25. Thank God's Its Friday - Random ramblings

Friday, April 29, 2005

Mood: busy
Music: Bad Girls remix - Donna Summer

Yes, another week is at its end, and I think this has been a very good week for me personally. I'm writing more than I was in past weeks, and that to me is great. I think this blog is helping me focus on what I need to do. I'm not going to get anything done by just sitting here and staring at the screen. The only way I'm going to get anything done is if I do it myself. I'm the writer, and those are my characters. They are living in my head. No one else can tell their story but me. So I guess that means I need to get down and do it. I was reading Angela Booth's Your Every Day Write newsletter in my email last night, and the topic discussed was blogs and blogging. She mentioned how writing in your blog can help increase creativity and your writing elsewhere, and I think in my case that is true.

I actually wrote another three pages to my Phaze WIP last night. I introduced the male character, and had him kind of meet the heroine, but they didn't really meet. She was gone when he looked back. They will meet soon. Laura is always telling me what a tease I am, and this story is no exception. The working title is Paradise Found. That will probably end up changing, but it works for now. The hero is loosely based on one of my current celebrity crushes, and I'm hoping the story keeps moving along.

The past few days I've been seeing a few things in the celebrity world that have caught my attention and either amused me or made me go hmm. Sometimes I may even see things and later on when I'm thinking about them I relate them to something I've read on someone's blog. The big news in the celebrity world seems to be that Tom Cruise is now dating Katie Holmes. She is 26, and he is 42. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, there really hasn't been much of a backlash from what I can see. I keep seeing people talk about how cute they are together. However if the ages reversed, and she was older that might be different. I've seen it more often than not that when it is the woman that is dating the younger man some ruckus is started. One example that comes immediately to mind is Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake. I am a fan of both and I think they are absolutely adorable together, but I've seen a lot of negative comments about the relationship, both in the media and said by fans. To me, the only thing that matters is the couple is happy.

I was thinking about this and it made me remember Beth's romancing the blog entry a few days back. She was discussing the lack of a decent number of books in which older heroines were the focus. It sort of goes along the same as real life it seems. No one wants to see an older woman with a man younger than herself. Which is kind of sad because it does happen in everyday life. What makes it okay for Tom to date Katie but not for Cameron to date Justin? Yes, Justin seems to be one of those men that millions of teenage girls want for themselves or back with Britney, but it just isn't going to happen. As long as the couple is happy that is what matters I think.

24. What is this world coming to?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Mood: outraged
Music: Karma - Alicia Keys

Today in my blog surfing I came across the link to this news story in Paperback Writer's blog. I haven't even finished reading the whole news item, and I am already angry. As a bisexual woman, and a writer of gay fiction, I am rightfully so. No, I don't live in Alabama, so this would not effect me personally. However, if one state passes such a law, what would stop other states from doing so? Why ban books and authors just because of the lifestyle displayed in the story or by the author. It really shouldn't matter if you're straight, gay or bisexual. Everyone has their own way of living that makes them happiest. Everyone likes to read what they like to read. I happen to like writing and reading gay fiction. My favorite television shows happen to be the L word and Queer as Folk. Both shows openly discuss and display gay relationships. Are they going to try to ban these shows from airing in Alabama. I know that would be somewhat impossible to do with cable and satellite systems, but banning books and authors just because they live differently than you is nothing other than censorship pure and simple.

Honestly, what does this say about the world today? Gay characters are becoming more and more used in literature and television. Is this the result of that coming out so to speak? Because they are more prevalent does that make them a target. I know gay fiction is becoming more accepted. In past years, there wasn't much of it to be seen other than the yearly anthologies and a few authors that have paved the way for future writers such as myself. The bill would target any gay author or book containing gay characters. Such classics as The Color Purple and books by authors such as Tennessee Williams would be included in the bill. These stories are the foundations of literature, and they would be removed from bookshelves and banned. I remember reading these books in junior high and high school, and if such a bill had passed back in those days I'd have never read any of them. This angers me so much because as I said it is censorship no matter how you look at it.

The bill is unlikely to make it through, but what if it did? Would other states follow? What would happen to our schools? What would happen to our libraries and bookstores? These books would disappear off the shelves, and reading them would be considered a crime. I thought we were past this. I remember seeing book burnings on television and I never thought I would see a possibility of it happening again. This time because of a lifestyle choice. My own books would be considered part of the ban because as I've said I am a bisexual woman. Would I have to hide that just to get published in a world where this bill existed? It's just frightening to me.

23: Weekly writing update and other random ramblings

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mood: amused
Music: Meet Virginia - Train

First on the writing front, I had one of those moments of epiphany last night when I was sitting there at my current WIP that I hope to submit to Phaze's summer contest. The story I had decided was going nowhere. I had no real black moment. I had no real plot. Other than that one hot guy meets another hot guy and they hook up. Well, I had more than that, but you get the general idea. Originally I had an idea for more the traditional story, a girl meets a guy on vacation and things heat up. I have a black moment. She has only six days and she has to leave. Sort of a take on How Stella got her groove back. Elizabeth, goes on a week's vacation to Hawaii. She's 27, but acts way older than her years. There she decides to let go and let loose. Her first night there she meets a man and they have a fling of sorts. The first night is more of a game of cat and mouse and not much happens. Not until the next night. I'm still working on ideas, but last night I was happy to get four pages in before something distracted me, and then it got too late to go back to it, and I went back to bed.

