Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Two Things to Post Today

So, there are two things going on today. First, day 7 of the October Platform Challenge says I have to respond to 3 Tweets today. Not just chirp, but actually respond. So, okay, I'll get around to that. I did respond to a Tweet at 6 AM so I'm going to count that one.

The second thing is that Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi teamed up with Lee Powell and created a new software for writers. Don't know who these people are? Angela and Becca are the brains behind The Emotion Thesaurus and other useful resources for writers and Lee is the creator of Scrivener. Pretty cool. Anyway, their software launches today and below is their blog post.

Every once in a while, something comes along that changes things for the better.

And in the world of writers, this is especially welcoming, because we all know just how much sweat, courage and persistence it takes to write a book and then release it into the world. Today I'm pointing you toward a new website which I hope will help writers brainstorm stronger characters, craft deeper, more compelling plots, and teach us how to be more effective with our description so we draw readers in. One Stop For Writers is a collaboration between Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, and Lee Powell, creator of Scrivener for Windows. This powerhouse online library is filled with one-of-a-kind descriptive thesaurus collections, tools, tutorials and much more, all geared to provide the resources you need to strengthen your prose and write more efficiently.

Want to check One Stop For Writers out?

Hop on over to Writers Helping Writers for their Launch Week festivities (October 7-14th)! If you know Angela, Lee and Becca already, you probably can guess there will be some great prizes, and probably a bit of paying-it-forward too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 6 of the October Platform Challenge

For today we are supposed to start a Twitter account. Fortunately, I already have one. But in order for us writers to be found we need to make sure we are publicly open and we Tweet at least once per day to show that we are and our account is active. Further, we should follow and accept follows from those people who can help us in our careers: other writers, agents, publishers, editors, readers groups, etc. He gave us list of his top 50 people and things to follow. I'm still following.

I used to be more active on Twitter and certainly on Saturdays it's fun to #Alabama and tweet while the game is on with other fans. I have linked my author's Facebook page to my twitter account so anything that I post there will also post on Twitter so that helps save time. I also use Hootsuite where I can post to any of my social media, even different posts simultaneously. AND I can schedule posts so I don't even have to be home.

What I need to do is to go through my follows and cull the ones that are unnecessary or ones that I don't really need to follow. I also need to set up groups so I can Tweet to just those people the messages I want them to see..

Perhaps in the not too distant future I'll take a "Tweet Day" and get organized. Bwah! Who knew being social on social media would be like work?!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Challenge Continues

So today's "Build Your Writing Platform" challenge is to join Facebook. Well, yes, I have TWO accounts. I have my personal one which is private and for my friends and family. The other one is public and for anyone at all. So, my public one is:
What I did finally do, is I completed the profile on my public page and actually started posting some pictures of what I've up to professionally. Looking forward to trying that again too.

You'd think with Little Man in school I'd have tons of time to do this sort of thing. But, there is just never enough time in the day....

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Lot Has Happened

So, believe it or not it has almost been a year since my last post - 338 days to be exact. And in that years time we spent a great deal of time in Florida helping Husband's mother who passed away in April just 8 days shy of her 93rd birthday. We took a vacation to New England that had been postponed the year before due to surgery. One of our dogs Jake went to heaven. Little Man started kindergarten (I know! I can't believe it either!) And I can't neglect to mention that my friend Allison and I launched our literary magazine, Pilcrow & Dagger. So, with all that going on something had to give and I stopped blogging.

However, now it is time to get back to it. Robert Lee Brewer, Senior Content Editor with Writer's Digest has started an October writing challenge to get writers writing and establishing their platform. So, why not give it a go? I'm already 4 days behind, so let's get started.

