Category Archives: Social Media

Water Off A Duck

ducks

Melanie has more questions! These are a la Dr. Tanya, who is taking a moving hiatus, but they aren’t Tanya’s questions. Melanie is simply nodding to the blogging about bloggers’ blogs theme that Tanya is famous for. Hope that’s clear…

How thick a skin do you need to be a blogger?

That depends on your goals. If you want to post about politics, sex, and/or religion (“PSR“), you’d better have a thick skin. There aren’t too many people who will take umbrage at cat photos or a discussion of romcoms, but if you announce that you’re an atheist, you’d best be prepared for all sorts of randos popping up to say you’re going to hell. People search on the PSR topics for the sole purpose of trolling; if you can’t shrug off criticism, avoid those subjects.

Personally, criticism from strangers rolls off me like water from a duck, but I no longer want to deal with it. I’ve been in flame forums, and my old blog tackled edgy topics, but I got tired of dealing with all that. It’s a big bore and I’d rather my blog interactions remain friendly.

Bitmoji happy record

“Bonus question”  How important is being understood?  (There are one or two bloggers here who put a great deal of time and effort into crafting their blog posts and I’ve heard them express dismay (disappointment) when people don’t necessarily “get” what they mean.  Also, if people don’t ‘say’ (comment) a lot about a particular post they’ve worked hard on.)

As I’ve said a zillion times, I don’t care about stats, number of likes, comments, etc., which is why I unlinked my blog from FB and Twitter. I care about my little blogging community though, and it’s nice to be understood by this group, which I generally am. I write clearly and keep my posts on the shorter side so people won’t feel that reading me is a chore.

It’s also important to break text up into smaller paragraphs, since many people are reading blogs on their phones.

bitmoji phone

If I’m misunderstood by one reader out of several, I’ll assume it’s the reader’s fault. But if I’m misunderstood by a few, I will take the blame for being unclear. That’s happened in the past when I jabbered on about dating sites. But have I mentioned in the last 5 minutes that I’m done with all that dating nonsense now? 😂

~*~

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Facebook and Oreos

Roadrunner meep

Rory has some new quickie Q’s for us today…

When was the last time you wore a woolly hat and is it coloured, patterned or plain?

Hmm, I wear cute hats sometimes for fun, but I’m allergic to wool… The last time I wore a warm, cozy knit hat was when I visited my daughter and SIL up in Northern California at Thanksgiving. That hat is a million vibrant colors, patterned in abstract triangles and such, lined with fake fur, and has purple and turquoise braided ties. Here’s a fun one…

St. Patrick’s green hat

When was the last time you experienced a wardrobe malfunction – what was it and where were you?

Probably a couple years ago at work when my shoe fell apart and I had to tape it together until I got home where I threw the whole pair away.

Why do things become popular with people?

Could be that they’re convenient or fun. Many times they are addicting even past the point of being fun and were deliberately designed that way, such as Facebook and Oreos.

cookies

On a scale of 01 – 10 how angry are you right now for no other reason apart from you just are?

My baseline is 5, not 1, and I’m around a 6. Today has been annoying from the minute I woke up with a migraine. I took meds, which left me jittery and irritable. Things kept going wrong as I went about my early chores, from grocery shopping to vacuuming. I was in a huge rage and wrote/scheduled two Monday Peeves because of it (productive anger!). I’m better now but still wary.

Please list three really funny films that have made you laugh out loud over the years?

Analyze This ~ hysterical spoof of mob movies starring Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal. The Heat ~ Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as funny cops. We’re The Millers ~ hilarious Jennifer Aniston flick.

What are five of the biggest mistakes that people make with their lives in your opinion?

Quitting school, choosing unsuitable romantic partners, having kids too young, buying stupid things they can’t afford, and failing to PLAN! Yes, life happens while you’re making other plans and the gods laugh at plans, yada yada, but just because plans don’t always work out doesn’t mean you should live like a mindless butterfly.

Orange butterfly and flowers

~*~

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ106 with a Bonus Rory Question!

FPQ fandango

 

Fandango provocatively asks…

In the context of blogging and writing, what do you think is more important: what you say or how you say it?

