White Rabbit everyone! And happy new year!
Wow, the year really flew by, didn't it? Now everyone is turning over new leaves and making resolutions...
In my mind, New Year resolutions have always been ridicules. Nobody I have ever known has ever completed their resolutions. Why? Because most resolutions made are superficial and unobtainable. Most resolutions are only made to impress, not really to make a change.
Now, I’m not here to bash New Years or the resolutions that you may have made. I’m not trying to tell you that you shouldn't make resolutions! But I am here to say that, unless you are serious (and I mean REALLY serious) about the resolutions you make this year, and equally serious about DOING them, then you are only making a promise that you are not going to keep. You are setting yourself up for failure. You are going to let yourself down.
Making resolutions is simple. Fulfilling them is the complicated part. When you make your resolutions this year, take a step back and make sure that they are do-able. Resolutions don’t happen on their own. Be 100% absolutely, positively sure that you CAN do them this year. You don’t have a fairy godmother, so making wishes will get you nowhere. For example, losing 40 pounds is a very wishful idea for me. I have 5 brothers and sisters who have birthdays scattered throughout the year (not to mention a few friends who still invite me to theirs). There is ALWAYS cake and icecream. I am very well known for being a heifer. So, making a promise to myself that I am going to lose 40 pounds is… well… stupid. It isn’t going to happen unless I get super-duper serious…. and (click to tweet) I think I'm incapable of being that serious (unless someone is dying). I cannot be 100% certain that I will be able to lose that much weight AND keep it off all year long. However, committing to be more active and setting up a workout routine for myself IS believable. I can do that! So, instead of saying “I am going to lose weight this year” I can say “I am going to get more exercise this year”. This is doable. This is healthy. It has nothing to do with my crazy diet. And when I look back in my journal at the end of the year and see that I have been more active, I am going to feel GREAT about myself. I might even lose weight in the process (unless the kids all have chocolate cake for their birthdays. Then I’m doomed to be an apple forever.).
Another thing to keep in mind is to pace yourself. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a ton of resolutions! Just pick out 3 or 4 things MAX. Believe me, they look simple and innocent now when you make them, but as the year moves on, they will grow into hulking, scary monsters that you have no idea what to do with except kill them. NO KILLING OF RESOLUTIONS! That’s not healthy in any term of the word. So start SMALL and make them SIMPLE.
And one last thing: resolutions are not just for the New Year. They are for any time of year. If you mess up on one (if you end up killing the monster), just step back, take a breath, and make a new one… even if it is in October. If you complete a resolution, pat yourself on the back, have a party, and make a new one! Goals are always nice to have…. as long as you are working towards them, and not just staring wishfully at them.
Here are my 3 resolutions for this year:
Become Organized – Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT an organized person. Well, let me tell you something: I’m sick of it. I am ready to be organized. Organized people know where things are at, know where things go, and don’t have to waste time looking for anything. Plus, they are mentally and psychologically healthier because everything is in order. I ay not be awarded as the most organized person by the end of the year, but I plan to be organized enough so that I can function properly and family members can find my stuff easily. I plan to stay organized all year long. It will be an ongoing thing. I will have to work hard at it. But I know it is possible and I WANT it. I also know that God is not a god of chaos. He IS order. He created order. He wants me to be organized. Because of that, I know that organization in my life is do-able.
Become Scheduled – Once organized, it will be easier (and will become important) for me to build a schedule. Scheduled people are like organized people: healthier and happier. They know, more or less, what they are doing and what to expect of themselves. They stay organized because they have a schedule. They have time to do the things they want to do because everything in their timeframe has its place and is organized. When one does not know what to do with the time given to them, then they end up wasting most of it. I am sick and TIRED of wasting time. I want to do more and fit more into my days. Becoming scheduled will help me do that. And it is do-able.
Learn 5 new songs on the Piano – I love playing piano. I used to play primarily by ear. Since 2010, when I lost most of my hearing after an accident, I have not played much piano. I have really lost touch with it (I’ve lost touch with a lot of things, but we won’t get into that right now…). I know that learning a new song always gives me an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, which makes me feel great. Also, playing the piano is good for my brain in so many ways. It is healthy. And it is do-able, even with my hearing loss. So it goes into my “resolutions”. If I only learn 5 new songs by the end of the year, I will feel accomplished.
