Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ahh - college...

Dara Marie, my darling college roomie from the U Dub insisted I watch this video and at nine minutes - this reminds me more of Madtown than I care to admit...Anyone else nostalgic for college once in a while (or every Friday night?) ;)


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Only Me...no seriously!

So I had this wonderful facial today in Brookfield. A hydrofacial by Taylor at L'Image. I left with my twenty-year old glowing face and a new serum that Taylor thought I might like. She asked me to "like" the salon on Facebook so that I might get some good deals in the future which of course, I did.

When I checked out their facebook page, I found a YouTube snippet on my new serum. Watch it if you want to wonder why things like this only happen to me - yeah, that's right, my new serum was developed from foreskin. I'll say it again, in case you missed it...foreskin.

Only me - time to wash my face and bring my skin to life with my new serum - good night all and tell me - anything you've ever bought, THEN found out what's in it?!?!?

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Favorite Sonnet

I've been reading a ton (instead of writing). Finished Open by Andre Agassi and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - loved both of them. But I always go back to my first great love, the words that I can't live without - William Shakespeare.

Here's my favorite sonnet:

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body's work's expired:
For then my thoughts--from far where I abide--
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.

What author has inspired you the most? Allowed your heart to open and fall in love with words?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Saying good-bye

I'm losing a best friend today. One that I haven't had in my life nearly long enough. My heart is breaking but God put him in my life for a reason and I know in my heart, someday we'll be together again.

My dog, Stogey is very sick...dying. He got his death sentence about two months ago at the vet, interstitial pleuritis, but then he rallied and gave me the best two months with him in my life. I cherish every day, every moment we've had together and I don't want things to change.

I hate change. Inevitable change.

I know people get way too attached to pets, knowing at the get-go that you'll have to let them go before you are ready, but we open our hearts, tears down our walls, and let them in anyway.

My tears may be less tomorrow but my heart will be just as heavy.

I mourn the loss of one of my best friends but thank God for giving him to me at all. I didn't deserve him. He blew my mind with his capacity to love.

Rest in peace Stogey...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Every Day Fiction book released!


Sweet!! My second short story has officially been published and is available from Amazon (and B&N) - they even offer it in hardcover. I'm super excited to see this particular story in print. It is a flash fiction piece about a hospice worker who longs to have one more chance to see her deceased husband. The story made this anthology because it was one of the top 100 stories as selected by Every Day Fiction last year.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zen

Wow - I finished the blog challenge - yeah me, during an especially interesting month at that. Here's one last video...some things are good enough to wrap up and put a bow on top. ;)

Y ask Why?



I'm really wishing I was at the beach right now. I miss the beach every day. Why?

Because here in reality, I sometimes over analyze my life and other people's lives. As a writer, I can't help but constantly try to figure out what makes people tick.

But once in a while, I need to quit asking why and just allow life to continue down its winding road. I need to take a step back, not question or intervene, and just let life play out.

What about you? Do you love trying to figure out what makes people tick? Then are you a back seat observer or do you throw yourself into the fray?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for X-ray Vision


I recently had a long discussion with my 8 and 6 year old at Perkins. We each had to choose 3 superpowers and then decide how we would use them for good/evil.

Mine:
1. Be able to fly (Dane Cook does a nice job explaining how EVERYONE wants that one) - thanks to A for reminding me of that bit.
2. Invisibility
3. Super strength (and the body to match)

My six year old daughter:
1. To have a magic unicorn that flies and can take her over the end of the rainbow so she can get gold to give it to the poor (awww)
2. The ability to be like a chameleon and hide in her surroundings so no one can see her.
3. She wants Wonder Woman's rope of truth (good one!)

My eight year old son:
1. To be a shapeshifter and be able to turn into any animal at will.
2. The ability to move through inanimate objects (walk through walls)
3. To have sticky hands so he can climb anything.

My mom wants super speed and the ability to heal and another friend wanted to be able to tele-transport themselves.

What super power would you want??

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for WIP

Just wondering how everyone is doing on their current WIP - I'd love to hear...

1. Are you writing feverishly every moment you get?
2. Are you spreading yourself too thin and not finding any time to work on it?
3. Are you in the horror that is the revising phase?
4. Is it spit polished and are you submitting it?
5. Is it "sitting under the bed" because you are afraid of success?