I assume most are going to say HOW, so I’m tempted to say WHAT, just to be contrary, but the truth is… I think they are equally important depending upon the nature of the post. 🙃

Forex, I will not follow bloggers who jabber nonsense about conspiracy theories or offer links to stupid YouTube rantings, no matter HOW they say it. I do not wish to engage with anyone who defends the twice-impeached former POTUS in any manner whatsoever. I’ve been unfollowing those who post lies about the recent US election or jumbled mutterings about dark forces. I don’t care how nicely they fling these turds, it is the WHAT that matters to me. Same goes for most idiotic conspiracy posts unless they’re totally silly or benign.

big mood bitmoji

But if we’re talking about creative fiction, then it’s the HOW that matters more than the WHAT. Many of us begin with the same prompt words or images and come up with vastly different interpretations because our creativity flows down different paths. The interesting aspect to me is HOW someone’s mind works to create a piece of fiction or poetry, not the subject matter so much.

When I write, I consider both aspects, more focused on WHAT I’m saying when I’m ranting about something (The Monday Peeve) and diving deeper into HOW I’m saying it when I’m creating a piece of fiction or poetry.

bitmoji plan

Bonus Related Question from Rory…

Is it more important to you to be a good blogger, or a community player or… what?

Ideally, they both would collide in a beautiful explosion of fame and money, but alas…

Here’s the thing. I call BS on anyone who says they’re only blogging for themselves. Then why write in public? Have a private blog or keep your thoughts locked in a Word document. Every blogger/Tweep/FB poster, etc. is hoping for an audience, though some are more attention-seeking than others. That said, I am okay with only a little bit of community engagement, and I will continue to post writing I enjoy even if it doesn’t get as many views/comments as other writing. But if I find that a type of writing gets ZERO engagement? I probably would discontinue it or seriously tweak it ~ in this case adjusting both the WHAT and the HOW to attract more views/comments. Otherwise, why bother writing in public? This is a huge reason why I became disenchanted with Twitter and Medium: little to no actual engagement.

bitmoji me

I found that my whining about dating and relationships generated a lot of views and engagement. But was it “good bloggery?” I decided it wasn’t. I grew uncomfortable with those posts and have discontinued them, even deleting some of the whinier ones from the blog altogether. (Yes, I know people who received them in email may still have them, etc.) I kept the best dating stories however and gave them their own page.

So in that case, the community engagement was a negative, especially when people gave me unsolicited advice about how to be “better” on dating sites as if the problem was me and not the sites themselves with their scam accounts, liars, cheaters, and overall creepy men. It didn’t matter HOW I wrote about this stuff because people gravitated to the WHAT and responded by trying to “fix Paula’s issues” instead of giving me the commiseration I sought. When I find a particular subject matter isn’t working for me, I avoid it in the future.

Hope that clears things up!

bitmoji relax

~*~

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

BONUS B*TCHING #PoiMe

pointless meanderings

Idk what the hell happened, but I had to delete my Song Lyric Sunday post just now, plus about a dozen past SLS posts. Somehow, I messed up my reusable block when I created next Sunday’s SLS post tonight and it affected many posts. WP wouldn’t let me edit today’s SLS post, remove the block, save new text… NOTHING. But next week’s scheduled post previews correctly, which makes no sense. I didn’t hate the blocks at first, but now I’m fully on the block-hate bandwagon. I also hate that everything about WP now is geared to marketing and money-making rather than writing. I wonder how long actual bloggers will stay here given what a pain in the butt blogging is. BTW, I hate blogger too.

I just paid the $48 to renew WP, lol. Figures as soon as I do, I end up in a rage at the whole site. Even more annoying, I already wrote my Monday peeve and don’t want to substitute this for it, but I need to rant now, so I can’t make this next Monday’s peeve. ARGH!

