It made me laugh because it was so ironic; the love of irony a gift from God given to me early in life. This game involved the elders taking my arm and hitting my face with my own arm while saying, "Stop hitting yourself!" I would laugh and laugh and it got to be harder and harder to pull my arm away because I was laughing so much; I couldn't stop myself. Well, believe me, I'm not laughing now and I wasn't laughing when the doctor called my work that I loved to explain that "autoimmune" cells are attacking themselves. Speeding up the natural flow of death at a certain percentage (in my case 'aggressively'. ) I don't sleep much now partly from the pain and also what I term the 'pain nightmare': Every time I moved I groaned becoming more and more conscious of the pain. All the more ironic because I pray for relief from the ever-presence of this aggressive beast.

Beauty Is Skin Deep

Why 'autoimmune diseases' are sometimes invisible. 
A few Mondays ago my eyes acted up from the autoimmune process. I had to be taken by a dear friend to my eye doctor who has also performed "needle in the eye" (quite literally) surgeries on me. He is a very good doctor, which is hard for me to say because I hate doctor visits and will avoid them like the plague, so to speak. He is all business. But this day, as he looked into his 'enlarging lens' he said "Your skin is impeccable. So fresh not a wrinkle or mark. It's flawless." This was unusual for him, that's why I comment on it. I wasn't wearing makeup; never do and I'm used to these comments. Though I appreciate them I take them with a wry sense of irony.

Let me explain. I think the people who say these things are very kind, but I don't take it personally. As I see it, if you looked just beyond the skin, they wouldn't be saying it. The comment "beauty is skin deep" applies here. Not in the usual sense. I hold strong my beliefs in being true to yourself and others. loving others as yourself, et al. But just beyond the surface of this serene scape there is a war in full battle. All I can say to these kind-commenting-acquaintances is, "Thank you, that's very kind of you" and move on thinking, "If only they could see inside of me." Such is the autoimmune world. Many times you do not see it. So think again when you judge the skin of someone, good or ill. There is often something that person is battling with that you cannot see.