Sunday, January 29, 2012

Goodbye Old Faithful

I'm in mourning. My writing computer died this weekend. For many years, I had this wonderful computer I used only for writing. Nothing else.  For many years, I've had my "writing" computer and my "office/internet" computer.  The office computer is in a small room I use as an office for bill paying and internet stuff like doing this post. I have a slick, black new computer with the wide-screen monitor for use in this room and over the past   few years I have had three computers I used for this purpose. They all eventually had drives crash or they needed to be upgraded because they were so slow. I had no problem switching them out.

But, losing my beloved writing computer has been like a death in the family.  A terrific guy, Jim, built her for me years ago. I had no idea he was doing this until he surprised me with it one day. I treasured it since day one. And, I have to say Jim built one of the best computers ever. I used it practically every day. It ran 24/7. All I did was shut off the monitor and when I was ready to work again, I turned it back on and there was whatever page I was on. There was never a glitch in the computer. No repair ever needed. I guess I expected it to go on forever but Saturday the monitor wouldn't come on. After a process of elimination, I determined it was the computer. Maybe the video card died. I thought about trying to have the video card replaced but maybe it is time to let go of it. I did have laptop I wasn't using and I've spent the weekend getting it set up as a CPU. Plus I had to transfer a lot of data in it.  All the time, I was whining about the other one and how irreplaceable it was.  I did have copies of the files but still it is just idea that it's not there now.

But, that is life.  Everything changes. Nothing lasts forever. But on the upswing, the laptop has great resolution on the monitor I hooked up to it. Even better than the other computer. For every loss there is a gain. And, that is what is what keeps us going.

I treated myself this afternoon by making a peach cobbler. I'm saving it to eat with vanilla ice cream while watching my favorite show, Once Upon A Time!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Five Reasons To Visit Your Local Library

When I got off work today, I decided to stop by the library, which is only a few blocks from the historic downtown area where I work. I had no particular reason for going there except that I didn't have any reason to rush home and the library is one of my favorite places. At one time, I worked as a librarian in a tiny, rural library and, to this day, that was a my favorite job. (By the way, the photo is not of my local library. I only wish...)

Several years ago, things were looking bleak for libraries. People weren't going to the libraries like they had in previous decades. Less traffic in a library means less funds are allocated to that library, which means less new books and equipment.  So libraries began to dwindle.  Many times I had my choice of parking spaces. Few were taken and there might be 2 people inside.

Then came a rebirth for our library. No, people suddenly didn't turn off the TV and start reading again like they had the first half of the century.  What changed?  Well, a recession happened for one thing. People started borrowing books instead of buying them. Also the library added audio books, videos, which they still have VHS and now a large collection of DVD's they loan out. Many of the titles are recent as a lot of these items are donated to the library.  Patrons are now borrowing DVDs instead of renting them. You have to get there early to get the newer titles.

And, now, the most popular library offering is access to computers with high-speed internet, plus free wi-fi inside and outside the library. I can't say for certain but it appears the library traffic has tripled. There is always cars in the parking lots. Sometimes it is full.  Inside, there is someone at every computer station. Some people are at library tables working on their laptops. There are people reading the newspapers and magazines while some, like me, are looking at the books on display. All in all, it is great to go and see the library continues to provide the community with a great service.  Your tax dollars are put to good use when they support a library.

Here are my 5 reasons why you should go to the library:
1. It is still a quiet place. It will give your nerves a rest.
2. You can improve yourself.  Just browse around and see what you can learn, even from the exhibits.
3. You can get great bargains on used books for sale and donated magazines are often free.
4. Check out the special activities offered by the library. You may make some new friends.
5.  You can save $$$. Borrow and return faithfully.  Plus remember your library when you are ready to get rid of some books or movies

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Win Books and Gift Cards!!!

 The Small Blog Big Giveaways 7th Edition is underway.  You can win books and gift cards! There are some terrific titles. For more information:

Participants will have to enter the book giveaway in order to enter the Cash Giveaway, this is where all the giftcards will be given away! Under the Small Blogs Big Giveaways post in each blog, there will be a form that you can enter to win one of the giftcards being given away! To each host you visit and fill the form, you'll receive one entry! So is we have 10 hosts, you will be able to have 10 entries for the Cash Giveaway! For this giveaway there will beone winner for each gifcard!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Persistence Pays Off: A Writer's Dream Comes True

Congratulations to Cindy Nord on the sale of her Civil War romance, No Greater Glory, to Samhain Books. I'm so excited for her and what her sale represents for writers.

Cindy wrote a Civil War romance when the odds were against her ever selling it because of the setting. But, she wrote it anyway because it was a story she loved and wanted to tell. She entered it in contests. (The photo is of us at Moonlight and Magnolias where her story made the finals in the Maggie contest.) Cindy got an agent. She persisted with the kind of determination that all writers need and the belief in her work that so few of us maintain.

What can we learn from Cindy?  Hang in there and write the story you love. Now, writers have more opportunity than ever to do that with e-publishing and the market is open for great stories, even historical romances set during the Civil War. All you have to do is not give up.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blogging At Romancing The Past

I'm blogging about Once Upon A Time and villains today at Romancing the Past.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Getting It Together for 2012

I have spent the past month or longer cleaning out the office and the writing room. The rest of the house I go through regularly and reorganize but I had put off those rooms because I knew it was going to be a hell of a job. Especially since I had not gone through all the stuff I'd amassed in several years. So after I finished up Lady Silver, I decided to take out a chunk of time and get it done.

Before I got started, I bought a box of the sturdy black 30-gallon garbage bags and they sure came in handy!

I've made so many trips to Goodwill, they know my car when I pull up to the donation door!  All in all, it took a while and a lot of joint pain but I love the end result. I actually found a lot of things I forgot I had and I have an idea of where things are now. Plus I can actually open the closet door and see what is inside instead of a big pile of who-knows-what. Yay! I could never be a hoarder.

Today has been clean up the computer plus my various spots online.  I redid my Twitter profile. And I've done some work on this blog. I started to change the header and the colors but Photoshop is the program from hell, so I decided to leave well enough alone. Several people had told me they love the "girl in the tub" image and I've always liked her, too. So she gets to stay for now. I did revamp my pages and sidebars. I've got some really good blogs to visit on the sidebar.  I got on Facebook and what I wanted to do was merge my personal Facebook into the Facebook Author Page. I only want one presence on Facebook. I think I screwed that up. I don't think you can merge, but my author page is still there and functional.  I wish I had only done a Page to begin with but I didn't know that much about Facebook last year.  Google is coming out with a new thing, like Google Page, which may send Facebook the way of My Space. No regrets on my part.

So, I'm finally getting caught up with everything. Now, I've got to come up with a way to stay caught up when there never seems to be enough hours in a day.