Speaking of Sunday night rants, let’s talk about Medium, which I b*tched about last week. I took the advice offered by several peeps, cancelled my subscription, and faded away. I have 47 posts there and will probably make another $5.00 (same as last month). As soon as I quit “clapping” (liking) other writers’ articles, my claps disappeared, proving that it’s just a bunch of BS, unless you’re one of the very few big fish who gobbles up a huge share of the pot. Even though a subscription is only $5/month, I don’t want to contribute that to the top writers who write about making money on Medium. Geez, what a racket. It wasn’t about making money for me though ~ it was about being read and just having my words OUT THERE in another venue. But since I didn’t perceive the place to be a community of people who CARED what I wrote, I switched to thinking okay maybe I can make some money. Nope. Bleh.

Anyway, thanks to all who responded last week ~ it was helpful. I’m just TIRED of doing things that aren’t fun and don’t generate results. I mean, I WORK a real job full-time, plus more, so I don’t need hobbies that cause me stress. That’s why I quit writing poetry on Twitter a while back and it’s why I’m not interested in writing another novel or poetry compilation to plop on KDP. As I asked last week, what is the effing point?

~*~

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ105: Read the TOS

FPQ

This is going to be a super-long post, so it won’t hurt my feelings if you pass it by, though IMNSHO there is a lot of good content here. If you simply drop a like without reading it, your loss.

Fandango provocatively asks…

Do you think [TOS violator] should be allowed back on social media now that he’s no longer in office?

I hope Fandango forgives me for slightly editing his question to remove the specific name. My view is that people should be held to the terms they agreed to when they signed up for a service. This means all people, no exceptions.

Let’s use WordPress for our first example, since most of my readers are using this service. Have you read the TOS? There are a lot of terms there… having to do with signing up, payments, disclaimers of WP liability for anything, using the site for e-commerce, more gobble about money, and some conditions having to do with users’ behavior. Here are some examples:

  • Will comply with all applicable laws and regulations (including, without limitation, all applicable laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content, privacy, data protection, the transmission of technical data exported from the United States or the country in which you reside, the use or provision of financial services, notification and consumer protection, unfair competition, and false advertising);
  • Will not be for any unlawful purposes, to publish illegal content, or in furtherance of illegal activities;
  • Will not disclose the personal information of others;
  • Will not be used to send spam or bulk unsolicited messages; […]

You must obey the laws about online conduct and acceptable conduct. What are those? Here’s a look

Okay, what about, say… Twitter? Anything goes there, right? Um nope. Contrary to what Twitter looks like, they actually have rules. Which they enforce arbitrarily, unfortunately. These sites making gobs of money (FB, Twitter, etc.) should, in my opinion, be forced to hire as many people as necessary to enforce their own TOS. If they can’t/don’t/won’t, they should be taken offline. There is no excuse! If there are too many messages to monitor, fix it so there aren’t. They can and should. No one needs to tweet 500 times per day if the site can’t handle monitoring their content.

Here are some rules from the Twitter TOS:

  • Violence: You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence. Learn more about our violent threat and glorification of violence policies. 
  • Abuse/harassment: You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. This includes wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm. Learn more.
  • Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. Learn more
  • Civic Integrity: You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress participation or mislead people about when, where, or how to participate in a civic process. Learn more.
  • Impersonation: You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations in a manner that is intended to or does mislead, confuse, or deceive others. Learn more.

Isn’t that interesting? You wouldn’t think, from visiting Twitter, that they had any rules at all! But apparently there are so many tweets that they can’t handle monitoring them for adherence to their own rules. They rely on other users reporting violations. Regardless, violators should be restricted, even if they can’t all be found (which they could, if these sites put money into enforcing their own rules).

It’s not only the twice-impeached former POTUS who constantly violates the Twitter rules ~ violations are all over the place there, perpetuated by peeps of all political persuasions. They are simply sliding under the radar. Forex, it’s become a sport online to mock officials for having “dementia,” which is a clear violation of the Twitter TOS, whoever is doing it. Dementia is a serious disease, incapacitating millions of people, and it’s heartbreaking besides. It’s not funny to accuse people of having it because they lie, misspeak, stutter, etc. But folks on the right and the left use this form of harassment as mockery of those they dislike.

