Tag Archives: writing

Unplug 4 Hours – It works!

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I bet you’re addicted. Come on. Admit it. How many times an hour do you check stats, emails, social media or text messages? Is it hard to unplug? How long do you procrastinate before settling down to do real work?

Although I have found my passion in writing and always meet deadlines, I recognized my addiction to the endorphin rush of the internet. Reading blog posts, watching views roll in (or sputter) after blogging or checking comments on my latest Facebook photo had sucked me into the spinning vortex. Even though I start writing around 9:00 AM each day, I felt as if a party was going on and I was missing out. I had become a victim of FOMO.  Sometimes, I would stand and stretch at the end of the day, wondering where the time went. Continue reading

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Why blog? And what the heck is a writer’s platform?

A few years ago, a friend made a comment which changed my life. “You really should write these stories down,” she said after laughing at one of my wild tales. This began a whole new adventure. The germ of an idea for a humorous non-fiction book about Boulder women was born. Editors suggested, I blog in order to build a writer’s platform. I had two problems. I didn’t know the definition of a blog or a writer’s platform.

When I first heard the word blog, I thought of McElligot’s Pool. Remember the dreamer who fished in a tiny pond and imagined an underwater world filled with sea creatures? I think one of the fish made the sound, “Blog.”

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My only experience with blogging came from the movie Julie and Julia, but I hadn’t seen it. By the time I looked up Julie Powell‘s blog, she had taken down most of her posts. Continue reading

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What I Learned at the Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference

This is how I looked the day after the conference. I had so many new ideas my hair exploded!

me

It is easy to be intimidated by conferences, pitches and critiques. The reason I signed up for the conference was to absorb new ideas and improve my craft. Since I’m only three years in, my sponge-like brain was ready to sop it all up.

From Chuck Wendig, I learned to “not care too much.” By that he means don’t get so wrapped up in one manuscript that you become afraid of rejections and are paralyzed. He is a great example of the opposite. He published his first novel, Blackbirds, only three years ago and cranks out books like some people bake cookies. Okay, not that fast, but he makes it look easy. Although that book crossed too many genres for traditional publishers, he has sold tens of thousands of copies. Long live Miriam Black! He has written books about writing for his beloved Penmonkeys along with a variety of fantasy novels. He blogs on TerribleMinds.com and his books can be found there as well.

Chuck Wendig and me

 

From Gail Carriger, I learned that writing can be like breathing. It is something we have to do in order to be happy. But sometimes we have to make choices. We can’t do it all. Gail had a career in archeology. Typing all day for work and writing her novel at night became too painful. She chose to write novels since it is her oxygen. She has a slew of humorous fantasy books on the New York Times and USA Today Best Seller lists, so I would say that was a very good choice! The first book of the Parasol Protectorate series called Soulless was published in 2009. She’s at GailCarriger.com and her books are here.

gail carriger

From Jim C. Hines, I learned that we all have an opportunity to include diversity in our books. We can write characters of any race and sexual orientation, and can include strong women protagonists. We can give our readers someone other than white heterosexual males to root for. His first book Goldfish Dreams was published in 2009 and is told from a young woman’s point of view. Go Jim! He has written three fantasy series since then. He can be found JimCHines.com and his books can be found here.

jim c hines

From Hank Phillipa Ryan, an investigative reporter for NBC’s Boston Affiliate, I learned to ask questions like, “Will anyone care? Do I care?” She encouraged us to work even when it’s hard since we’ll always feel a sense of accomplishment. She taught us that it’s never too late to start writing novels. She wrote her first book, Prime Time, after being a reporter for nearly forty years. It won an Agatha Award for best new novelist. Hank is my hero. She can be found at HankPhillipiRyan.com and her books are here.

hank phillipi ryan

The theme I heard all weekend was, “Writer’s write.” Authors don’t get stuck on one book, they continue to stretch and grow and learn about their craft by producing many more. We all have a voice and whether it’s heard by a few or by thousands it is still important to just write it down.

Are you writing a book?

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A Virtual Blog Party to Use Me and Abuse Me – Marching into April Edition

It’s time once again to Use Me and Abuse Me! This is a virtual blog party where you can come and meet my friends. Bring a link from your blog, paste it in my comment section and then click on a few. Mingle with my friends by leaving comments.  Check out their place  Make sure to tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back to yours. Maybe you’ll even pick up a few new subscribers.

If you’re going to leave a link, be sure to click on some while you’re here. You wouldn’t go to a party, take a few bottles of wine and go home. This party is all about the blogging community. We don’t have websites. We have blogs. It is a great place to make real friends. The more you click, the more friends you’ll make!

Only leave ONE LINK! Two will put you in my spam filter and that is always so embarrassing. 

Use Me and Abuse March

Continue reading

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Woohoo! 1337! What?

1337 followers

I reached a milestone with the post, “I Had a Little Adventure While You Were Dancing!” Since I scheduled it for 7:00 AM, I never got the satisfaction of seeing, “You published your 300th post.” Being a “gold star” person, I have strived to earn them since I was a little kid. I wondered if WordPress had added a golden trophy to my virtual case, so I clicked “Awards” at the bottom of the list located on the left side of my notifications. Nope. I surpassed 3,000 WordPress blog followers, but didn’t receive a trophy for that accomplishment or for my 200oth.