Last night, I was pleasantly surprised to get an email on one of old fan fiction stories. I had a fan fiction site, and it is still up somewhere in cyberspace somewhere right now. I know not many give fan fiction much credit, but it is where I first began to write my gay fiction, and I did develop quite a following with my stories and site. I've had some give me quite a negative response when I mention I used to write fan fiction, and occasionally still do if an idea comes to me. I've heard some say that it isn't considered real writing, and most fan fiction is quite teenie and poorly written, but there are fan fiction writers that begin with fan fiction and move on from it like I am doing. It was nice to know that even though I haven't updated much in the last year or two that people are still reading and enjoying. That is what the purpose of sharing your stories is. Sharing your words with others and having them either enjoy them or not. My site has had nearly 100,000 hits since I opened it a couple of years ago, so I must be doing something right with my fiction writing.

After I received that email I began a quick surf through fan fiction sites I used to know from those days I wrote it, and I found some still up and running. I read a few stories, and I was amused to say the least. Everything you are told not to do in your writing can be found in fan fiction stories, and yes I found a few that made laugh out loud. I even downloading one to read over time. One of those long epics that just goes on and on forever. i keep getting into the story, and then there is one of those moments where you are like ... what the hell is this? Then you start laughing cause it is so very bad, and you know if this was a story written for a publisher you would never even something like that in a story.

It made me think of Lynn's entry which I saw before I went to bed last night. We all have things that we just don't like to see in our reading or in our writing either. I have my own. Things that just make me laugh when I see them, and I guess reading through some of the fan fiction I used to read just showed those to me so clearly. Here are just a few.

  • Poorly written sex: Yes, we all know what I'm talking about here. Purple prose is one term that comes to my mind. sex so unrealistic you are left wondering how that was even possible because surely it doesn't happen in real life. Yes, fiction is an escape from reality, but fiction should have some basis in reality. The man that can go all night like the energizer bunny is just not going to happen. If you find him though, can you send him to ... kidding!

  • Unrealistic characters: A man is not going to fall to his knees and cry over and over throughout the story. Especially if he is your strong alpha male. Yes, there is such a thing as your strong but sensitive type, but come on! Try to stay true to the type of character you have created.

  • Cliches: Yes, we all have things we see in stories over and over. Whether they be plots, characters or word choice. From one book to the other, they are similar, and you can't escape them. To me, I think the trick is to take those cliches and make them different. Make them new, so that they don't look cliche. Add something else to it. Something unique and all your own.

I guess that is what our job as writers is to do. Create stories and characters that are fresh and new so that readers want to read. No matter what the genre or sub-genre you are writing in.

22. A day of blog hopping ...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Actually the last couple of days in my blog reading have been interesting. First of we had Silma's entry talking about her fears and writing. Sheri had an entry that bounced off of that entry of Silma's as well. I'm sure we all have our fears lurking in the back of our heads when it comes to our writing. We're not good enough. We won't sell anything. Once we do get a book contracted, it won't sell out there in stores. These are just some of the fears we face daily when it comes to writing.

I've always wanted to write. I've always loved creating characters and stories. When I was a young child, I would play house. Being an only child made this difficult, but the other people lived in my head, and I would pretend I was interacting with them. To a non-writer person, this might sound insane, and they are probably wondering why my mother didn't seek some form of therapy for me instead of encouraging this behavior. However, she did encourage it. She bought me a tape recorder, and had met tape recorder these little "scenes." We had the tapes until the 1994 earthquake hit our home, and we lost a great deal of our belongings.

I've always had those fears lurking in the back of my head though. Can I really do it? Can I make it? My father is always saying that I'm dreaming, and that I won't make it. My 12th English teacher told me I couldn't write worth a damn. That was a blow as well.

I stopped writing fiction for years. Even now I have these same fears. I'm still working on getting my writing out there. It is even a constant struggle to get any writing done on a daily basis. As Sheri mentioned in her entry if things get down or crazy, she hardly gets any writing done. I do the same. If my mood is off or things are busy with other things I get little to no writing done. It is something I'm working on getting past. I'm a non-working person due to some health issues, so I should be able to get some writing done during the day, but more often than not I don't.

I'm really working on getting better with that. I seem to be able to write in here or my reviews and other nonfiction type articles with ease. When it comes to my fiction though it is like pulling teeth. I love writing though. I love creating. Its always what I wanted to do with my life. I'm sure things will get better, but I'm the one that has to work towards making it better.

Another interesting entry caught my eye today written by Sylvia Day. If you write erotic romance and haven't read her blog today, hop on over there and take a quick look. Her entry and her thoughts about erotic romance and censorship with both publishers and authors both interested and worried me. I write erotica and romance, and I'm barely getting started. Will these blocks that seem to be coming up now have me and other writers not write erotic romance and venture into other genres? I hate censorship in any form, and this seems to be just that. I don't want to have to worry about my word usage or about what I write sex wise, but if the publishers are getting nailed for the books they are selling and some publishers are even looking into going elsewhere. That is scary.

