Wordplay with Bookworm

One of my guilty pleasures are online games. I play several. I used to play Facebook games but I have cut back on those especially. Still, one of my favourites for a few years is BookWorm.

Maybe you have never played it. It is addicting and challenging, especially when you get a letter on fire at the very bottom of the puzzle and you are sure you have never heard of a word made up of only the letter “a” before. To play the game you make words out of the random letters that come down from the top of the screen. As you use letters they disappear and the others shift down to fill in the spaces. After the first round there is also a bonus word that you can try to create, they start with three letter words and build up from there. There are bonus tiles in green, gold and blue – if there are others I have not done well enough to see them yet.

Last night I had what may be my best score ever, I don’t actually keep track. I think it was all due to luck, cunning, skill and sheer desperation (also the need to get to bed as I played over an hour and was starting to wonder if I was still playing or just dreaming I was playing). I finally ran out of options for the burning letter when I was on level 22 and had a score of 488,168. When I finish playing I imagine getting whatever my score is in a dollar amount. That gives me happy dreams when I finally shut off the computer and get to bed.

When Your Employer Wants your Twitter Account

Maybe I’m just being picky but, I don’t feel my Twitter account is open for business to my employer. The following comes from an ad looking for blog writers, part of what they expect in addition to passion and experience (experience wasn’t essential):

Bloggers who actively engage within their online communities and promote the content they write. 1 blog post + 3 twitter posts limited to 1 blog post + 3 twitter posts per day depending on length.

If you are being paid to write posts should you get paid extra for being their online marketer, taking care of promotions as well as the content? If you have your own blog you know promoting/ marketing takes up even more time than writing for the blog.  I find I spend masses of time looking at other blogs so I can leave comments and ideas, finding forums and groups I might join, then making an effort to be active in forums and groups I have joined and a hundred or so other things which I do every day. (Or try to!)

Should it be expected that you would use your own Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and other social media accounts this way? On one hand I understand, they want you to help promote yourself and your work (on their site). On the other hand… I consider my Twitter account personal, I don’t really want to have someone else tell me what to post or how often to post.

What do you think? Would you take the job knowing this is expected or would you change your mind about applying because of this? Of course, if you already use your Twitter account for blog promotion this may not make any difference to you.

  • Is it possible to open a new Twitter account just for stuff like this?
  • Would it be worth having a second account if no one signed up to read your Twitter ads?
  • Have you unsubscribed from a feed or Twitter account due to too many posts? Too much clutter?
  • Will you keep your friends and followers if your personal Twitter account runs more ads than personal chat?

I think it’s an issue that needs to be looked at. Most of the ads I read on the blog job boards had this expectation included. If you are a web writer be prepared and decide where you stand on the issue of letting your employer have a share of your Twitter account.

More Women Should be Horror Writers

It’s been a tough, frustrating day at work. You get home feeling you just managed to drag yourself through the door. On the fridge, a note, one of those “gone fishing” type of notes from your significant other. In fact, everyone has gone out for the night. You will have the whole place to yourself until sometime tomorrow. Now that’s a real pick-me-up!

You begin with a long shower… hot water, your favourite scented body wash and shampoo. You even spend that extra 3 minutes in the shower letting the deep conditioner steam into the pores of your tresses. Luxury!  For dinner, there are some leftovers, some leftover cheesecake, some leftover ice cream and some leftover chocolate fudge cake. The cake will do for starters, an appetizer. Usually you have to sneak a piece before someone notices and nags you about those extra pounds. Tonight… you’re on your own! The stress of the day seeps out of you and the TV flicks on for whatever chick flick you find first.

The house is peaceful. It’s almost never peaceful. Even when it’s quiet you start to make cleaning lists in your head and soon you’re scrambling to get it all done again. Not tonight. Tonight the dim light as the sun fades just brings the peaceful silence that much closer. It’s comfortable.

So what is that creaky door sound? You know you’re the only one home.

If this were an ordinary chick fiction type of thing, the noise would be a surprise birthday party or something else nice and normal. But, this isn’t an ordinary piece of chick fiction writing… no… this is horror. Whatever the squeak turns out to be it won’t be nice, it may have good manners and it may even be pretty but, in the long run it won’t be nice at all.

I really think more women should be horror writers. The real horror is in ordinary things we can’t avoid: death, birth, marriage, politics, religion, health, food, shelter and clothing (the basic needs we can not live without).  Horror isn’t some monster a kid thinks is under their bed. Horror is the reality of the family going through everyday life and not being able to cope with bills, children and those dust bunnies under the bed that no one has time to clean any more. Horror is not having enough from your pay cheque to buy groceries. Horror is being told there’s a cancer growing in parts of your body that have always made you feel like a woman. Horror is realizing you will become an orphan and be alone in the world when your Mother dies. Horror is …

What’s your horror? Write about it. You could be a horror writer, if you think about it, write about it…

Horror Writer’s Association

Horror Fiction Factor

Pretty Scary – For women in horror, by women in horror.