Many of us are on Facebook, which also has rules, not that they are great at enforcing them. God forbid hiring more monitors would put a dent in the bottom line there. Here are a few FB rules that are routinely ignored:

  • Use the same name that you use in everyday life.
  • Provide accurate information about yourself.
  • Create only one account (your own) and use your timeline for personal purposes.
  • We believe that all people are equal in dignity and rights. We expect that people will respect the dignity of others and not harass or degrade others. [found in Community Standards]

I stand by my unpopular opinion that there needs to be a huge change in the structure of social media ~ and that is to create a new global rule of one account per person signed up with their real, legal name, verified with a credit card. You don’t have to use your real name as your handle, but you get ONE handle, to be used across all social media. There needs to be an end to this detachment of words from consequences when you want to “troll” and harass others. That’s the thing about social media ~ people want to be separated from the consequences of their behavior. Unlike other areas of life, we aren’t required to accept any responsibility for our words, words that are casually tossed out to mock, harass, demean, etc. others online.

Of course, I have strayed from the question. That’s because it’s too simple for me to say, “Ugh, hate him ban him!” The twice-impeached former POTUS has violated the TOS egregiously and repeatedly, so suspending his account was the right thing to do, but more than that… everyone should be required to abide by the TOS they signed up for. Everyone.

~*~

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Blogging About Blogging

Blogging insights

I have time today to inflict more posts upon you. First up is Dr. Tanya and her blogging about bloggers’ blogs series. Last week she asked…

Do you like reading posts written for prompts? If so, what kind?

I like reading fiction and poetry best. I also enjoy humorous slices of life. Most of all, it’s fun to read posts where the writer combines several prompts. 🤩

When you publish a piece in answer to a prompt, do you read entries by other bloggers? If so, do you read them before or after you have written your own?

I read posts as they appear in my feed, whether responses to prompts or otherwise, and I don’t deliberately read other responses before starting my own, but often it happens because I don’t have time to write a new post early in the morning. I try to avoid duplicating someone else’s idea, though if the prompt is a question, then it’s fine to give a similar answer. I’ve been trying to choose obscure songs for Jim’s SLS, both to avoid duplication and also in hopes people might enjoy a new tune.

Bitmoji music

I’m continuing with Dr. Tanya for this week’s blog bloggery question…

Before you have written a prompt post, if you read someone else’s response that has the same idea as yours, do you abandon the project, modify it, or continue as before?

I would abandon or modify it (re fiction or poetry). One of the things I dislike most about social media is the constant repetition of stuff. 😡

We are all fans of Q&A prompts. How do they spark creativity in you?

They mostly don’t spark anything except the occasional attempt to be funny. I avoid the ones that I feel add nothing interesting to the general conversation, but if they are about the writing process, I may drone on and on.

Writing

Okay, now onto PCGuyIV and this week’s Truthful Tuesday, which relates to the above questions by Dr. Tanya…

When you come across dead links, either in your existing posts or in comments on your blog, do you try to fix or delete them, or do you just let them be, and why?

First, I rarely pay any attention to links in comments. I don’t want to be directed to reading material, nor am I usually in the mood to listen to a song someone plops into the box. So, the links all could be dead as far as I know. I don’t care. 😛

However! I have a whole different attitude toward my own posts. If I see an error, I will fix it, even if the post is 10 years old. I have done this, in fact. Last year I checked EVERY link here and deleted dead ones (also fixing any typos or spacing glitches I found). Of course, there may be new dead links now, especially on videos. Lately, I’ve tried to use more of the official vids to avoid this issue. I wish I could correct typos in all my own comments everywhere…

Keyboard

~*~

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

What Is The EFFING Point? #PoiMe

pointless meanderings

I’m super bummed out again. I don’t know why I thought Medium would be a good place for my writing ~ not only am I never going to make money there (beyond pocket change), but there’s almost no camaraderie. There can’t be when you need to read as much as possible, react briefly, and move on… hoping others see you and add you to their following list. I’ll never get as many hits as a tech writer or someone who goes on (and on) about politics or making money or whatever the hell people can’t resist clicking. Barely anyone cares about poetry or fiction or personal essays. It makes me so annoyed I refuse to click on the “trending” articles ~ why is the Medium algorithm helping the popular writers, those who jabber on about tech and money, instead of assisting others in becoming visible? Welp, I’m thinking of canceling my membership ~ why should my $5/month help support someone writing about writing for money instead of engaging in ACTUAL WRITING? Eff that!