I just want to write without myself or others getting in the way. It seems if it isn't me not writing because of this or that it will come out on the other end that there is some problem with selling or publishing when I do have a completed manuscript. Almost makes you want to rethink the writing deal, but I love writing too much to give it up.

A quick note on the review front, my review of Rob Thomas' new CD, Something to be appeared over on BlogCritics yesterday and can be found here.

21. Googling yourself

Monday, April 25, 2005

On one of the loops I'm on, there is talk about searching for your name on Google to see where you are mentioned. I saw a few emails come through, so I decided to give it a go. I picked up quite a few direct links to myself. The one being to a column that I wrote years ago. I cringe at some of the articles I wrote back then. I've definitely improved in my writing skill since I had that column. I also found some links to comments I've left in the past on some of the news sites. One comment being one I left around election time last year. I never had an idea that would be easily accessible.

Other mentions were also found. One that was quite interesting to me. A few months ago I had applied for a copy writing job. I received the assignment, but something just didn't add up. I talked to some fellow writers over at Writers Chat, and they all agreed something seemed off. The pay was too low. The assignment was one of those huge in number that would take forever to complete, but they said one could write ten articles in one day. I wrote three in one and that took me a few hours to do, so unless I wrote all day on those assigned articles for a period of months there was no way I'd see the promised bonus incentive. I sent in my first batch of ten, and I had three accepted. Something screamed at me to walk away, and that's what I did.

Today during my Google search, I found one of those articles I had written referenced in another blog. No link to the exact article posting, but it was my article and my name. I was never paid for the article, and I'm not sure if it was even one of the ones the editor had even accepted. My computer suffered a computer crash a month or so ago, so I don't have the article on my hard drive. It was one article, so I'm not sure if that is a big enough issue to make a deal of. I would like to see where the article was posted, and see if there were others. I'm wondering if I should comment the blogger that used my article as a reference and ask. Any suggestions?

20. Sunday ramblings

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Well, I didn't write one word yesterday. Not in here. Not in any of my current WIP's. I know. Bad me. I was still feeling under the weather, and I had planned to write, but nothing seemed to materialize on the screen in front of me. So I had a lazy day. We are all entitled to them, and they do happen. I spent the day playing with my kitten. I got him about a month ago, and he is an adorable bundle of energy. He is about three months old, and I named him JJ. He is the second cat in the house. Bobo is 9, and he knows he is king of the house. It took a bit of him getting used to the little guy, but it looks to be happening. Whenever I see them interact, I always have to wonder if they are playing or fighting. It's hard to tell at times.

I've been mentally going over the plot and story for my Phaze submission. I think I finally have a possible black moment. That moment when all is supposedly lost, and there is no hope for the romance. Of course it ends up working in the end, but you need that conflict to make the story interesting. Well, I think I've got one, but I'm not sure it is strong enough. I'm still thinking on it, and hopefully later on tonight after I see my Sunday night TV of Grey's Anatomy and L word I can tackle some writing.

Sunday is one of the two nights of the week I get to see the shows I watch. The other being Thursday when I watch OC and ER. The OC is so unbelievably teen angst driven and soap opera like, but I love it. It took me half of the first season for it to hook me in. ER is a long time staple of my TV viewing. I've been watching since season 1.

I really need to get to work on my WIP's. I have two going now. The one for Phaze that has a deadline quickly approaching, and my first WIP being my novella/novel I've been slowly working on since right around the New Year. I seem to write at a snail's pace when it comes to my fiction. It takes more time for me to write that than it does any of my articles, reviews, or blogs. Hopefully that will change.

Happy Sunday everyone!

19. Do you ever feel like you want a do over?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Some days, especially days like today, I wish I could go back to bed and start the day over. It was one of those days destined to be crappy. I went to bed feeling under the weather even. Had trouble sleeping because of it, and then I woke up to some mess online. Sometimes I feel like I'm two different people. One that is all serious and quiet, not all really too social, and this other person that is outgoing and silly. I can be both people depending on my mood and day. Which is totally kind of weird to me.

How can I be so different from one day to the next? My first love is my writing of course and talking about that with other writers is something I enjoy doing. I have friends that I've made elsewhere, and I'm totally different with them at times. Like I said it is weird to me.It kind of makes me think of the monologue Meredith had during this past weekend's episode of Grey's Anatomy. Yes, I'm an avid fan of the show, and Meredith is my favorite character. Although Izzie comes in a close second, especially after her little scene this past weekend in the locker room. Anyway, back to what Meredith said:

"Intimacy is a four syllable word for 'here are my heart and soul, please grind them into hamburger and enjoy.' It's both desired and feared. Difficult to live with and impossible to live without. Intimacy also comes attached to life's three R's: relatives, romance, and roommates. There are some things you can't escape, and other things you just don't want to know I wish there were a rulebook for intimacy. Some kind of a guide that can tell you when you've crossed the line. It would be nice if you could see it coming. But I don't know how you would fit it on the map. You take it where you can get it --and keep it for as long as you can. And as for rules, maybe there are none. Maybe the rules of intimacies are something you have to define for yourself."

Personally, I'm not the most social of people. I don't have many offline friends, and I'm not one to just talk to anyone and everyone online either. Intimacy and finding that with people, is something that doesn't come all that easy for me. It takes a lot for me to open up and let people in when it comes to my personal life. Even if this blog, I haven't gotten all too too personal. I mention my life, but I don't put every detail of my life on display.