Let me know!

Happy Wednesday A to Z bloggers!

V is for Viagra

Ahh, Viagra. The ongoing pharmacy joke. I'm pretty sure none of you need "information" about it, so I'll give you my favorite Viagra story from the pharmacy.

I was still a pharmacy student and working hard to do the best consult with each patient that I could. I would diligently go over how to take their meds, what it was for, and what to expect.

A man came through drive thru for his Viagra. I came over with my pearly white lab coat and "pharmacy student" name tag and without any embarrassment, went through his whole Viagra consult.

The man listened and waited until I was done. Then he said he had taken the med before and was very concerned about one side effect and asked if I knew anything about it. He'd being experiencing a stiff neck.

I muted the microphone and went to my textbooks and references to look up the incidence of getting a stiff neck while taking Viagra. After several minutes, and on finding nothing, I looked around the pharmacy. Everyone was smirking at me. I went back and turned on the drive-through mic and the man was absolutely rolling laughing at me.

Ahh, I got it. "Stiff" neck - very funny.

The whole pharmacy thought so as well.

To be young and gullible again...at least I'm still blonde :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

This is for you U my followers :)






Welcome!!!


Today we are interviewing the model Jason Baca who has posed for the covers of many romance novels and is offering quite a deal for budding authors today!

1. Jason, if you weren't a model, what is your dream career?

Well actually, this is and was my dream to begin with. So if I wasn't this kind of model, then I'd be that kind of model. I remember watching a Calvin Klein jeans commercial on tv late one night and seeing the guy act a certain confident way and I would say that it was from that very moment that it was in my heart,in my eye and in my mind that I wanted nothing more, then to be that model.



2. Since being a model, do you find it easier or harder to get along with people, because in the back of your mind, you're wondering what they are really after?

There is a little of both. Some are standoffish toward me when they realize what I do but I spend maybe 5 or 10 minutes with them, talking to them and after that, they've completely changed their views about a model. I consider myself a very down to earth kinda guy. I don't have anything to prove to anyone out there.

3. What stereotype about models is completely wrong and you'd like to correct?

That all of us are perfect and friendly. I've run into a few that have rotten attitudes and think they are something but then when you take a close look at them its a different story. Or another is that all models have great bodies and are naturally like that. No, this is false! I have learned that in order to stay fit and youthful looking that I must live in a balanced diet. I must not let up on my rigorous workouts either. I know that if I'm working out hard, the next model may be working out twice as hard. I just have to keep coming back leaner. You can always look better, be thinner.

4. How long do you plan to stay in the industry and what are your long term goals/plans?

I plan to stay in the industry until I'm satisfied. I don't have a countdown time. It seems that lately my photo shoots keep turning out Better not Worse.



5. Tell us more about how you came into modeling and the book you wrote about it.

Well I was discovered by the photographer for the movie "I know what you did last summer" back in 1997. I was a double for one of the main actors in it. It turning out to be the break that I needed. I get into more detail in my second book titled Overexposed.



6. Tell us what way in your regular life you really are like the hero in an epic love story.

In my world, I am the hero. On the inside I am creative and always anxious to do the next big thing in the modeling world. I am a hero and celebrate with the rest of my fans inside my head. I do this because my friends and family are not into me modeling, they never have been. So it is very gratifying when someone comes along and is thrilled with something I did from modeling and yes , I do feel like their hero at that moment.



7. Tell us about your current offer of allowing writers to use your photos as cover art for novels for free until the end of May. That sounds like an amazing opportunity for new writers!

Ok yes, I actually have a site that the photos can be downloaded and used at - http://jasonaaronbaca.deviantart.com Between now and the end of May 2011 , graphic artist, comic artists, publishers & illustrators can use my photos for their covers. All I ask in return is that I and the photographers are credited and that I receive a link to the work. After May, my promotion will end and the details on cost are on the link above. My photos are good for any book cover except homosexual,bondage,or menage themes. I encourage artists to use my photos as they please.

Thanks Jason! Happy Monday everyone!

All photos used with permission copyright 2011 Jason Baca

Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Timberlake



Best line, "I'm gonna be the syrup,she can be the waffle." Susan Sarandon is so gorgeous!