I would make a resolution about having a garden, but I have learned that, in the panhandle of Oklahoma (where I live), it is better to wait for rain before starting a garden... otherwise, everything dies when your water well goes dry.
A better resolution to make would be to gather all three of the Lord of the Rings movies (extended versions) and all three of The Hobbit movies (extended versions) and have a one day LotR/Hobbit marathon! It would be so awesome! Over 12 hours of awesomeness! My eyeballs would fall out by the end of it....
White Rabbit Link Up:
↓↓ Click the button down there if you would like to link up your blog post. Keep the rules in the above picture in mind! ↓↓
↓↓ This link will close on the 2nd at 6pm central time. So link up soon! ↓↓
Friends! Bloggers! Countrymen! Lend me your ears (and eyes and thumbs)…
I would like to announce that I am going to start hosting a monthly linky party starting January first!
What is a “Linky Party”? Well, let me explain and then I will tell you all about the one that I plan to throw!
A linky party is when I, the host, post a special html code in my blog post. This code puts a special link at the bottom of my post that you, a blogger, can click.
When you click the link, you will have the option to put in your specific blog post url, some of your information, and a picture. Then you click the GO button.
A little picture tile and a link to your blog post will show up beneath my post where other people can find it. Visitors can then click your picture tile and travel to your blog with ease! What this means for you is: more viewership, more clicks, more likes, more subscribers, etc. etc. etc.
Most linky parties are themed. You must post a link to a blog post that is about something specific (i.e. book review specific, science fiction specific, sewing specific, etc.). Other linky parties just let you link whatever you like. And each linky party has a different time duration. Some parties are once a week. Some are open one day only. Others are once a month. Others still are quarterly. Take mine for example: it is NOT themed, it is going to be monthly, and it will only be open for other bloggers to post their links in for a couple of days.
Now that I have explained that to you, I will tell you about MY linky party!
I have this special joke with my friends. On the first day of every month, we try to be the first person to tell everyone else “White Rabbit!” (though sometimes it comes out "Pink Elephant", "Red Robin", and other random stuff, but that's beside the point!). This started when we were interns at Character First! Education in 2010. What it means and how it started I have no idea, but it has been so much fun to poke each other with it each month (when we remember).
I decided it would be really neat to start off the New Year by setting up a monthly linky party built around the white rabbit joke: at the beginning of every month, everyone will have a chance to post something new and have it noticed. So, White Rabbit link party, here we come!
FOCUS: The focus of White Rabbit Linky Party is to draw attention to new content on active blogs.
HOW IT WORKS: I will make a blog post on the first day of the month with the White Rabbit link at the bottom for you to link up to. The post you link up must be NEW. I don’t want it to be any older than 48 hours old! You can make a blog post the day before and link it up, but anything older than that will not be accepted.
It also must be your specific blog post url. Not your basic blog url. (i.e. www.yoursite.com/post-name/)
WHEN: I will have it open for two days: the 1st and the 2nd of each month. I will try to open it at 8-9am Central time on the 1st.
CONTENT: Any post you link up must be CLEAN and FAMILY FRIENDLY. No cussing, no adult content, no people-bashing... Other than that, you can post whatever you would like: Book/product reviews, interviews, personal thoughts, How-To, writing focused, home school, devotional, or whatever. As long as it is clean, it goes!
SHARE: Since the focus of the White Rabbit Linky Party is to draw attention to other blogs, I require that you share and comment (if possible) on another person’s linked up blog. This does not take much time and, if you do it, your chances increase for someone else to come look at your blog. Plus, it helps draw attention to the other person's blog, which is just a nice thing.
What do you do if you are the first/only person to link up? Comment on my post. *Cheesy Grin*
I hope any bloggers, writers, and readers who read this will join me in the "White Rabbit Link-up" at the beginning of every month. I would love to have each of you link up your content, become more active on your blog, and get new followers!
See ya January 1st - New Years Day! (I'm gonna "White Rabbit" all of you! Mwahahaha! Terrified?? You should be...)
It just occurred to me that there is this really common thing on Planet Earth. It's called Gender Dimorphism. It means, that there are guys..... and there are gals..... and they are different from each other. *GASP!* I know, right?! Totally weird! But it's totally true. And, what's more; the two opposites have great difficulty understanding each other.
Because of this phenomenon, I have noticed something that is a bit of a problem in the written world.