Day 1 - Define Yourself as a Writer:

Name: LeeAnn Jackson Rhoden
Position: Owner/Publisher/Editor of Pilcrow & Dagger; short story writer; ghost writer; aspiring novelist; editor; wife and mother.
Skills: editing; creative writing; blogging; journalism; journaling; public speaking; sales and marketing; problem solving, graphic layout, managing and accounting; scheduling and logistics; teaching; organizing.
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
Accomplishments: Author of 6 short stories: The Trade-In, Circles, Demolition, Balmy, Harvest of Hope, Sparrow; autobiographical ghost writer; entrepreneur - started Pilcrow & Dagger literary magazine; wrote the Orange County Florida Public Schools curriculum benchmarks for teaching writing in the Middle Grades (1995); conducted training on use of Young Adult literature in the classroom to Orange County Florida Public Schools Language Arts/English teachers; managed restaurant with 2.1 million dollar gross revenue; new home sales consultant closing 53% of companies sales;  top sales person for Original Log Cabin Homes July 2007 with 1.5K in sales; BA in Spanish Literature from University of Central Florida; equivalent credits for BA in English and professional teaching certificate from University of Central Florida; volunteer with Wesley United Methodist Church; property manager to rental homes; wife and mother.
Interests: writing, reading, family, genealogy, knitting, needlepoint, crocheting, cooking, politics.
In one sentence, who am I? LeeAnn Jackson Rhoden is a married mother to a precocious Little Man and she likes to do everything and often runs out of time.

Day 2 - Set Your Writing Goals:

Short Term: Finish revisions on my novel and publish it; start and finish first draft of my second novel.
Long Term: Become a consistent novelist - finish and publish the 4 novels I have notes on; complete the family tree and write a family history.

Day 3 - Write a blog for today:

Yes, well, I already have created a blog and this is my post. Sooooo.....

Day 4 - Claim Your Domain

Already have but have yet do anything new with it for the length of my hiatus from my blog. My domain is:

Well, now I'm all caught up and looking forward to starting fresh tomorrow! If you'd like to participate check out Happy writing!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Is It Rights Or Just Class?

In all the controversy of late about the Ebola virus and how best to contain/treat/eliminate it from U.S. soil one recent story had me scratching my head. This is the story of the nurse Kaci Hickox of Maine.

First let me say that I am not a doctor. Never have been; never will be. So what I know about Ebola is very little and only that which I've heard from or seen in the media. I know that it is contagious. I know hat it has a minimum incubation period of 21 days. I know that it has a 70% mortality rate. I know that it presents like the flu and is easily misdiagnosed by the victim and physicians early on. I also know that there seems to be developing questions on just how contagious it is, how it's transmitted exactly, and just when someone is contagious. Again, I'm not a doctor. What I get from all of this is that Ebola is mean shit and people who have been exposed need to be ABSOLUTELY sure that they are not carriers of the virus or contagious before mixing with the unsuspecting populous.

Second, Kaci Hickox needs to be given the credit she is due as a care giver. She didn't shy away from the fight, she went right into the fire with the goal of easing the suffering of those poor souls who had Ebola. Good for her. And when her tour was done, she came home. And when she arrived from a west African country put on the watch list, she was placed in quarantine in New Jersey and then sent home to wait out the rest of her 21 days in her home in Maine. To remain in her home until she is ABSOLUTELY sure she does not have the virus. She said "no" and thus all the controversy about rights and such.

I don't want to talk about Ebola per se except how it relates to this particular conundrum. My question is about rights and social decorum. I get that Ms. Hickox has rights and cannot be incarcerated without reason. I'm the first person to stand up for a person's rights whether or not I like what they stand for. I get that she doesn't want to be quarantined. But....

Let's see, I cannot tell a joke that starts a rabbi, an imam, a priest and a minister go into a bar on a Friday night during Lent to get a sausage pizza and a pitcher of beer for dinner. I can't (even though it's a really good joke) because there are a number of groups who MIGHT be offended by the joke. So, because groups might be offended, my First Amendment right to freedom of speech has been PERMANENTLY suspended and that joke could classify me as a hate-speech user rather than someone who lacks social decorum and class.