S is for Slacker

So I totally missed blogging yesterday - I'm a total slacker! Did you ever have a week where you thought about everything EXCEPT writing - that was my week!

Nose back to the grindstone next week - I promise!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for Ridiculous

Here are a few more ridiculous questions from the pharmacy...

1. "Hi can drink on my medication? I'm only going to have a beer - that's not really alcohol."

2. "Why did the doctor tell me to buy athlete's foot/jock itch cream for my kids diaper rash?"

3. "No sir, your copay does not go directly in my pocket."

4. "No miss, your blood pressure medication aren't 'prn' (as needed) - how do you know exactly that your blood pressure 'feels good'?"

5. And drum roll please...We prefer we do not have you show us your rash so we can diagnose it. Please go see the dermatologist!

Happy Thursday A to Z bloggers!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Quandary

Do you have a person in your life who just likes to gripe? Complains about stuff but never ACTS to do something to change their situation?

These people always seem to want someone to listen to them drone on and on about their problems, but when you give them advice, it goes in one ear and out the other.

What kind of character are you writing about? One that acts to change their situation or one that complains and does nothing?

I bring up this point because I, myself am in a quandary right now. I could get lots of people's advice and do nothing or decide to act. Looks like when push comes to shove, I act...

Happy Thursday fellow bloggers!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for Pain

Sometimes you wonder why we blog...here's why:

http://tinyurl.com/3nzplm2

Sure I had other things planned to say today, but that can wait - send Jessica your love and prayers - she needs us.

Thanks to Sharlene T for sharing this on her own site...

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Oh My Gosh It's #themightydarinkennedy



Today we welcome Dr. Darin Kennedy on Quill or Pill. Darin is shopping his novel "Pawn's Gambit" and enjoying the success of having several short stories published. (Darin and I both have a horror short story in the Blood Bound Books anthology, "Seasons in the Abyss." )

1. Give us a short bio on where you are in your writing career.


The short answer is "in the editing phase." I have finished Pawn's Gambit (around 102,000 words), and am about halfway through the sequel. Also, I have started a couple other long projects and have two or three new short stories in the final edit phase so I can keep working on the short fiction side of my brain. As you no doubt understand, splitting time between my left brain (medicine) and my right brain (writing) can prove a bit challenging, and the day job unfortunately has to win (patients always come first). That being said, I have worked like a mad man sharpening Pawn's Gambit and I feel it's ready for prime time.

2. In your short story "Reaping", you speak as death. How does being a physician where you deal with life and death every day weigh into the choices of what kind of material you write?


The character in "Reaping" is a mysterious agent of "death" who encounters an old war vet and engages him in a surprisingly frank discussion about the end of life. I suspect my time as a military doc and the fact that I've taken care of a lot of veterans from the Middle East, Vietnam, Korea, WWII and even one from WWI when I was a med student influenced that decision. I deliberately don't write about the Army or about medicine per se, as I have done all that for real and like my writing to take me to a different place, but I am more than certain that a lot of my experiences, both medical and military, end up on the page.


3. When you began "The Pawn's Gambit", you were doing a miliatary tour in Iraq. Was that writing experience more organic than now, where you have Internet distractions such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogging?


Absolutely. I got more done in my last six months in Iraq than in a couple of years here stateside. I'm currently a full time physician who still eats and sleeps, so I get my writing done when I can. I spend every Wednesday night at the local twenty-four hour French bakery with my writer's clutch as we all work on our various projects.

Facebook and Twitter are definitely distracting. I truly envy the authors who can get up, write their 2000 words each morning, then go to lunch, surf the internet, tweet, update their status. It's another full time job that I have about 4-5 hours per night to do, plus weekends.


4. Are you a writer that thrives on experiencing life and then using those experiences to write? Or do you lead a calm life and is your imagination and writing your transport to feeling alive?


Honestly, I've had my fair share of excitement in life. In 2003, I was with the 101st Airborne during our invasion of Iraq as an Army Physician, and went through what I hope is the most challenging ten and a half months of my life. Finished up my time in the military in 2008, and have tried to keep it a little more calm since. I try and let my characters be the ones who get shot at these days.