I like to visit gaming forums and Role Plays, and I often get asked to read other people's stories. So, I see a lot of very fresh writing from other people on a regular basis (most of it is very, very good writing, I might add). This gives me a good chance to see and analyze a lot of things about writing.
Here is what I see: in women's writing, male characters tend to be what I like to call "touchy-feely" and emotional. Why?
Girls are "critters of emotion", as I like to say. They rarely understand that guys are very non-emotional. This does not mean that men have no emotion. It simply means that the thoughts and actions of men just don't revolve around their emotions, which is the case for girls, and this often bleeds profusely into male characters that are created by women.
In men's writing, I tend to see female characters that are overly flirtatious, or too macho. Why this is the case, I'm not really for sure. It is either because A) they think girls are all ridiculously flirty (which I wont argue with...sorry girls.) or B) they believe girls think like they do: analytic, possessive, and non-emotional.
So, I am here to help out. I am going give the basics on how boys and girls are hard-wired as far as thought patterns, feelings, and emotions. It is nothing in depth, but it gives you something to think about for that opposite gender character that you've made.
So, girls, here we go: a crash course on guys. Yay!
(Guys: if any of you are reading this, any extra insight would be welcomed in the comments. After all, it is YOUR brain I'm talking about...)
1. Guys are materialistic and possessive. Ever heard the saying "he who dies with the most toys wins"?? Yeah, guys take that seriously, consciously or not. Objects are not inanimate to them. They view pretty much everything as something that either must be obtained, conquered, or protected... like a football! Their materialistic-ness is what makes them ambitious, competitive, and even romantic. Romance is not an emotional-fuzzy-shiny feeling for men, but an elaborate plan to get the ultimate prize: the maiden fair. They will go to great lengths to obtain and keep "the best", weather this be a girl, the football, a new stereo, or what-have-you. When put to the test, you never know what boys will do to get "the best". They may charge mindlessly into a fray of monsters, or blow lots of money on teddy-bears and chocolate...
2. Guys don't think with their emotions. They hardly ever talk about how they feel. Sometimes, I wonder if they even realize they have emotion. Guys are analytic and are creatures of logic. Emotion is illogical and cannot be analyzed. When they think, they strategize. They tend to pick plans that involve less trouble and effort for them. They are naturally lazy (sorry guys, but you are). They act on their possessive instincts (or hormones, take your pick) which make them naturally more protective and territorial. It's like playing football: they have a basic strategy, no details - kill the other guys, get the pig skin to the other side of the field, and win! Once that's done, go home (the castle) and watch TV (play a game of chess) while reclining in the Lazy Boy (the royal throne)...
3. Guys are all about power and respect, and I don't mean that in a bad way. Guys naturally want to feel 10 foot tall and bullet proof. Winning the football game, opening the unconquerable pickle jar, mastering a complicated song, slaying the dragon, saving the maiden fair, conquering the fortress.... these things and similar make a guy feel powerful and respected, the same way a man's tender attention makes a girl feel loved. Men will go to great lengths to feed this craving for respect, sometimes to the point of becoming an evil pirate. This often results in a power struggle between men (*poke, poke* great conflict in role plays and stories!), and it is also a major factor in why they are attracted to women. A girl, if she knows what she is doing, can make a man feel 20 foot tall and A-bomb proof... or she can pound him into rubble with a few simple words.
All three of those points make your basic guy. That is why men are better warriors, better leaders, tell great in-depth stories, start more wars, get into more trouble, and all that good stuff.
Ready for a crash course on girls now? It's pretty easy: they are just the opposite of a guy.
1. Girls think using emotion, basing everything on how they or others feel. They are able to feel what others feel in a way that men cannot understand. This is what makes them the best mothers, the best nurses, and the best listeners. It is not hard to get into a girl's heart, because your words, your actions will instantly filter through her emotions. Everything you do, everything you say, goes through the "feel" zone on a girl. How does that make her feel? How does she feel about that? It is what makes girls such drama queens. Even the most "macho" of girls will think using her emotions. What sets tough girls apart from extreme drama queens is that drama queens will instantly react to their emotions, where-as a tough girl will put a lid on her emotions and gush later.
The emotions of a woman is what can make her a Joan of Arc; passionate, inspiring, courageous, deep - or her emotions can take her to the other end of the spectrum and make her a Cruella de Vil; shallow, selfish, impulsive, boisterous, and all together annoying. And, of course, you have the in-between girls that make up the majority of the world.
