Quit Moving The Cheese, Facebook!

Oh, hell yeah, you had to know it was coming.

My NettaRant, that is.

Directed at the Head of Douchebaggery, Mark Zuckerberg, who has once again showcased his lack of social skills.

Yes, Facebook has once again made some HUGE changes without regard for their population, and hoooo doggy, people are hot. Including me.

HATE. Yes, it's a strong word but not strong enough for how I feel.

You could make the argument that because Facebook is a free service, we don’t really have a right to complain. But this is bullshit, because Facebook actually makes a whole lot of money from those of us who use it. Not only from advertisements, but from gathering our information and selling it to mysterious third parties whose motivations are questionable at best and nefarious at worst.

Oh yeah. They're spying on you and probably watching you dance in your underwear.

You would think with a billion-dollar business, Facebook would treat their customers with more respect. No warning, no explanation, and no reason to change things. Everything was working fine, and if it’s not broke, why fix it? It’s like there’s a room full of geeks at Facebook headquarters who were sitting around one day, bored out of their minds, and probably sick and tired of playing video games. So, Zuckerberg walks in and says, “Hey! What am I paying you nerds for? Get busy and see how you can fuck things up, willya?” Not a sound business decision. Actually, you know what it feels like? It feels like a kid with a stick messing with an anthill just to see the ants run around.

Except me and my friends aren't ants, Zuckerberg!

Remember MySpace, Zuckerberg? Yeah, no one else does, either. That might be a lesson you might want to pay attention to — you piss off enough people, and they will find somewhere else to hang out. Someplace that doesn’t try to micromanage their social networking experience, someplace that doesn’t try to control when and how they receive their information. Oh, we’re not stupid. We know this is all about the money and we know information is power. But please, you underestimate us if you think we won’t find another way to gather and interact without you. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY FISH IN THE POND.

See that, Zuckerberg? There's a whole lotta muthafuckin' fish in that pond, hear dat.

You might have heard of a little company called Google. And, you may have heard they’ve launched their own little social network called Google+. You might want to think about making sweeping changes and pissing off the very people WHO HAVE MADE YOU YOUR BILLIONS, FUCKWAD, lest they jump ship and leave your ass in the dust. Just a friendly head’s up. Which is more than you gave us.

As for me, I’ll keep my FB for now…if I can figure the thing out anymore. But in the meantime, I’m cheating on you with Google+, Zuckerberg, oh yes I am, and I’m not one bit sorry. You have done fucked up, and this isn’t the first time. But it might very well be the last time.

LEAVE THE FUCKING CHEESE ALONE, ZUCKERBERG. Next time you're bored, go play Angry Birds. Asshole.
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A Wake-Up Call

It’s so easy to become mired in the little details of day-to-day living, isn’t it? The pile of work, the dirty dishes, tons of laundry, and of course, the ubiquitous cat litter box. Maybe you’re having a bad day where nothing goes right — you break your coffee pot, the car starts making a funny noise, you want to go to lunch with your BFF but you really have too much work. Life…well, life can be a bitch.

And then, maybe something happens that helps you put it all into perspective. Like a message or a phone call.

I have a good friend I’ve known since she was sixteen. In the early days, our ex-husbands were best friends and we were actually pregnant at the same time. We lived next door to each other, and over the years became family to each other. We went through some up-and-down times, but we were always there for each other, especially through the worst of them. For over thirty years.

We lost touch with each other — you know how life goes — but re-connected at various points, the last through Facebook, of all places. She’s not a computer person, but through her sister we were able to catch up a bit and it was like the intervening years never happened. You know how it is — with some friends, they live in your heart no matter where you go or how much time passes.

Then a message came from her sister to tell me my friend has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer.

This pretty much shocked the hell out of me. My friend is so young — only 46. It just knocked me off my feet. I wanted to cry, scream, tear something apart with my bare hands. It is so unfair.

I was worried about how she was coping, and arranged to call her when she had some time to chat. It was a fabulous conversation, and reminded me of just how tough we New York women are. My friend is pragmatic, realistic, funnier than hell and tough as nails. No crying, no bullshit, and it is what it is.

I know she’ll be okay. She’ll fight for every last fucking minute she can get. She reminds me so much of my Momma, and I can’t think of a higher compliment. My friend will have it on her terms, or you can kiss her fucking ass. Word.