5. What are your essentail writing tools? They say an ER doctor with no tools in the middle of nowhere might not have the skill set to be able to work...do you need certain things around you write well or can you improvise the skill set you need in any situation you're in?


As long as I've got my brain and my 15" MacBook Pro, I'm good to go. Sometimes I write at home, sometimes at Starbucks/Caribou/Amelie's, sometimes elsewhere. If it's too loud or I have to put my brain in it's happy place, put in the ear buds and crank up the iTunes - little classical for the slow scenes, John Williams for the action scenes - Raiders soundtrack, Duel of the Fates, anything without words works...

6. How you do feel that writing flash fiction/short stories has improved you as a writer? Would you suggest that first time novelists take some time to fine tune a few short pieces first and put them out there?


The big thing I learned is that I have the capability to write something that an editor will like and put between two covers. It's also helped me learn how to put a lot into 3-4,000 words and improved the whole "writing in scenes" thing. A couple of specific stories, such as "Bonds of Blood" and "Nightmare at 200 Feet" helped me with dialogue and suspense as well.

You can find out more about Darin at his website, which I frequently stalk :)
www.darinkennedy.com Thanks, Darin!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for Narnia



One of the best lines: "Don't want security to get suspicious
Mr. Pibb and Red Vines equals crazy delicious"

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Mayhem

This has been a crazy week. I'm still working a ton and becoming slightly obsessed with Skype. My husband says I'm easily distracted by anything shiny - and Skype is shiny right now!

The week in writing went okay - I wish I had more time! I'm working on two partial requests for an agent (yippie) that I hope to have done next week. Tomorrow is the monthly WisRWA meeting in Milwaukee which I always enjoy (see you there Rachel).

I'd also love it if you guys could lend some support to my friend Love Tucker, whose first flash fiction piece is up on my website Romance Flash today. If you leave a constructive comment on the story, you'll be entered in a chance to win a $5 gift certificate from Amazon (that's like 5 99cent ebooks!)

Thanks all and I'll have a funny video for tomorrow - promise :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Lipitor

Sorry to be posting so late in the day, but I'm excited to announce my two upcoming Monday interviews! On April 18th, I'll have Darin Kennedy, a sci-writer with multiple short stories published on my blog. You can find him on Twitter by my hashtag #themightydarinkennedy

Then on April 25th, I got my prized interview with model Jason Baca - hold on ladies - you'll like the photos!

So today I'll relate a few pharmacy tips on Liptor, which is a statin medication used to control high cholesterol.

1. Take Lipitor at bedtime because your body makes cholesterol while you sleep.
2. Report any muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness to your doctor. It can be a sign of a serious medical condition called rhabodomyolysis.
3. Keep your appointments for your lab work - the doctor is not only testing your cholesterol levels, but also checking your liver function tests. If there are any abnormalities, you might need to be removed from Lipitor or your statin.

Have a great Thursday!!!

**Disclaimer: These posts are for writing purposes ONLY and are NOT intended for medical treatment or advice**

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K for is Kitty

A lot of my friends call me Kitty--I had a lovely Grandma Kitty, she was an intelligent woman who connected with my grandfather late in life.

What kinds of ways do you/your characters connect with other?
Physically...
Intellectually...
Psychologically...
or
Emotionally?

How do you connect with your spouse? Friends? Parents? Kids?

Happy Wednesday A to Z Bloggers!




Copyright 2011 Jason Baca - Used with Permission
More of Jason's photos...

PS - Here's someone we all might want to connect with...Mr. Jason Baca - I'm working on getting an interview with him - I'll keep you posted :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Junkie

Well, everyone seemed to enjoy last Tuesday's post about pharmacy, so here's one more...