Sometimes I do wish their was some kind of rulebook for intimacy, and how to do things in relationships, even if they are just friendships. Then perhaps little messy situations wouldn't pop up like the one I had today. It was a minor situation, and I handled it as best as I could, but it still put quite a bit of distraction to my day. Not only that, but I'm still feeling under the weather.

Sometimes I just wish life was just a little bit easier. That their were enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do with my life. I want people close to me, but it seems as soon as they get too close I push them away. Another thing about myself that I'm trying to work on changing. I just want to write, and share those words I let escape my head onto my screen be seen and shared with those around me. Guess I need to work on that.

I'm the type of person that is easily distracted from what I need to. i need to write. I need to write more and more, and I let myself get distracted from that so easily. Something definitely need to work on. Right now, I need to grab dinner!

18. A few quick notes

Thursday, April 21, 2005

  • Romance Divas, both site and forum, is back up and running. This is one my homes here on the web, and I was starting to miss the boards a bit much. Jax and Kristen both run the board, and do so beautifully. The site had some problems in recent weeks due to the heavy amount of traffic the board and site receive. After some long hours and much work put in by our Diva Goddesses, the site is back, and not a moment too soon.

  • Last night I attended a chat over at Writers Chat with romantic suspense author Marie-Nicole Ryan. As always the chat was fun and informative. I was hoping to run the chat door prize because her books truly intrigued me, especially See you in my dreams . I'll have to definitely check them out.

  • Phaze extended their Sparkler contest deadline to the 31st of May, which might help me get something in. I began work on my entry last night. Got to love waiting to almost last minute. I seem to do well under pressure, so we will have to see. I decided to go the male/male route. I have the main character's story in my head. I'm just a little fuzzy on the second main character. I'm stuck on a name. I think once I get that straightened out things will flow easier. Right now I have Jake and ... ? I think the unnamed male is somewhat of a Brian Kinney type, for those that are familiar with Queer as Folk. Not as dead set against love and relationships though. More your take control, oozing sex appeal type guy. Anyway, I'll work on getting Jake entered into things, and the rest will follow

17. My weekly writing update and other thoughts

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I've noticed that I rarely discuss my own writing in here, and that is going to change. Every week I'll post a writing update of sorts. Just so those that stumble across this blog will have an idea on what I do. The fact of the matter is that I haven't been writing all that much in recent months. My productivity following the turn of the new year went downhill. That was of course following the motherboard crash on New Year's Eve. I was a week without a computer, and I'm not all that used to writing long hand anymore. Even if I did it for years before I got my computer. Growing up, I would sit on the floor of my bedroom with a clipboard or notebook resting open in front of me as I wrote for hours upon hours. Now my fingers get tired much too quickly when I try to do that. My hands are just so used to typing. Much of my writing in recent years has been non-fiction in nature as well. Even though when I began writing it was fiction that pulled me in.

My first love is still fiction, but I find non-fiction easier to get out of me. I can think of a topic, plan a bit of what I want to say in my head and then sit down to actually get it onto my screen in the next day or so. When it comes to my fiction I have a block. I can think up lines of text and dialogue, but they stay locked in my head forever and a day. It takes me forever to write a story, and my novels never end up going anywhere because I sit there thinking of what I want to write instead of actually writing it. Does anyone else have that problem? How do you get over that type of block if you do? I don't know what to do. I've been wanting to work on a short to submit to Phaze's Heat Sheet Sparklers contest, and the deadline is fast approaching, and I haven't even begun. I do have the idea in my head, and I do know where I want to go with it. It just isn't materializing on the computer screen in front of me.

In case you were wondering on what type of fiction I write, I write mostly romance and erotica. Mostly of the male/male variety, but I do also write traditional romance as well, and I've wanted to try my hand at lesbian fiction too. My first love though is the male/male story, and this is way different than what I began writing when I was younger. I started with traditional boy meets girl, and I liked writing it, but it wasn't until I began writing male/male fan fiction after the introduction of Queer as Folk in my life that I truly found what I think is my fiction niche. I'm currently working on what I think will end up being a novella or novel if I can manage it. The writing has been slow, but I have quite a few scenes done.

That is another thing about me. Unless it is a short story, I don't write scenes in order. I'm what some call a pantser. I write flying by the seat of my pants. I'm not much of a planner or plotter. It just doesn't work for me. I have a few basic ideas and I just write as I go along. I let the story lead me. It is what has worked for me. There are times though that I've wondered if I planned and plotted a little more in advance if the words would leave my head from my fingertips a little bit faster.

I was hoping to have this entry talk about my writing exclusively, but there are some other thoughts floating around my head, and I wanted to get them out. No better place to do it than here. In the past couple of days, there have been anniversaries to events in this countries history. Tragic events. Yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, and today marks the sixth anniversary of the Columbine shooting. Two events that I remember everything about. I remember what I was doing when they both occurred. I remember my reaction. Both events touched me greatly. Even though I didn't live in the area of the events I was saddened. When Columbine occurred I was studying to be a teacher, and the fact that the shooting occurred in a school scared me so greatly. I kept putting myself in the what if phase. What if it was me in that classroom or one like it some years down the road? What if ... I know one can't think that way, but people can and do have those thoughts when a tragedy happens. When the bombing occurred ten years ago, I was a freshman in college. I was sitting in front of my television in my dorm room watching the coverage of the tragedy on my small television. It almost feels like it was only yesterday, but it was many years ago, and I am still saddened by both events. Tragedies happen everyday, but those two marked themselves forever on history. People will never forget either day. I know I won't.