And it’s not just me. I see great writing there, really excellent poetry, funny rants, solid flash stories… all with minimal recognition from other readers because the site pushes articles about bitcoin, Trump, or having a colonoscopy (the first three trending stories in my feed today). It’s super discouraging. 😢

Angry Bitmoji

I know we’ve talked a lot about the “hit & run” in Blogland, but the difference is that here I feel like I “know” some people and have valuable interactions with them… Sadje, Fandango, Angie, Melanie, Rory, Di, Barbara, Jim, Ashley, et al, plus the people I knew already from other venues, such as Keera, Roy, and AD. There are more in both groups, so please don’t be upset if I didn’t mention you ~ those are some of the people I saw in my latest notifs. Point is, interacting with these folks makes the “hit & run” bloggers tolerable. I understand that the majority of likes here are from bloggers who don’t know me, won’t ever care about my writing or buy one of my books, and only pay attention to me (for the nanosecond they do) in hopes I’ll follow them down a link-strewn path to some garbage video where I’ll be assaulted with ads. However! The small community of kind and fun folks who continually interact make WP a happy place to hang out.

Happy Bitmoji

I have spent so much time writing online for the past 20+ years. Usenet, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, yada, and now Medium. Not to mention that I’ve written actual books! And… nothing. Minimal book sales. Scant interaction on the other sites. Why do I keep wasting my time? I just don’t even know. I really don’t. Maybe I’m just not good enough or funny enough or poetic enough. I AM NOT FISHING FOR COMPLIMENTS. Please don’t. It’s actually worse for people to keep saying they like my writing (I know you mean well, so thank you) when the evidence is in that I can’t make it as a fiction or poetry writer, not even as a small side hustle. I do earn money via business writing, but I’m not talking about that now. I’m talking about the writing I love to do. Fiction and poetry. 💖

If I’m only writing for the love of writing, then I’ll do it here on my blog exclusively where I’ve enjoyed writing and interacting all along and where there’s no money to be made in the first place, so I don’t have to obsess over the lack of it flowing my way. It’s not like I’ve neglected my blog or anything, but I’ve spent almost all my other free time the last couple months on Medium, and it’s just depressing to me now. I can’t help but see the parallels to dating. It took me many years to acknowledge that I hate dating sites, dislike meeting new men who are going to judge me as a romantic prospect, and don’t even want a relationship at all under these crummy conditions. Since I’ve quit trying, that area of my life is calm and peaceful because I’ve filled it with more family time, friends, reading, movies, and painting. Why shouldn’t I do the same with the writing venues that are causing me distress? (I’m not dumping Twitter because it’s a good source for info, but I haven’t written poetry there lately.) That includes putting out more books for Amazon Kindle, where they’ll just sit on a virtual shelf growing mold like old banana bread no one wants.

Bitmoji no

~*~

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Good Riddance 2020

Bitmoji dumpster

Welp, the last day of 2020 began fittingly. I went to bed early last night and then was wide awake at 2AM, so I doubt if I’ll be able to stay up until midnight tonight to kick 2020 all the way out the door unless I manage to take a nap. 😴

What a poopshow, amirite? Wish we could purge the whole thing from our memories, except for the part about my adorable grandson being born. I am not a fan of playing games over Zoom, though it’s better than nothing. Oh, somehow I managed to “lock” the keyboard of my new laptop, which sent me into a towering rage before dawn. I had to google on my phone how to unlock it, but that didn’t help, so I restarted. I don’t understand why turning off and on fixes stuff, but wev. It’s always the last thing I think of, even after all this time. I am typing this on my laptop now, so all is good until my next meltdown.😜

Bitmoji frustration

I’m no stranger to making resolutions, but like most people I don’t stick to mine, so why bother? The only thing special about tomorrow is the psychological aspect regarding the year number… nothing really changes. We are still in this plague, still have to wear masks, not socialize, not eat in restaurants, yada yada. I have flight credits, but they’ll likely expire before I’m all vaxxed up. 🙁

I made a new Facebook account in April after staying away for over 2 years, and while it’s nice to reconnect with peeps WHO DON’T READ MY BLOG, that’s the only thing good about it. So much repetitive bitching and boringness otherwise. I have never understood why people feel a need to link to news articles there or quote massively from them as if we can’t find CNN for our own damn selves. It’s not like the news isn’t in our faces 24/7 every time we log on to any device. It’s so irritating!

