Hacking Feedspot

Apparently anything you do to change something around a bit and make it more useful for yourself is now called “hacking,” so we’ll go with that.

Anyway, I signed up for Feedspot a while back because WordPress reader kinda sucks and I was tired of bookmarking stuffs only to forget to check them. At first, Feedspot seemed great, but then (of course) it got annoying. Doesn’t take long for anything to irritate the hell out of me.

The first annoying thing was having all the posts appear in an unsorted blob. I fixed that by making folders. Mostly I check my Peeps and Writing, and if I have time I’ll look at Fun, News, Relationships, etc.

But then it happened I had added sites I no longer wished to see because they had graduated from annoying to Fucking Annoying. Mostly these were sites about relationships that began to post bullshit clickbait every hour. So… where is garbage can icon? Zomg they don’t haz one! I checked the message board to find a bunch of people complaining about this very thing.

So, here’s what you can do. Drag your link outta the folder and stick it in the main section. You can shitcan it that way (there’s an icon). But even better is this: make a Delete folder. Every time a site annoys you drag it in there. Now you can at any point delete the entire Delete folder with everything in it! W00t! (Then create a new empty Delete folder.) Or you can just leave it alone in case you change your mind.

Now my Feedspot is all good and easy to manage. Viola!

Time To Let Go

I stumbled onto this great article by Anne R. Allen. She discusses some of the protagonists that readers hate. We all know about the villain we secretly (or not so secretly) root for, but it’s important as a writer also to understand the kind of protags a reader does not want to see.

1. The Mary Sue. I never heard of this before ~ the term comes from fanfic (which could explain why). Basically it’s an ordinary person who has a massive amount of strength or wisdom to save the planet and/or attract the hottest supermodel. She (or he) is the author’s fantasy self. Boring!

2. The Special Victim. This protag endures all sorts of horror, but can never do anything about it because that would wreck the storyline. The reader sits there frustrated, urging the dumbass to walk out the open door. (This could also be called “revenge fiction” if the protag is really a stand-in for someone you want to torture in writing.)

3. The Perfect Pat. This is another fantasy writer self ~ a protagonist who does everything perfectly and never has an incorrect or repulsive thought. It’s basically a gilded memoir. More boring than a boring boring thing.

4. The Looky-Loo. Like the annoying non-buyer of real estate, this protag wanders through the story, looking and feeling and hearing and thinking. The writing may be profound and beautiful, even deep and poetic, but NOTHING EVER HAPPENS.

5. The Literal Larry. This is the star of a memoir, where no detail is omitted, no matter how mundane or irrelevant, because “it really was just like that.” Gah.

I will give you one guess which protag is the one I’ve been writing for the last twenty-five years in my fabulous epic novel Motion Sickness.

MS began as a short story where I was mocking an old boss (RIP Tony G) for his goofy dietary prefs. It was a pretty fun story called “Broccoli.” Then I decided to enter a novella contest, so I expanded Broccoli to 25K words. I overlaid it with a theme of drowning and called it “Water.” Later on I decided to squish a couple of new ideas into Water and make it novel-sized. At that point I renamed it “Motion Sickness.”

Never satisfied with the story, I kept tweaking it. Start in a different spot, use new themes such as synesthesia and depression, add in imaginary characters, throw in some hookers, create a love triangle, have a happy ending, no! change it to a sad ending…

But the problem was that my protag simply floated through all this, unchanging. She is an observer, not an actor. She is not a compelling heroine. She watches and snarks, she loves mildly and hates dispassionately. She is detached from everything, including her own neuroses and fears. She is way too much like me ~ i.e., boring as hell.

It’s time to let this go.

Good News/Bad News

I just had a lovely visit with my wonderful daughters. :)

It’s already over and they’ve driven off to their homes 400 miles away. :(

Anna has a couple new books up on KDP. Woo hoo!

But when I began reading one on my Kindle, I noticed a bunch of weird page breaks and missing sentences. The original was fine. The entire story has now been resubmitted and seems to be correct on the KDP reader. But how sucky is that?!

A writer pal told me she uploads in PDF, so that’s how future Paula/Anna writing will be sumitted. GRRRR!

I found these awesome shoes for $12 at Macy’s yesterday. EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

The girls told me it’s because they’re hideous and no one else wants them. Rude.

I took the day off to relax and do chores… forgot about leaf blowers and various ANNOYING NOISES.

I ordered super-cute little cupcake salt & pepper shakers off Amazon over the weekend and they’ve just arrived!

I spilled half a bottle of pepper in the sink while filling one of them. ACHOO!

I just switched to “classic editor” here (didn’t know that was an option last week) to get rid of the HORRIBLE new WordPress poasting layout. Zomg hate. But yay for old editor option!

Is this a GOML (get off my lawn) moment? Idk. Some old things are better and that’s the way it is. Goodnight.

Composed

I read Rosanne Cash’s wonderful memoir, Composed, given to me by a friend. Rosanne’s life is at once lonely and sad and joyful and creative… I relate to so much of it. Well, except for having the mega-star father, fortune, and fame, of course. Rosanne’s writing delighted me ~ she skips around in time, which some may object to, but I found charming.

I have abandoned my reliance on the external facts to support an individual truth, and everyone is entitled to his or her own. [pg. 3]

 

That was her unapologetic intro, and it was awesome. Don’t we all do this really? Our fundamental truths are subjective.

A lonely road is a bodyguard. [pg. 60]

Rosanne wrote that at age 12 (so amazing!) and kept returning to this theme in her writing and her life. She expresses her thoughts about creativity, music, family, love, parenting (both sides), brain surgery, and ultimately death in such an accessible style. I felt so close to her through her words that I ordered her book of short stories, along with a CD.