16. The beginning of a new era: A new Pope

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I woke up under a different sky. Within minutes of my waking up this day, I knew a new pope had been chosen by the conclave in Rome. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, age 78, is now the new pope, Benedict XVI. Whet I had thought would take days, took little to no time at all, and we now have a new head of the Roman Catholic church. I was raised Catholic, and the only Pope I have ever known personally, is John Paul II. His death did hit me, although I'm not as religious as I once was. I don't attend weekly mass, and the last time I went to confession doesn't ever reach my mind.

Pope John Paul II was a good pope, a strong leader and when he passed I was quite saddened. I was only three when he elected, so he is the only Pope I have ever known. I worry about the new Pope just elected. I worry if he'll be as strong a leader as John Paul was. Being Pope and leading the Roman Catholic church is not an easy thing. The Pope is the one Catholics too on many important issues, and yes there is room to disagree, but the Pope is the man that lays down the law for the Catholic people so to speak. Each Pope has his own beliefs on many of the important issues facing today's society. How will Pope Benedict XVI feel when it comes to issues that have made their way into importance in recent years. Birth control and stem cell being some of the issues that have already been mentioned on my television today.

The coverage of this election of a new pope is everywhere. It's on my television, and its on my computer screen. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this new election. I have more to learn and process before I can ever state whether the right choice was made. I don't know much about the man that was chosen, but the fact of the matter is he was chosen. Whether I like it, whether anyone likes it really, he is the new Pope.

I do have my concerns. The most prevalent in my mind being his age. I just told my father how old the new pope was, and he just shuck his head. My father is nearing eighty, so he is a year older than the man elected to rule the Roman Catholic Church. For a man his age, my father does quite well. He works forty hours a week, and he is healthy. He is slower than he used to be, and he is a little hard of hearing, but other than that he is a man of sixty in an eighty year olds body. Is Pope Benedict XVI the same? Will we have him for many years to come or will we lose him as we have lost some in the past after only thirty-six days. Only time will tell. I just know that it is good to see a new man in the role that is so vital to those of the Catholic faith.

15. My experience with Surf Junky

Monday, April 18, 2005

Anyone that spends a great deal of time on the Internet would like to try to find some way to make some money just doing what they do everyday. There are many types of programs online right now that are supposed to allow you to do just that. Make money while online. You can take surveys, read emails, or use some type of program while you surf online. Over the years, I've tried them all. Since I'm online upwards of ten hours a day I figured I might as well try.

The question though is this. Do any of these programs ever really work? Some might, but you won't see any great amount of money from them. About a month ago, I found one such program called Surf Junky. The program sounded easy enough. You log in, and you let their browser window run in the background on your screen. If an ad pops up that interests you, you click on that website and you surf to it. For each hour you run the browser you earn 45 cents, and that amount goes up the longer you surf in the program. Sounds easy right?

In theory, yes. The program is fairly simple. I used the browser the last two weeks of March, and I built up about twenty-eight dollars in earnings. Twenty-five is the minimum you have to earn in any month to get paid, and payment is made either by check or through Paypal. When I saw I had earned enough by the end of the month, I was excited to get my payment.

However, this is when it became hard. After the month turned to April, I started having many problems with the program. The site wouldn't allow me to login, the browser wouldn't load, or the site wasn't available at all. I tried contacting the site several times through their contact page, and I never heard back once. The problems stopped for a few days, and then I wasn't able to login at all, and I was told my log in information was incorrect. I looked in the FAQ, and it said if this happened your account was probably suspended. Once again I tried contacting them, and I heard absolutely nothing. I decided to wait a few days, and see if my payment came through as scheduled on the 15th of the month. It never came, and I still can't login now.

The site gave me more headaches than it was worth. Their customer service is next to nil, and once again it shows you that you won't get rich with those pay to surf programs. I wasn't looking to get rich. If anything I probably figured I'd get forty to fifty dollars a month, and I'd refer a few friends and that might get me just a little bit more. Maybe enough to cover my Internet costs, and a DVD or two every month. Programs like this rarely works, and if they do they won't be around for very long.

EDIT - MAY 12th, 2005:
An update on my experience with surf junky. On May 8th, 2005, I received an email from Surf Junky saying my account had been reinstated following an error last month. A great number of accounts were deleted, and they only discovered this error with the help of its members. Yes, my account was deleted before I received the 28 dollars I had earned during the month of March.

I emailed them using their contact form asking about that money. Since it was an error on their part, and not my own I should receive the money coming to me. No response as of yet. Payouts are due by the 15th each month. Since that falls on a Sunday this month, I'll keep an eye on my paypal account on the 16th. I have a feeling I won't see a penny though. I did use the Junky browser for two days following the email, but as soon as I hit five dollars I started having trouble with it again. I guess the browser also does sense when a person can and will earn the 25 dollars needed per month.