Bitmoji angry

I have been trying not to read the political stuff on FB, or participate in it, same as on Medium and here in blogland, though sometimes it’s impossible to resist. Occasionally I retweet political stuff I agree with, but I don’t comment, even when trolled. It’s still a big waste of time. I guess if I were going to have a goal for 2021, it would be to read even fewer political posts and articles than I do now. There is nothing to be gained from it and every time I spend an hour reading that crap, there goes a poem that might have been written or read. I think of it this way ~ poetry can bring beauty into this world (or at least attempt to do so), while political jabber only ever takes away from beauty. It’s all stinky trash.

So yeah… the ending of this awful year hasn’t made me feel especially galvanized to take bold action to shake up my life. There’s really nothing much I can do at this point, except keep on keeping on. And you know what? That is good enough. I’ve long since abandoned the notion of perfection, as if that’s even remotely possible to attain, and while my habits can be tweaked for the better, I’m pretty okay with my mediocrity. I look forward to doing exciting things again, such as having a veggie quesadilla inside a restaurant at a table with friends and playing a board game in person afterwards. Yeah baby. Take me back to 2019, when we didn’t know how good we had it. I suppose that’s a “privileged” thing to say, but at least I acknowledge this.

Merry Christmas #PoiMo

pointless meanderings

What a weird year. I can’t complain too much because my work hasn’t suffered, plus most importantly no one in my immediate family/friends circle has caught the thing. And though I miss my daughters a lot, I did get to see them (and my SILs and grands). My last visit with the grands in Los Angeles left a lot to be desired ~ brief, masked, outdoors. But still, I did get to see them, which is more than some can say. I feel for you peeps! I hope you are managing to find some joy in the season despite all the restrictions. 🎄

Tomorrow, which is today, since I’m writing this on Christmas Eve and will schedule it for the morning, my roomie and I will cook/bake some yummies and also do a painting. If mine turns out well, I’ll post it. If it sucks, we’ll forget I ever mentioned it. Gonna be hard to beat my rainbow tree! I’m really looking forward to all that and just having a chill day. Normally, I’d be seeing a movie (or three) in the theater this time of year, but instead I’ll search for something on Prime or whatever. Yesterday I watched Dear Viola, a romcom, and it was pretty cute and not too clichéd. If you like romcoms, I recommend it.

Santa keyboard bitmoji

So, let’s talk about writing. Unlike some, my WordPress experience this year has been relatively GRRRR-free (so far). A few glitches have occurred, but none of the constant annoyances other bloggers have mentioned. (I hope WP straightens that stuff out for you ASAP.) I’m happy with my blog, the app, and the writing community I’m part of here. As I said the other day, my posts have changed a little this year, in that I’m trying to avoid being repetitive (so I’m saying it again) and want to present higher-quality fiction and poetry. I plan to continue my two prompts: Tuesday Story and Thursday Inspo. Posts for both have been scheduled through the end of February because I am the Empress of Efficiency and Organization. I hope you will participate in one or both, and if you have been participating ~ thank you! 😍

I have zero plans to begin writing a new novel or poetry collection or to finish up any of my romance novels in progress. Bleh. So out of that mood lately. I do have another novel (actually a collection of longish short stories) that I may work on again at some point. The whole thing is interconnected and complex, so it takes a lot of focus. It is within the realm of possibility that I can gather up the scraps of my wandering attention long enough to concentrate on editing what I have and adding to the collection. We shall see.