Loss is the great unifier, the terrible club to which we all eventually belong. [pg. 206]

 

Yeah.

*FREE BOOK*

Rachel’s Review is free today, woo hoo!

Grab your copy of Anna Fondant’s short story and please write a review after you’ve finished it.
 
Thanks and happy Friday! :)

Romantic Advice from Moi

(And you know what that’s worth.)

So, I’m subscribed to this digital relationship advice site thinger. Generally poasts are of the format  “oh noes here’s a dilemma what should you dooo?” And then someone drones on about the various options blah blah. In my opinion, they could all be solved must faster. Forex…

1. He hasn’t texted you back oh noes!  

Response: He probably left his phone in the car again, no worries. (Dump him.)

2. Oh noes we never have sex what should I doooo?

Response: Just keep hoping he’ll change, dummy, cuz that always works.  (Dump him.)

3. (A rare one for men.) Idk if she’s worth pursuing halp halp!

Response: If you have to ask…

4. He hasn’t said he loves me oh noes what should I doooo?

Response: Just keep hoping, like an idiot. (Dump him.)

5. His dating profile is still online oh noes what should I doooo?

Response: Assume he is “too busy” to deactivate it. (Dump him.)

6. Is it time to take a break from dating halp halp!

Response: No, just keep being miserable cuz it’ll be worth it eventually. 

7. He doesn’t want to commit oh noes what should I doooo?

Response: Just keep hoping, like an idiot. (Dump him!)

8. My dating profile photo is boring oh noes what should I doooo?

Response: Use Scarlett Johansson’s.

Sunset heart

Ketchup

Hai hai howarya? It’s been a while. Hope all is well with my favorite blogpeeps. 

I know Anna Fondant has been busy… check out her latest poast.

I just finished It Ain’t Me, Babe, a super hot, super thrilling story of romance and bikers and cults and gore galore. Sort of like Sons of Anarchy on amphetamines. I told Anna about it and she was all like, DUDE, that inspires me to write a biker-dragon story. Oh yeah, Anna’s been writing dragon romance (what a nut). 

Me, I’m just trudging along writing that book that never ends, it goes on and on my friends… started in nineteen-eighty-nine, to finish would be so fine… but it’s the book that never ends, it goes on and on my friends…

I’ve also been writing dark poetry like a 14 year old, so that’s um er… interesting.

Sadly, I have not tried any new cupcakes, but I did notice something you can put on your list for my birthday next year ~ oooOOOOooo!

No cat pics today. Come back tomorrow. *mwah*

Fruit & Nuts

On the recommendation of a friend I bought and read Pears and Perils by Drew Hayes. What a fun book! The plot was zany and unpredictable; the characters fresh and humorous. The story veers from philosophical to just plain wacky. While the protag was great, I totes loved “Thunder,” a hybrid hipster/surfer kinda dude who had his own language.

The best part was of course that a kitty had a starring role in the book.

Here are some cool quotes to possibly get a few of you interested in reading further:

Cats are already experts in freeing themselves, and ones with a bit of divine blood move into the realm of supernatural. For an instant Clint felt like he was trying to keep his grip on a shadow dunked in mercury; then it was over and the cat was racing across the field away from him. [P&P]

April might not be as good at reading people as she was at reading books, but even she could tell that beneath this peace and love mentality there was a basement of something more complex: a place that was shut away from the world, where armor and axes were carefully stowed and just beginning to rust. [P&P]

OooOOOoo. Read the book. :)

Little Favor

My peeps! It appears that book reviews really help a writer get more attention in the megamammoth Kindle store.

So, if you have read Burnt Offerings or any of Anna Fondant’s books, it would be super wonderfully great if you could take a couple minutes and write a review.

Thanks and have a fabulous Friday! :)

Drama-llama-ding-dong

No one likes drama, right? EWWWW DRAMA!

And everyone believes drama is caused by someone else. Partly this is because people are in denial about what they do and how they behave, but also it’s because we don’t all have the same definition of drama.

Forex, now that I’m a born-again honest person, I can see that lying generates drama. But of course people who lie don’t see that ~ in fact, some liars will assert that their lying prevents drama, especially “white lies.” A person tells these to get through an uncomfy moment, but they generally come back around to bite the liar in the ass (which does indeed look fat in those pants).

If you call out a liar, he often will accuse you of creating drama. Much easier to play along and pretend that lies aren’t lies. But is it bad to have this kind of drama, where you clear the air and establish that one person is dishonest, a manipulator, a crappy friend, or whatever? I say no. It’s less stressful to me personally to confront and move on than to fake it in order to smooth things over ~ much like spreading frosting on a pile of garbage. Other people prefer the frosted fakes. *shrug*

When I was on dating sites, I sometimes specified “no drama.” To me, this meant: have a job, a decent place to live, a car; don’t be a felon, a druggie, a nutcase; and no members of the He-Man Women Haters Club allowed. Because having severe issues with functioning in our society often creates DRAMA.

When men demand “no drama” they often mean: don’t bother me with your pesky feelings.

Took me a while to figure out because I assumed drama comes from undesirable behaviors, while others consider the expression of any negative feelings to be “dramatic.” So, to these people it’s better to be a dickhead than the one who says, “Hey dickhead! Cut it out!”

Interesting. :)

PS: I’m not talking about being psychotically honest and blurting out all the feels on the metro; I’m talking about being honest in significant relationships or when contemplating one.

Drama llama