14. What kind of books do I like to read?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Warm Cozy
Hmm, very interesting! You scored 133!
Well liked, and so well loved that the binding is worn through. Strong character is the driving force of the story and indeed what draws such high sales. A little suspense spices up a predictably happy ending, so you make for great reading on a rainy day in front of a roaring fire – very cozy indeed. People are known to pack you in with their luggage because they want a real treat while on holiday. A warm cozy is always good company.

Link: The What Kind Of Book Are You Test written by saucygirl on Ok Cupid

I found this quiz on another blog I was reading this morning, and I decided to take it real quick. I'm always reading. Reading and writing seem to go together hand in hand. A writer can't get by without reading. Reading to the writer becomes more than just reading, especially when the writer reads things in the genre they hope to pursue. You read to see what works and what doesn't. You read to see how other authors put things together.

Yesterday, I began reading White Oleander. I'm not even twenty pages in, and I'm already finding myself sucked into the story, even though I've seen the movie in the past. The book shows the reader so much more than the movie did. The movie is totally visual, and the book creates even more visuals with words instead, and those words are powerful and moving.

I love good reads. I love books in which you can lose yourself in for hours, and not even realize. I love all types of books, everything from suspense, horror and of course romance. As long as the book is well written and the story can indeed suck me in then I am willing to put in the time necessary in order to read.

13. The blogging generation

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I was talking to a friend of mine earlier tonight about the Internet and the people on it. On the one site I have my personal journal on to keep in touch with my online friends I'm one of the oldest members. Of course there are older, and when you think of it the age of twenty-nine is all that old. The journal site began as a site for role players, role playing something I have been known to do in the past because I see it as just another form of writing.

Since the site began as a place for role players to gather you have a considerable many members on the site under the age of eighteen, and more in their early twenties. I keep a journal on that site even now because I have formed friendships with many of the people on that site. However, the fact I have a journal there has offered me some criticism by the other members. I've heard the "You're too old. You need to get a life." I'm wondering if those that have said that to me even realize how many people keep online journals or blogs. People of all ages and ways of life are now starting to use blogs.

Blogs are becoming more and more used for everything. They can be used to share one's life with those they are friends and family with, they can express views of today's life and society. Almost any reason you can figure out in your head can find it way into a blog or online journal. More sites are now offering blogs or journals to their members. The most recent to jump into the blogging universe being Yahoo with their creation of their currently invite only Yahoo 360. MSN and AOL also have journal services available.

Journal or blog features may vary from site to site. On some sites you can lock them to control who sees the content, while others such as this site leaves blogs open to the public. If you can think of something you may want or need, the chance is you can find a site that offers that feature as part of its blog capabilities. There is also a difference in whether or not you have to pay for the blog as well.

The blog is the way of the future it seems. It shouldn't matter what your age is or what you do with your life. Blogs can be a form of expression, and for me as a writer it is an outlet to share things with the online world. I guess some people aren't able to see past their own lives and into the world around them. At least not yet. Everyone learns in time.

12. REVIEW: Key of Valor by Nora Roberts

Friday, April 15, 2005

Key of Valor by Nora Roberts is the third book in the exciting key trilogy. This series of books tell the story of three women chosen to release three demi goddesses that share their likeness. These demei goddesses have been locked in a a coma like state, soul less, for the last three thousand, and the only thing that can free them are a set of three keys that can only be opened by three chosen ones, one key for each woman chosen and for one woman locked in a dreamless sleep.

I had read the first book in trilogy, Key of Light, and when I saw the third available for sale in the bargain bin for my local bookstore, I grabbed it immediately. This last book in the trilogy follows Zoe, the last of the three women to go on her quest for the key. She's the one that shares the face of the warrior of the three sisters that are locked in stasis. Since she is the last to go, she faces far more problems than the previous two women. She also has a harder road because of her own past and insecurities.

In the end, the quest is successful. Of course, there is a happy ending, but the road is long to get there. I've read two of the three books in the trilogy, and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them, and I am considering picking up the second, Key of Knowledge, to read as well.

Nora Roberts is one of the most well known romance authors of our time. With millions of books sold and several titles in print, one can never really go wrong picking up one of her novels. The Key trilogy has the right amount of romance, love, inner turmoil, and outside action to keep someone thoroughly entertained and turning the pages.

11. Oh Britney!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

So the word is that Britney Spears is set to become a mother in the near future. This year she took in order to focus on her new marriage and possibly get pregnant. She has done both, and the announcement of her pregnancy seems to have turned the pop world on its head. Fans and friends of hers all have an opinion on whether or not this pregnancy is a good thing. They either show support or not. The fact of the matter of it is this though. Britney is a grown woman, married, and for what it is worth appears to be happy. Yes, that could be a facade, and totally fake, but for all intensive purposes Britney looks happy. She has found a man that she loves and has chosen to spend the rest of her life with.

People may entitled their opinion, but it is her life to lead. Not anyone elses. She has lived in the spotlight for the last seven years, and even before then as a member of the New Mickey Mouse Club. Her romance with Justin Timberlake was highly publicized, as was their eventual break-up. Each one pouring their feelings about the end of their relationship into a song. The pair broke up several years ago. Yet some say they are meant to be together and will eventually find their way back to each other. Who knows if that will happen?