As mentioned, I’ve been writing on Medium. It’s an interesting experience. There is a lot of cool stuff there ~ I recently read articles about ants and prime numbers and election integrity, along with a great Christmas short story and a whole bunch of awesome poetry. It’s all so inspiring! Tons of the articles are meta ~ writing about writing, how to make money writing, tips on increasing your page views and follower counts, yada. I’m not too excited about most of that, although a few have been helpful. Mostly, I want to read and write fiction and poetry, as always. I do offer the occasional humorous essay, or at least I believe I’m slightly funny anyway. 😛

Alrighty then. Hope everyone has a good or at least tolerable day.

Bitmoji cat Christmas

Rory’s Reading Q’s

bitmoji reading

Rory says…

I have many questions but principally three questions for you …

1] How real do you need your reality reading or fiction reading to be?

This is an interesting Q. I mainly read fiction because non-fiction is BORING. There are some exceptions, such as a few bios/auto-bios, some books about animals, and a smattering of self-help (Mark Manson). So, let’s talk about fiction. I think we all have our own standards for what gets us in “the zone” of a novel ~ so much so that little glitches don’t pull us out of the world the writer created. Some of that is due to our varying knowledge bases.

Forex, someone in law enforcement will probably be turned off from a detective story about a crime that contains mistakes regarding police procedures. I probably wouldn’t even notice those errors. I do notice things such as when people are out and about for a whole day and no one has to use a bathroom. I mean, wut? I will also notice inconsistencies in a story, such as minor details about clothing and descriptions. I knock off a star for any popular book that is sloppily proofread. If it’s an indie, I’ll give more leeway. I’m an indie author, and I know it is super hard to proofread your own work, especially a lengthy novel, but I don’t make enough money from writing to pay someone else to do it.

As far as including major details of “reality” during the time period a novel is set in… it depends. If I were writing a story taking place in 2020, it would be ridiculous not to include details about how Covid-19 has impacted the characters’ lives. Depending on the type of novel, I might also mention something about the US election. But these things that seem earth-shattering to us now tend to fade with time, so if I’m reading a novel set in the fall of 1963, I might not care that no one is talking about JFK’s assassination even though people most likely were jabbering about it constantly back then.

My novel Ghosted takes place in 1996 and 2016, and I researched many details of both time periods to include music and movies, as well as some teen slang for 2016. I didn’t mention the presidential election of 2016, though I did check out details of the locations I used. And I made up some stuff too, such as a mail center in Aruba. I don’t think your stores/restaurants have to exist in reality, but I do think the names of your major streets should be correct ~ unless you are creating an entirely fictional location which I have done in my romance novels.

Fantasy reading romance novel book

2] Have you knowingly noticed over the last 9 months and since the arrival of Covid – 19 your writing style has altered?

Not really except that I’ve had more time to write, so I managed to finish my novel and keep up with my blog AND write a pile of poetry for Medium. My Twitter use has declined this year ~ I find Twitter to be super frustrating. I will retweet and compliment poet after poet, but they just ignore me. My poetry was receiving barely any “hearts” or comments or retweets. What’s the point then? A while back, I curated some poetic tweets into a book called Bitter Sweets, and recently I posted “Punctuated Poetry,” which is a selection of some of my recent poetic tweets. Lately, I just promote my Medium writing on Twitter or retweet the occasional funny/kitty/otter/political whatever.

I have noticed over the last couple years that I’ve lost interest in writing romance novels (though I will still read them occasionally). I think that has to do with the fact that I created a writer as a character to pen that work, and she no longer exists for me. She was a necessary escape from my own reality back then and I’m okay now.

3] Have you noticed any changes in the way that you personally blog – for instance your overall outlook and positivity reflects upon you differently now?

Yes, but that isn’t because of this weird year. My blogging has always been personal where I am not afraid to talk about my own experiences, and nothing has changed in that regard. But I’m bored with repetitive posts, so I won’t do any prompts/questions that are the SOS, such as why did you start blogging, what’s your favorite topic, where do you write, yada. I’m also careful with fiction/poetry when I use the prompts ~ I cringe at some of the silly stuff I’ve written, and now if a piece isn’t GOOD on its own (in my opinion), I won’t post it. I used to post new flash fiction and poetry several times a week, but I’m more judicious now. I am no more positive or negative than I ever was ~ my crabbiness transcends any petty plagues or joyous moments. It just is.

san francisco crab