On the other hand. Ms. Hickox (or anyone else who might be carriers or contagious with Ebola) doesn't want her right to freedom to be TEMPORARILY suspended even though what she MIGHT have could infect and possibly cause someone to die.

Hardly equal. Hmm. Permanently suspending a freedom because people could be insulted vs. temporarily suspending a freedom because people could die. Really? And I had the bad joke?

What we have is not really a case of rights - rights of the disease carriers vs. the rights of the unsick, and I'll also argue the whole hate-speech is crap too. What we have is a society so socially déclassé and selfish it's absurd. Why can't it be the case that I don't tell my joke (even though I really want to) because I can self-govern, self-censor, show some class and dignity and respect for others? And why can't Ms. Hickox (and others) self-quarantine, show some class and dignity and respect for others?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Indian Summer

The temperatures came down a bit from REALLY HOT to just hot. There have even been a few days of ahhhh nice temperatures - not above 85, low humidity, and sunny. And then, it gets HOT again with Indian Summer. Aside from the question of can I call it Indian Summer without offending anyone, the interesting thing about Indian Summer is the final "blooms" of the year. No, not the mums or pansies, I'm talking about mold and ragweed.

Husband suffers with this annual blossoming of pollen and spores. And every year we seem to have the same conversation.

Husband: *sniffling* I think I'm getting a cold.
Me: *knitting* It's allergies.
Husband: *sniffling* I'm only allergic to cats.
Me: *knitting* And mold.

A few days later....

Husband: *sniffling* I'm allergic to something. Did you change laundry detergent?
Me: *writing* No.

mold spores
Husband: Fabric softener?
Me: No.
Husband: Bath soap?
Me: No.
Husband: Shampoo?
Me: No.

A few days later....

Husband: *sniffling* I researched it. I'm allergic to mold.
Me: *crocheting* Huh. Interesting.

Meanwhile, even knowing what is causing poor Husband's irritation doesn't help make his sniffles go away and it's time to buy stock in allergy medication. Yet, it's pleasant to sit outside in the evening and cook out and just look at the leaves changing colors until night falls and the mold spores float down out of the atmosphere.

We are eagerly awaiting the first frost which will put an end to the spores and pollen and herald in the winter. In the mean time, autumn continues and Halloween is Friday!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Permission or Forgiveness?

Little Man used to ask permission to do things - go upstairs to play, go outside, go to the park, draw, finger paint, build with his blocks, get a snack - whatever. I liked that. It gave me control. I knew where he was. I knew the magnitude of the mess. I was able to prevent dangers.

Lately, Little Man has stopped asking permission to do things. If he wants to go outside, he does. If he wants to color, he does. If he wants to paint, he does. Often he colors or paints on things he shouldn't. This, of course, is not okay with me because now I can't protect him or the walls or table tops.

When he does something he shouldn't then I'm forced to scold and correct his behavior. Which had been working just fine.

Me: No, no we don't color on the walls.
Little Man: Okay. Why not, Mama?
Me: We only color on paper. So, we need to clean the wall.
Little Man: You do it.
Me: Don't sass Mama. That's not nice.
Little Man: You clean the wall Mama, I'm not doing it.
Me: That's it Little Man, you're in time out.

Not anymore. He has learned to do something and I don't know where he learned it. It's not a new technique - teenagers and politicians tend to use it too often. He now apologizes BEFORE I'm aware he's done something wrong.

Little Man: Mama, I'm sorry. I accidentally colored on the wall.
Me: Little Man, how did you accidentally color on the wall?
Little Man: *shrugs* It just happened. I'm sorry Mama. I love you.
Me: I love you too.

When did he learn that sometimes it's better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission? Is this something that is just innate in all of us? Is this just something that 4-year olds, teenagers, and politicians do?

I don't want him to think that it is better to apologize than to ask for permission. I also don't want him to not come to me at all. It's a fine line that I'm having to learn to walk. He's crafty.