I won’t cry in front of her, but what I do in the privacy of my own home where she can’t see is my business, so suck it up, buttercup. I love you, Joan. I’ll be there every step of the way with you, heart to heart. Give ’em hell, baby.

Down but never out; bent but never broken.

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Fun In The Sandbox – A Writing and Editing Update

Time flies when you’re having fun, but it also flies when you’re up to your armpits in “To Do” lists. And it’s only the “To Do” lists which are keeping me from going nuts.

Oh sure, he looks cute. But see that crazy gleam in his eye? Yeah.

Lots going on. First of all, working on several editing projects and loving every minute of that, even though most days it means my eyes look like this:

Yikes. That's a scary eyeball right there.

Several of my client’s projects are coming out or have been launched over the last couple of months, and that’s really exciting. After much soul-searching and teeth gnashing with a little bit of hair-pulling and heartache, I have come to the conclusion pimping out my clients when they launch could be construed as having a conflict of interest. So, as much as I love each and every one of them and believe in their work, I must limit myself to simply posting the links on my sidebar over there <- labeled as "Editing Work", which I will be updating regularly so make sure to keep an eye on that list. A hard decision, for real. *sniffle* [caption id="attachment_1449" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="I do not endorse violators. Or bitch slapping. Unless you're a violator."][/caption]

But honestly, I have been extremely privileged and honored to work with these writers, and I encourage you to check them out. There are some amazingly talented people out there. It’s really humbling.

Next on the list is the launch of “Athena’s Promise” on October 28th. I’ve been posting snippets on my Facebook Fan Page, and that’s the only place you’ll see them. So, if you’re curious about what I’ve been doing in my spare time, “like” the page and see what’s shaking. I’m all the way up to Chapter 19 as of today with three more to go. Share the page with your friends, and the day I hit 200 fans is the day I will post here the first two chapters. FOR FREE. Sound like a deal?

No, not a deal like this. Besides, those are really shitty cards. I can do you better than that.

The covers of all three books in the series are being crafted even as we speak, along with a blazing trailer. I am beyond excited about this, especially since I’ve engaged the uber-talented Rebecca Walker. And let me tell you, she is AMAZING. I’ll post them when they’re ready, because I love you guys that much :)

In addition, I’ve set up all Kindle publications for a Kindlegraph. How cool is that shiz? Visit my fan page for more details! (See what I did there? Heh.)

Sneaky little bugger, ain't I? Heh.

Now that you’re all caught up for the moment, I need to take care of some of those “To Do” lists before the nice men in the white jackets get here. 😉

Find “Not Nice and Other Understatements” at Amazon and now at Smashwords in any format you desire! Autographed copies are still available through the link on this page. Spread the word! And thanks for all of your support!

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Don’t Be So Stingy

I know! It’s three posts in ONE WEEK! It’s a MIRACLE!

No, not a miracle like this! If that's what you think, you haven't read much of my blog, have you?

It’s just that sometime there are things that come to my attention which cannot be ignored. Two in one week — jeezum, if this pace keeps up I’m going to need a serious vacation.

I can work with this. I'm a little concerned about bird poop, though.

Anyway, a lot of people I know have been releasing some fabulous work lately. I love it. So much good reading material, so little time. In fully 100% of these cases, the authors have been so kind as to release a sample chapter (or two, or three even) on their website, or they’ve enabled the sample option on Smashwords or Amazon. Some of them have included a sample chapter at the end of their book of the next book, too. I think that’s very generous of them, don’t you? It’s great marketing, sure, but I do appreciate the option to try before I buy. Truth is, I know these people and am familiar with their work, so I would dive in anyway.

Yeehaw! BTW, that's not really me. You don't want to see me in a bathing suit, for real. You're welcome.

However, I’ve seen some unknowns (to me, anyway) who don’t offer a chance to see what they have before I fork over my hard-earned cash. Nine times out of ten, I’ll pass these by, unless there are good reviews or it comes recommended by someone I trust. There’s just too much crap to sort through out there and I’ve been burned more than once. And once is more than enough.

Think of it this way — you’re not giving anything away that will cost you. As a matter of fact, if you believe in your work, and are positive once someone picks it up they won’t want to put it down until they’re done, then what’s the harm in giving them a little taste? Licking the beaters clean of cake batter sure doesn’t stop you from eating the cake now, does it?

Oh, baby. Come to Mama.

