>So, social media websites

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I’ll admit it. I’ve started using them. Facebook, sure. Twitter… well, let’s just say I’ve got a lot of tweets. I’m discovering the power of these tools, and can definitely see the potential. For example, someone on the nano forums posted about twibbon, a way to add a cause ribbon to your twitter avatar… and within a few minutes of me posting and tweeting about it, several people had re-tweeted it.

That’s what I call viral.

And that’s just small stuff, compared to those who have huge followings. I’ve got less than a hundred. (Wanna follow me? Come on, you know you wanna.)

I also see how dangerous they are. Post some small detail, and instantly you could find it sent around the world.

Facebook doubly so; I have some of my husband’s inlaws on there, and frankly, that’s a little scary.

I’m contemplating creating a more public Facebook persona for my writing-related stuff. I prefer to keep my facebook to real-life friends and family… not real keen on adding a bunch of random people I don’t know. I keep it as private as possible.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, one thing I’ve learned in the past couple of years is that the publishing industry is changing… rapidly. The dynamics are changing. Viral marketing using social media like twitter, Facebook, even blogs like this one, are absolutely essential to success. Published author J.A. Konrath writes his blog about this very thing, and is trying tons of experiments to see just what he can do. A lot of his success comes from his own blood, sweat, and tears (and gas miles.) It’s up to us, as wannabes, to be aware of these things, and start laying the groundwork now. And by not sabotaging ourselves before we even behind. Remember that as ephemeral as the Web may seem, with it’s 140-character rambling thoughts, those memes, and facebook apps that suck away our time (I can say with pride that I have never used a facebook app, and I’ve blocked every one anyone I know has sent me), these things are NOT ephemeral. With the power of google, something can stay cached long after you’ve tried to delete it.

And any writing you’ve posted? You lose control of it. I know, it’s protected by copyright, but that doesn’t mean everyone will to respect it. And there’s some debate about whether or not posting your work counts as publication; You can be certain any potential publishers will google your work and see what comes up. That’s why you’ll never find any of the work I intend to publish online; I want complete control over it until it’s published. If I post something here? It’s likely because I don’t ever intend to DO anything with it, or have offered it as “free” fiction for your pleasure. If I get rich and famous and they want to make a book out of my blog… well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. You know, sometime around the time pigs fly.

So the point is, be aware of what you do online, on social media websites,etc. You never know when it might bite you in the ass.

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>Macon Telegraph is NOT smarter than a fifth grader

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I opened today’s paper, and read through, to find a horror of a level that leaves me damn near speechless. On page 1E, the main headline for the main article of the Life and Style page, this abomination:

Please note that this is an actual scan of the paper I am holding in my hand right now.

I really… this is just mind boggling.

Macon Telegraph, spellcheckers are not an appropriate replacement for actual editing. A mistake this glaring would be bad enough in text, but in a headline?

I’m sorry, but this is simply unacceptable. I’m used to seeing this crap on internet forums and YouTube videos, but a professional newspaper? Just because you’re supposed be writing at a fifth grade level doesn’t mean you should be making fifth grade grammar errors.

>Beautiful decay

These are such inspiring photographs:

http://www.viceland.com/wp/2009/04/battleship-island-japans-rotting-metropolis/

I love old, decaying buildings. I even created a blog photo project to display my own photos, but alas, two small children make it hard to drive around and photograph these old buildings. I’ve already lost one of them; one down the street was knocked down and is being redeveloped. I really wanted pictures of that one, I remember before it was abandoned, there was a sign in the yard about piano lessons. I imagine someone died.

Abandoned buildings are rich playgrounds… Downtown Macon is full of old abandoned places like that. Such stories, so much to imagine. Maybe I’ll do that some this November to see what is inspire for my NaNo. I still don’t know what I want to write. I’m not stressing. Best one I’ve done yet came from nothing, started on November 1.

>A time for every purpose, under heaven

Today, while standing out talking to the Schwann’s delivery man, I felt a cold chill against my spine.  The sun was still hot on my face, but that little chill breeze spoke to me of fallen leaves, crisp nights, clear skies and teenage angst behind a tattered building at church.

Fall’s always been a magical time for me.  As a child, the season’s change meant camping in North Georgia, camouflage and walking sticks.  Carving walking sticks has always been a favorite pastime of mine.  Dogwood makes a great walking stick, with fascinating multicolored streaks if you so desire.

In my high school years, it meant breaking out my favorite leather trench coat and being moody. I tried to be angsty, but honestly, I was too happy a kid to pull it off. I did moon over one guy, though. Oh, I had such a crush. But he had a crush on my best friend (no, he loved her. With undying devotion.) So we would sit behind a dilapidated building behind the church sanctuary, he would talk abuot her, and I would commiserate, though I never told him who I was mooning over.  Such tragedy.

He eventually married a woman with a kid.

Fall was always the time my imagination has soared the most. From the days of imagining my wolf familiar running alongside my bus, or me spreading my wings and escaping from the school playground bullies, to my much darker fantasies of torture and rape. Fall has always stroked my right-brained tendencies.

This fall’s light change, and ever-so-slight temperature shift, has done it again. I think that’s why I’ve been finding it so easy to write.  It’s just the right season.

It’s my time to write.

>Grammar illogic and fun sentences

Thanks to my friend Richard, I now have been reading over the joys of the English language.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. (Grouch Marx)

For example: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. No, really, it’s an actual, grammatically correct sentence.

There’s also: Rose rose to put rose roes on her rows of roses. That’s a fun one, but not quite as mind bending.

Now, you can really start playing with the English language when you break out garden path sentences. These fun little bits are perfectly correct, but lead the reader down the wrong path of logic, forcing them to back up and parse the correct meaning of the sentence. Syntactic ambiguity makes for some really fun

Some examples (culled from Wikipedia):

The old man the boat.

The man returned to his house was happy.

The government plans to raise taxes were defeated.

The farmer threw the cow over the fence some hay.

Comedian Mitch Hedberg was a master of this sort of ambiguity; his short, clipped style, distinctive speech pattern, and tendency to take advantage of syntactical ambiguity made for some classic jokes.

“I haven’t slept for ten days, because that would be too long.”

I wish I had the skill for these kinds of English shenanigans, but alas, I do not. All I can do is turn a poetic phrase now and again, and share the joys of the masters who CAN with you!

>The dragon awakens from her slumber

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Did you miss me? I missed me. It’s been almost a year now, and it’s about time for NaNo season to come! We’re gearing up and making big changes to the site.

In even bigger news, though, I’ve finally broken through my nearly one-year dry spell! I bought a nice blank journal book, and have been writing by hand. I’m up to page 72! the story is going well, and it’s an old favorite.

Keep your eye here, I’m working on some amazing updates for my blog, including a new look and feel, twitter updates, and more!