Cemetery Dance Publications – Horror and suspense magazine.

The House of Horror Writing Laboratory

Cafe Doom – Forum.

Bloodletters: Why Write Horror?

Dark Markets (Not updated in awhile).

Dark Echo Writer’s Workshop (No longer an active site).

Dark fantasy seems to fall into paranormal fiction/ chick lit versus real horror of the traditional kind.I’m not counting out dark fantasy, I read it, a lot. But, there is a line that crosses into horror. There is a gruesomeness, a deathbed humour and a wave good bye to hope that isn’t in fantasy that should be in horror. There is no guarantee of a happy ending.

Fangs, Fur and Fey

Nocturne Author’s Blog

Deadline Dames

The Witchy Chicks

The following are the same group, on different sites:

Keeping Up With Events Online

What do you need for an online event? A lot!

BlogWorld New Media Expo 2009 has a post about what you can do to follow and (sort of) participate in the event if you can’t make it to Las Vegas this October. Five things on the list, do you have access to them all? Would you be able to use them yourself to keep track of an event or to promote and report on your own event as it happens?

1.Twitter – Tweeting has become as popular as Facebook but it’s much simpler and cleaner. I think of it as Facebook stripped down to the bare bones as just a simple way to communicate with others.

2. Blogs – No link here as blogs are everywhere, there is no one blog I would link to. But if something is going on you can be sure you will find it reported in blogs all over the world and in all kinds of topics/ niches. You can even try to get bloggers to link to your event and make a report about what they find if they are attending themselves.

3. PodcastsPodcasts are like the old ham radio, but online. You need to find software or something online that works for you, but you can have a live report, a play-by-play on everything as it happens. Look for podcasters to report the event before, during and after even if you make your own podcast. The more voices the merrier. Have a look at BlogTalkRadio.

4. Flickr – Podcasts are the sound but Flickr has the visual, with commentary on the photos or video feeds. Not everyone is keen on video posts to Flickr so you might consider that as you work out how you will post. Others will post their photos too.

5. YouTube – Famous for home made movies. In the end, it’s a combination of the podcasts and Flickr posts, the sound and the fury.

Do you know how to use the sites and software above? If not you should find out, even if you aren’t creating or hosting an event. It’s important to keep up with the popular media.

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Create it Forward
Share
Sat 2:12pm
(A lovely idea from the lovely Laura Mousseau)

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

  • I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.

  • What I create will be just for you.

  • It’ll be done this year (2009).

The only condition: You create a note and do the same thing for 5 others.

Tumblelog: A Snapshot in Each Post

I’ve come across a new plan in the way of blogging. It’s about using simple, short posts and then keeping your blog simple and to the point. Tumblelogs are like creating a snapshot in each post. The overall blog is a scrapbook versus a newspaper or full fledged novel.

Theme Playground had the post I read which includes template reviews. I picked out three to try after the holidays: Artueel, Elite and Tumblelog. If you want to have a tumblelog outside of your usual blog have a look at Tumblr or Gelato CMS to add it to WordPress. I found two other bloggers writing about tumblelogs: Tumblr, a different way to blog and Tumblelogging: don’t think about it, just write.

From Wikipedia: A tumblelog (also known as a tlog or tumblog) is a variation of a blog that favors short-form, mixed-media posts over the longer editorial posts frequently associated with blogging. Common post formats found on tumblelogs include links, photos, quotes, dialogues, and video. Unlike blogs, tumblelogs are frequently used to share the author’s creations, discoveries, or experiences while providing little or no commentary.

Other links of interest:
The Tumblers on Ning Social Network.
Tumblr users on Facebook.
Tumblr Hacks
Tumblr Day but it was only done once, September 2007, so far.

20 Years Late (From a Friend’s FaceBook).

Hey mom I know that it’s late, hope I didn’t wake you
Yeah, everything is O.K., just needed to talk to you
Today I had one of those days
But I didn’t call to complain
Just to say everything that I didn’t for all of those years
You were a taxicab driver, a nurse and a maid
A waitress, a cook and a shoulder to lay
My head on to cry on, when nothing was going my way
You knew every answer without cracking a book
And I took for granted that I had it so good
And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to say
Thank you I love you
Twenty years late

It’s funny how time passing by can change your perspective
A little while out on your own can sure make you think
I don’t know how you did it
No I can’t find one spare minute
The days run together but I don’t remember you
Ever letting us down

You were the judge and the jury when I did wrong
Been my biggest fan from my very first song
The gas in the engine that always kept me moving on
A seamstress a counselor and the one referee
That could cold stop a fight between my brothers and me
And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to say
Thank you I love you
Twenty years late

I’ll let you go now
But I hope that you know now how I feel
Thank you for making me the woman I’ve become
I love you and I will always be your daughter
Mom that’s all I called to say
20 years late…

In twenty years what would you like to tell someone that you can’t say now? Why does time sometimes make it easier?