2. Girls are verbal, whereas guys are visual. Girls like to talk about things. That is how they think and that is how they help others: they talk, and they listen while others talk. This is often where guys and girls collide, because guys just don't talk about things like girls do, and it often makes girls mad because they want to help and feel distanced if problems aren't shared (girls will even run silence through their "feel" zone - watch out!).
A group of girls with problems on their shoulders can get together and talk for hours about absolutely nothing and walk away feeling refreshed, accomplished, and pretty much like a new woman. It irritates them that guys are just like "Meh. Had a bad day at work. That's it." whereas a girl will walk in and go "Let me tell you ALL about my horrible day at work!"
3. Girls are relationship oriented. Everything to a girl has to do with a relationship. Again, this goes back to the emotions. They crave gentle attention, affection, sympathy, a listening ear...you know. Their support system revolves around this sort of stuff. Girls need girlfriends to hang with and talk to. They feel more confident when they have a guy to hold hands with. The pet fish is always finding a way to make her smile. And when all else fails, chocolate and cookies will always be there for her.
The world is either for her, or against her. It either lifts her up, or casts her down. One way or another, it revolves around her and is in some sort of relationship with her. It really doesn't occur to her that it is just a world and it doesn't care (and the world is totally for the guy's taking - another piece to add to his empire).
Girls are emotional, guys are analytic. Girls are verbal, guys are physical/ visual. Girls are relationship based, guys are respect based. Girls think with their hearts, guys think with their heads. And, while guys think that their brain is totally bigger that yours, every girl knows that her brain is actually switched ON.
I don't know if this helped you at all.
I've personally had lots of practice, since my main character in my books happens to be a male, but I still quite often have to take a step back and ask myself "Now, would a guy really do that, or is that a girl thing?".
If you really want to gain a deeper understanding of the differences between males and females, I suggest you go to a public place and watch people. Observe the differences between men and women.
Want something a little easier? Spend time with your parents or grandparents. Watch them each individually and pay special attention when they are interacting together. Or, if you are not that motivated, watch a Tom Hanks movie... I would suggest "The Terminal". It does an excellent job at depicting the difference between men and women.
Having failed to come up with another brilliant post (as my last one was), I have decided to let you into the mind of a writer. As Victor Hugo once said "A writer is a world trapped inside a person." so, in short, there is nothing UNcomplicated about us writers. We may stare into space and seem distant, or even appear empty headed at times, but that is only because we have entire civilizations pounding on the inside of our skulls.
Okay.... that was random.
Anyway, there is no way I can fit in everything that goes on in a writer's mind in ONE blog post. So many emotions come alive all at once in a writer. So many worlds and people live and die, affecting the writer in different ways. Writers see into the future. They have lived the past. And they are in the present with 15 different characters.
A writer can feel defeated one moment, and victorious the next. We weep bitterly when we mercilessly murder one of our own characters that we gave birth to (sometimes devouring them like an animal her young). And there will often be long periods when our characters refuse to speak to us, thereby halting our writing efforts all together, even though we know EXACTLY what they will do in the next chapter of the story. It can be likened unto constipation: you know what needs to happen, but it just ain't happening. Once it does happen though, there is no word to describe the relief you feel.
Writers ARE random. We made random COOL.
But really, it is those PUBLISHED authors you need to watch out for.
For, you see, they have a reader base. That means they have their fingers dipped into YOUR reality, and nothing, I mean NOTHING, gives them more pleasure than to shake your reality, or shatter it entirely. It is one of the few pleasures of a author's life to know that he (or she) is not only torturing their characters, but causing you to wallow in extreme agony as they do so. When there is an audience to be had, it is the sick, demented side of an author's personalty that really rears its ugly head.
The important thing for you to remember as a reader, though, is this: no matter how foolish or corny the story may sound, the author put tiny glass pieces of their past, their thoughts, their experiences, and their soul into that story. The author may not even be aware of this himself, but it is true. Whatever agony you may suffer by reading their story, know that they suffered years of the same agony before finally letting it all bleed out onto paper.
And something else you should keep in mind: writing is not as easy as it seems. It is something that must be honed. A sculpture made of words. Authors WORK HARD to put that pile of dead trees into your hand. Respect that.
Well, I take that back. Most authors work hard. However, personally, all my hard work is involved in dragging myself away from the refrigerator (or Pinterest).