But there is a trophy in my case with a number so peculiar, I scratched my head. I earned it when I acquired my 1337th follower. Why 1337? After FSOG, Five Seconds On Google, a list of results appeared.

At the top of the list was The Urban Dictionary with a definition for 1337:

  • “Hacker “Sp33k” for leet, or elite. Originating from 31337 “eleet”, the UDP port used by Dead Cow Cult, a hacker group, to access Windows 95 using Back Orifice, a notorious hacking program.”

The Dead Cow Cult? Was I now a member of a notorious group of hackers and didn’t know it? I have returned when the cows came home, but I don’t believe any were dead. Continue reading

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“It’s Time to Vote!” said Roxy with a cramp in her paw

Thanks to everyone who competed. I’ll have another contest in March.

These captions are hysterical. Some of them got Roxy rolling on the floor laughing. She hasn’t laughed that hard since our family jumped for joy!

Roxy I

My daughter Courtney and son Kelly have made their decisions and the rest is up to you. Vote on the one you like the best and it will get featured on the Wild Ride. The photo of Roxy with the winner’s caption will appear on the right side of my blog. It will be up for a couple of weeks. Cool, right?

If your caption is a finalist, go out and tell your friends and family to come here and vote. Blast it out on Twitter and Facebook. Call your grandma. Email your uncle. Write a blog post. Give the link to your book club, your coworkers, and the random person behind you in the grocery store.

You have until 8:00 AM, Tuesday, February 25th. Mountain Standard Time.

The winner will be announced next Wednesday!

Good Luck!

Are you into pet photos on social media or have you hit the saturation point?

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The Ultimate Blog Party – Use Me and Abuse Me Days!

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Welcome to all of the new followers of the Wild Ride!  Here’s your chance to meet some of my friends. This virtual blog party always lasts for days.

Bring a link from ONE of your blog posts and paste it in my comment section. Then the party will begin. Click on a few. Check out their place. Tell them “Susie sent me!” Hang out for a while. Maybe you’ll like what you see and will subscribe. They’ll click back to check out your digs. Some may subscribe to your blog! See? It’s so much fun!

Only leave ONE link or you’ll end up in my spam filter. That can be so embarrassing.

If you leave a link, then click on a few. You wouldn’t go to a party with a doggy bag, fill up on food and take off, would you? Of course not. The more links you click, the more fun you’ll have!

DJ Ksmash in in the house and he’ll be spinning all day and night. Help yourself to the buffet and the bar. Rather have coffee? The barista is chillin’ and just waiting for your order. You might want to drink a Red Bull with me!

Have fun mingling and don’t forget to dance!

I’m going to take a few runs and will come back and read all of your posts.

Don’t forget to enter the caption contest! 

The more the merrier so spread the word on Twitter and Facebook!

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With or Without a Lover, This Valentine’s Day Is Yours!

Those without a loved one to share Valentine’s Day have more in common with the tradition of sending Valentine’s Day cards than those with a lover.

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I thought the Victorians began the tradition with their sentimental, flowery, lacy, and cupid adorned cards:

The couple meets at a soiree where the fine lady’s heart beats like a caged canary. The gentleman wears gloves and even with them worries he’ll leave a thumbprint on the greeting card. He escorts her to a small chamber not far from the ballroom. Her cheeks flush with the touch of his warm hand on her back. It sends a thrill of which she is not accustomed. He pulls the declaration of love from his breast pocket and presents it with a bow. She smiles, rips it open and gasps when she sees two naked cupids complete with jiggly bits dancing in the sky. Underneath are the words “Be My Lover.” She drops the card and trounces from the room.

And that is when the gentleman became acquainted with the florist’s establishment around the corner which he frequented in years to come.

Cupids and heart Valentine

Sending cards began more than 400 years earlier with a French romantic poet, of course! It did not begin with the uptight Victorians, but the English had their part in history.

The French nobleman, Charles I de Valois, Duke of Orleans fought against the English and became trapped in his own armor. (How does that happen? “Help me! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!) In 1415, he took up residence as a prisoner in the Tower of London. Continue reading

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Greeking Out on Hyperbole and the Winter Olympics

I am the hyperbole queen and didn’t even know what it meant. I must have been sick that day. When friends said, “You’re so hyperbolic,” I probably thought they said, “hyperactive,” and nodded my head.

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The original big fish story.

A hyperbole is an exaggeration that is not to be taken literally. The name for “exceeding the truth,” originated in the 1500’s in Greece.

That got me thinking. Greece is the birthplace of the Olympic Games. It can’t be a coincidence. I can imagine some Greek god-looking dude saying, “Whoa. I threw that javelin like a thousand meters today. It raced with Cupid across the sky.” Continue reading

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2013 – A Year with a Mean Streak

One year ago, I tried to shake off a strange trepidation, an ominous foreboding that unlucky number 2013 would be trouble. It appeared with many personalities just like any other year. On most days, it wore taupey beige, occasionally donning colorful ups and dappled gray downs. These clever disguises fooled me, but every so often it revealed a glint, a glimmer of brass knuckles clenched in its fists under the hem of its cloak. It lurked in shadows. I shuddered.

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After flaunting a kaleidoscope of prismatic luminosity on my birthday in April, the bully bared its metal mitts. It punched my gut and flattened me. I never saw it coming. I caught my breath then stood. Nostrils flared, I stared hard into its cold dead eyes, (there were three of them). It laughed and receded into the shadows. Continue reading

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