No one can say anything about what will happen in the future because it is just that. The future. It hasn't been set yet. What happens in her life, my life, your life is up to us. No one else can control your life or hers. You're the one in control of your destiny. If Britney wants to get married, have baby, and never return to the world she has been a part of the last decade then so be it. That is her choice. She is allowed to make it. No one else can make it for her. Just like no one can make any choices for you. You're the only one that can do that.

10: REVIEW - Lost

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

If you're like myself and any number of people, perhaps even millions of people, Wednesday night has become the night where you find yourself plopping down in front of your television to watch the ABC television show, Lost. The show premiered this past fall, and it was the highest premiere debut for a show on ABC in nearly nine years. The show had been hyped long before the premiere. Information about the show and the cast was leaked online, and people latched onto each and every piece of information they could find.

Theories were made about what would happen on the show before it aired. Those theories were only fueled even more once the pilot aired officially. A version of the pilot had also been leaked online, and another version was shown in Hawaii on a big screen to thousands of people. Everyone has a theory or thought about the show. Those theories are either fueled more and changed as the season has progressed. Now the end of the first season is near, and much has happened.

Each and every week we are given a look at each of the different characters and their lives before the fateful plane crash that brought them onto the island. Each and every single person on that island had something in their past that they weren't totally happy with. That flight was either them running from something or running to something.

On the island, not one person is not important. Each of the main characters have something they can share with the rest of the island, and this is shown by the amount of time each character gets to develop their one story. If one character does not appear one week, you are sure to see the next episode. Each episode has been said to have a passage of two days, so we get to see the characters pretty much every day on the island the way it is.

This past week, the twentieth episode of the season, "Do no harm", played out, and it was the culmination of a season of waiting for those that watch the show on a weekly. Claire gave birth to her child, at the same as someone else on the island lost his life. This kept the balance of the number of the people the same. Since Claire's back story episode aired in December much speculation has surrounded her and her then unborn child. Now that the child has been born, things are now moving forward. So many of the theories have surrounded whether or not her son is the next coming of the anti-christ or something of that sort.

There is truly no telling what the producers have up their sleeve with this show. Predictable television fare it is definitely not. Lost was created by JJ Abrams. The man behind the popular ABC show, Alias, and past popular show, Felicity. Both shows doing quite well. Lost being another that has done well for him. The second season is already in the works, and the first season DVD is already set for release in September.

I am just one of the many that sits in front of my television weekly. I have my own thoughts about the show, but I'm not one of those fans that discusses each and every aspect of the show each week until I am blue in the face. I'm one of the ones that sits and watches and just allows things to happen as they happen. I don't go out to prove my theories with the rest of the Lost fandom, which has grown to be quite huge. Websites and communities for the show number in the hundreds. Their is fan fiction and places showing love for every actor and/or character on the show.

I was excited about the show before it even aired because from what I heard of the plot reminded me of a tape I received in the mail about a year to a a year and ago. This tape held a preview of a possible show being thought to be put into development. The show was basic and crude, but it gave you the basics. A plane crash on an island with a cast of people and the island isn't what it seems to be upon further inspection. Sound familiar anyone? I watched it with my family, and then called in and gave a short interview about what I liked and didn't like. I'm not positive, but I am pretty sure that session was for what has now become Lost.

I'm excited to see what happens the rest of this season, and the future seasons as well. The ride has been bumpy so far with a lot of twists and turns, but aren't those the best rides to have?

09: The Commonly Confused Words Test

Thursday, April 07, 2005

OKCupid! The Commonly Confused Words Test: "
You scored 85% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 60% Expert!

You have an extremely good understanding of beginner, intermediate, and advanced level commonly confused English words, getting at least 75% of each of these three levels' questions correct. This is an exceptional score. Remember, these are commonly confused English words, which means most people don't use them properly. You got an extremely respectable score.

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.

I found this quick test quite interesting. A friend of mine told me she was taking it, so I decided to try. As a writer, I was hoping to do well, and I did. The weird thing is, I thought I would do even better than I did. As high as my scores were, I'm sitting here wondering if I know as much as I think I do. A writer uses words on a daily basis. They are a part of the profession we've chosen to taken under. Of course, when one writes, it always goes underneath some amount of scrutiny by the publisher or editor before the words are shown to their world. However, the writer has to be responsible for knowing as much as they possibly can.

Writing and words is one of those things you are forever leaning about. Just like there are things in life you are constantly leaning about. The people in your life, the events that occur on a daily basis make life this continual learning process.

08: Thoughts on the L Word

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Two years ago, word was leaked out into the media about the creation of a Queer as Folk type show focusing on lesbians. The show was much hyped long before its premiere in early 2004. Queer as Folk changed the look of cable television with the showing of blatant gay male sex. It didn't hold back, and it brought gay men and their relationships to the forefront. With the creation of Queer as Folk, seeing gays interact in a romantic manner became more and more acceptable. Soon it was being seen not just on our cable networks, but on our regular stations during the nightly prime time hours. Even with this opening of the world for gay men, the television world was still a bit closed off when it came to lesbians, and the hope was that with the creation of a show that showed lesbian women, their relationships and their lives that things would open up in that respect.