Okay, well, that's not entirely true either. But it is true most of the time.
Just some little reminders from authors to you...
When I talk about social media with friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and particularly with those I know in the author world, I constantly hear how no one understands Twitter.
"I just don't get it."
"It makes no sense."
"I have no idea how to use it."
Well, let me tell you something: I get more website clicks and sales from Twitter than just about anywhere. And it is the simplest thing to use.
Want a crash course on how to use Twitter? Okay, here we go:
1. Twitter is so simple to use because you can only type 140 characters into the status/update/"what's happening?" bar. For most people, this is very irritating. But for a business, it really simplifies things. All you need is a quick, catchy phrase followed by a link to your book (or whatever you are selling) and a couple of hashtags.
Q. What are Hashtags?
A. They look like this: #writing #reading #bookworm #bookreview #IndieAuthors #ilovetwitter #mydogisawesome #mytongueispurple #lovemycookies ...You can literally hashtag anything, anytime, anywhere, and hashtags are the BIGGEST thing that will draw attention to your Twitter. So, don't forget your hashtags.
2. What should you type into your Twitter update? If you are an author, tiny quotes from your book work well. Pictures of happy costumers, of your product on display, and other things are great as well! Let me show you a couple of things I have posted to my Twitter. Maybe they will give you some ideas!
3. The best way I have found to Tweet a Web link to my book, or Facebook Author page, or Amazon Author page, or anything, is to use Bitly. *holy choir begins to sing praises*
With Bitly, you can shorten your long links like this (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kathryn-Fogleman/475623382492122) and turn them into this (http://bit.ly/FBkjf)
Big difference, huh? It saves a lot of space on the Twitter update! Plus, if you sign up with Bitly and get a free account, you can save your short links, reuse them over again, and check on them to see how many clicks you have had on each link! Very cool.
4. This is very important: DON'T SPAM PEOPLE. Don't Tweet the same thing, the same link, or only your product over & over & over & over again. Add a little spice! Throw in some variety! Need some ideas? Well, here you go:
- If you like to read books, then post your book reviews! Help other authors out! Type the title of the book or take a picture of it, give a short reason why you like it, and then copy the Amazon or B&N link for that book so that those who see your Twitter update can click the link, look at the book, and hopefully buy it! It also helps if you tag the Author, if they are on Twitter. By tagging their Twitter name, both of you exchange traffic and costumers. Simply put a "@" and then type the author's Twitter name, just like I did in the below picture. Ta-Da!
Something else I like to do, that also draws a lot of attention to my Twitter, is to post quotes and pictures of things that I like to "Nerd Out" on. For instance, I really like the Science Fiction TV shows Star Trek, Firefly, and Stargate. I tend to post a lot of quotes and pictures that relate to those particular shows. This brings in a lot of extra traffic to my Twitter, especially when I put hashtags with the posts, because all three of those TV shows have a large, nerdy, fanbase. Pinterest makes it easy to post pictures AND quotes on Twitter. When you "Pin" or "Re-pin" something on Pinterest, simply click the "Post to Twitter" button before you pin the picture. It automatically posts it to Twitter for you! Pretty easy!
- Re-tweet other people's Tweets. This also helps draw attention to your Twitter and your links, but more importantly, it helps other people reach a bigger audience. But PLEASE! Don't go overboard! There are some people on Twitter who re-tweet Every. Single. Thing. They. See. It gets really, really annoying. I like to re-tweet two or three things at a time, but no more than six, because that is when it starts to annoy people. I typically choose quotes, silly things, blog links, or pictures to re-tweet.
Now you are a Twitter Pro!
Okay, not really, but that just about sums Twitter up! There is a lot about Twitter that I still haven't figured out. But the important thing for you to know is that Twitter is EASY and it is EFFECTIVE. If you start using it more regularly, your products will start getting more attention from more people. A lot of Bloggers are on Twitter, looking for new things to blog about. A lot of Reviewers are on Twitter, looking for new things to review. And if you are an author, there is a HUGE author base on Twitter - readers and writers!
So don't be afraid of Twitter any longer. Twitter is your friend. Twitter is simple. Twitter is my favorite social media tool, and if you know me, you know that I HATE, HATE, HATE social media! So it means a lot when I say that something in Social Media is my favorite...
Get out there and start putting your Twitter to use!
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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