My point is, by making a chapter (or two, or even three!) available to questing readers, you stand a much better chance of selling the rest of the cake…er, BOOK…than if you’re stingy and keep it all to yourself. If you do make a sample available and your books still doesn’t sell, well, you might have to take another look at your work. Either way, it’s good information to have.

That’s all. Back to work for me, although I still have that niggling worry about bird poop. Oh well, since I’m not on vacay I guess I should let it go. *sigh*

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An Unforgettable Conversation

I had to write this down because it’s just too funny to forget. I will not bust out the participants; they can bust their own selves out if they so choose, although some people might guess who it involves. I’m still laughing my ass off over this.

The two parties were in a car traveling.

Him: Hey? You falling asleep over there? Talk to me.

Her: *yawn* What do you want me to talk about?

Him: I don’t know, just talk to me.

*pause*

Her: You know, your head is shaped like a corn.

Him: What?!

Her: Oh, you know, not long, like an EAR of corn, but like one of the kernals.

Him: What the hell are you talking about?!

Her: You know, like the kernals in the bottom of a bowl of popcorn. The ones that don’t pop. That’s what your head looks like. Only a lot bigger, you know, not tiny.

*pause*

Him: Go back to sleep.

Now I'm wondering what MY head looks like.
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Noses Where There Shouldn’t Be

I love my job.

Today the weather is perfect. Sunny, clear blue sky with white puffy clouds. The dewpoint is thankfully low, meaning almost no humidity and it’s a balmy 72 degrees — a great relief from the 100+ temperatures from this Summer of Hell.

The windows are open, the breeze is blowing through the house and I’m working on articles today; tonight I’ll move on to editing. Foster the People are singing on my garage-sale stereo, procured for a mere $2. Life is good.

So, what’s the burr in my panties today? Because you know there has to be one. Well, I have to say it’s not entirely my fault — there were conversations, and then I read my friend Patti Larsen’s post and my irritation runneth over. And I just have to make some pertinent points:

1. Publishing a book doesn’t mean you are suddenly rolling in the money. Especially if you self-publish. Bitch, please. Saying something like that just highlights your ignorance of how the writing business actually works. Like Patti says (and it’s been my mantra for years) this is a MARATHON, not a SPRINT. Meaning, you might earn some decent cash over the span of months or years, but you don’t publish and take a wheelbarrow to the bank the next day. I wish.

This is more likely what's in my wheelbarrow.

2. People don’t take into consideration the fact that successful writers (notice the distinction, okay? Don’t make me point it out again) have put in thousands of hours learning their craft, practicing their skills and falling flat on their ass. Hitting it big right out of the gate is rare and you will probably have a better chance of being hit by lightning. Seriously. Not that it doesn’t happen, but the stars have to be aligned just right. The vast majority of successful writers have worked hard to get where they are, and work hard to stay there. They’ve taken second jobs, worked ungodly hours, made time at five am to throw words at the paper and hoping they stick while juggling a full-time job, family and personal relationships.

This is more like what we do. It's dangerous and we sweat.

3. In addition to this, successful writers have also invested in their BUSINESS. That’s right, you heard me. Writing for a living is a BUSINESS. Oh, there’s art and skill and talent, of course — but if you don’t treat your writing career as a business, you’re not going to make it. This means you are going to have to make some sacrifices along the way. Equipment, books, workshops, conferences, membership to professional organizations, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s editing, book covers, formatting, ARCS…so much more. If you’re not willing to invest in your business, in improving your skills as much as you can, you’re making this ten times more difficult for yourself. Don’t believe me? Fine. I’m the one making a living as a writer. How about you?

Tell you what. You don't dissect me, and I won't dissect you. Deal?

4. As far as asking me how much money I make or how many books I’ve sold, my advice is…DON’T. Don’t ask me or any other writer that kind of question, because it’s rude, invasive, and none of your fucking business. I would never ask YOU such a personal question, no matter what your profession is. How would you feel if someone asked you how much you have in your bank account? My kids don’t even know this. My boyfriend doesn’t know. And I don’t know this about them. It’s none of my business. No one but ME knows my financial status, it’s classified and unless you have the decoder ring and the password, you aren’t gonna know either. I’m the one that pays my bills. I’m the only one privy to that info. It blows my mind that just because you’re a writer, people think they have the right to stick their nose right in the middle of your personal business. So don’t be a rude fucktard.

GET OUT.

In conclusion, mind your own business and I’ll mind mine.

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