The L Word premiered in early 2004, and the response to it was staggering. By the time the second episode aired, the show was already renewed for its second season, and film dates were being set. The show followed the lives of a group of lesbians living in the city of Los Angeles. Unlike the dark grittiness of Queer as Folk, you had sunshine and palm trees. The show didn't have your stereotypical lesbian. There were different types. A lesbian for everybody, so to speak.

The show began with the moving of one Jenny Schecter, a writer, to Los Angeles to live with her boyfriend. After a chance seeing of a woman couple having sex in the neighbor's pool, Jenny is intrigued. This becomes even more pronounced once she meets Marina at a party at the neighbor's house. Her world is rocked, and the rest of the season follows her trials and tribulations of having feelings for two people. One a man she is supposed to marry, and the other a woman, which opens questions of her sexuality. Is she bisexual or is she straight?

While all this is occurring, we meet other characters. The neighbors, Bette and Tina, are the longterm lesbian couple trying to have a baby. Shane is the one of the group that sleeps with anything and everything because love is a bitch and sex is just that, sex. You also have a tennis pro, Dana, who also comes out as lesbian during the process of the season, only after losing a relationship because of her closeted status. We also have another writer, Alice, who is also bisexual and can't decide between one or the other. The cast also includes Bette's sister, Kit.

Through the first season, we were twisted and turned as we watched what happened to the women we loved or hated live their lives out on the screen for us on a weekly basis. Everyone had their favorite or their most hated. In season one, the majority of the hate surrounded Jenny's character. Why couldn't she just make up her mind was the question everyone kept asking?

The season ended in April, and the word was that the show would not return to the following year for the next season. Yes about ten months of waiting to see what would happen next in the lives of the women we had grown to love and loved to watch on a weekly basis. However, anyone used to Showtime it wasn't unusual. The same type of scheduling had also occurred when it came to Queer as Folk.

Season 2 opened in February, and we picked up right where we left off, but the show was different. The look was different. You could tell more money was put into this show after the response it received in season one. It was even being touted as the new Sex & The City. Seven episodes in, and things have changed with the characters as well. Relationships and friendships have shifted, and it looks like Jenny has finally picked a side. Season 3 has been bought, and that will begin shooting in June 2005. With the season in progress, you get an episode every week filled with emotion and fun. Witty one liners are also par for the course. I for one am excited to see where the rest of the season goes, and I know I will be anxiously awaiting the start of season three sometime in early 2006.

07. Endlessly searching for an original sin

Monday, April 04, 2005

"At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don't keep people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That's how we're made. So, you can waste your life drawing lines. Or, you can live your life crossing them. But there are some lines that are way too dangerous to cross. Here's what I know. If you are willing to take the chance, the view from the other side is spectacular."

If anyone happened to catch tonight's episode of Grey's Anatomy, the quote above is the narration by the character Meredith Grey, who I am growing to love. I really think the show is quite good, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of it. My heart still belongs to ER, but I am at least opening myself to a new show. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Look who is talking? When am I not thinking? Anyone that knows me knows I am a thinker. I am lost in my head and my thoughts 90% of the time, and I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. More so than usual, and I'm really starting to put things into some type of perspective for me. Gina needs to stop living for other people, and start living for herself.

Yes, I just talked about myself in third person. Honestly, I sit here wondering if anyone understands the mindset I am currently in at the moment. I'm in a weird state of being because really when it comes right down to it at this time I am content with my life as it is. I had to take a giant step back in order to find what I needed to do for me, and now I am trying to figure out exactly how I go about doing that. I am tired of the drama on this online world. I want away from it, and I want to not have to deal with it. However, I don't want to leave the people here behind. Sometimes I say to myself that I do. I tell myself and perhaps even tell others I am done because I am done in a sense.

I'm tired of the constant battles I witness on a daily basis. Don't people realize that their is more to this world than this? Well, hello here is your wake up call. Open your eyes and smell the coffee. The world is not just here. It is away from here, and there is more than the words that are here on this screen. This is just font and letters put together. What I have to say in this journal really doesn't mean much because it just gives you one look at me and who I am. Do you really know who I am? You know who I let you see. There is more to me than this. There is more to me than the words that I place here in this white box.

It seems that no matter where you go, there is always a chance of someone causing you trouble in this online world. They feel that just because their is a computer screen in between the two of you they can't suffer any consequences for their actions or their words. No one can touch them just because they are just words on a screen. If only that were true. It doesn't matter if the interaction is through this medium or face to face. The words can still sting and hurt.

Life is messy. Things happen every single day. People die. People argue. People hurt. It doesn't matter, but when all of this happens just through this medium, the Internet. That is when you have to think about what happens. Why does it happen? Would it happen if the interaction was more face to face than computer to computer? More than likely not. It is a lot easier for people to fight dirty with words if they are face to face. Especially if they know that if things go to far their will be consequences.

There is just so much out there. Out in the world. Why fence yourself in to one place or way of life? Branch out and live more. Live and not just survive. There is a difference you know? Surviving day to day is when you just go through the motions because they are so ingrained in you. Living is when you go past those everyday things and do more, experience more, try more.

What do you do? Do you live or do you survive?

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