What we really want to say to "Junkies":

1. Really? Really? You're allergic to codeine and hydrocodone and the ONLY drug that works is brand name Oxycontin??
2. Is is necessary to stare at me continuously from the other side of the counter from the moment you drop off your Rx to the moment I put the good in your hands? Go shop around - I promise I'll page you when it's done.
3. You only need 3 tablets of Suboxone and you'll pay cash? Why, 'cause Friday it's game-on again?
4. No I don't believe you "dropped your pills in the toilet" "are leaving the country" or "we shorted you" - and NO I won't fill your pills early if you pay cash.
5. Really? You have no insurance, an out of town doctor and home address and have a stack of hundreds in your pocket, Mr. "I really have Medical Assistance and picked this up for a zero copay at another pharmacy three days ago" - yes ding dong - we check!
6. No, bringing your cute kids (or someone elses) along with you to pick up your Rx doesn't make you appear more likable.
7. And lastly - If you were just in a roll-over car crash and/or are having muscle spasms but don't need the ibuprofen the ER prescribed (JUST THE VICODIN) - why are you walking like pain in the last thing on your mind as you strut up to the pick-up window?

Happy Tuesday A to Z bloggers!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I for ME!

Here's an interview that was done on ME - haha from www.duotrope.com about the website I own called Romance Flash...

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: Romantic Flash Fiction


Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: Every Day Fiction, Short Story Me, and Blood Bound Books are some of our favorites.


Q: If you publish fiction, who are your favorite fiction writers? If you publish poetry, who are your favorite poets?

A: We enjoy JR Ward, Audrey Niffenegger, and JK Rowling.


Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: We cater to the aspiring and established author alike. The website was started to help authors gain exposure and feedback. Flash fiction is fun to write and quick to read. A talented writer can draw someone into their characters quickly and tell an entire story in 1000 words or less. We stand apart in that we cater to ONLY flash fiction and ONLY romance.


Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Please tell us an entire story with a beginning, middle, and end. Don't be afraid to "waste" a few words as set-up for the scene/story you are about to give us. We accept sweet to sensual and everything in-between.


Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: No two submissions are alike as no two romance readers are alike. What appeals to one person may not appeal to the next. We ask that you follow our submissions guidelines, give us an actual story, and have romance play a heavy hand in the story.


Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: We only want the information necessary to help YOU promote YOU (and an email address linked to your Paypal account for payment). If you have a website, blog, Twitter account, or new book/story to promote, give us that information so we can get it through to our readers.


Q: How much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?


A: When you are talking about a max of 1000 words, we definitely read the entire piece.


Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go though before it is accepted?


A: There has to be approval consensus from our editors.


Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: Absolutely essential! Social networking is the norm and we need to embrace it. We are early adopters of technology, so communication via email, keeping up our Facebook page, Twitter account, blog, and other social media are the best ways to promote the site.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for Goals

Yikes, I'm typing this from my phone as I sit in the airport so it will be short. My goal is to be a published author. Today i attended the writer' conference in madison and pitched to an agent. I helped a struggling lad practice his pitch and I'll tell you the top 5 things NOT to do during an agent pitch:

1. Say "Your eyes glazed over and now i can't remember what I was going to say next."
2. Say "I have lot of ideas but nothing is really done".
3. Stop talking altogether and give me a blank stare.
4. Do not delve into subplots about quantum physics, protons, electrons, and gamma rays.
5. Say "I used to be an actor in LA so i know how to pitch but now I install Dish Network."

I wonder how the guy's pitch went...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for fluoxetine

Yeah baby - the mighty Prozac (generic name fluoxetine).

We'll look at this like we are writing a character: If your character is depressed, they might have a change in appetite, sleep habits, decreased sex drive, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, slow thinking, or suicidal thoughts.

Here's the pharmacy low-down on Prozac...introduced in 1986 as the first SSRI (serotonic-selective reuptake inhibitor), Prozac, according to its website, has been a "catalyst in bringing attention to mental illness."

Fluoxetine is prescribed for everything from depression, to panic disorder, to bulemia, to OCD.

What you might not know:
1. It can take up to two months for the full effect of the medication to be reached.
2. It is not in an addictive category of medicine, but you should be weaned off this medication by your doctor.
3. It's used in children for depression and OCD down to age seven.
4. It's most common side effects are nausea, headache, trouble sleeping, decreased libido, appetite changes, and/or constipation/diarrhea.

Does your character need Prozac?

Disclaimer: These posts are for writing purposes ONLY and are NOT intended for medical treatment or advice.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Experience

Lately, I've been thinking about how much I love to experience life. I'm not one of those people content with waking up, going to work, coming home, laundry, clean the house, news, bed. Are you?

I need to feel like I'm alive. I've been hang gliding, zip lining, jumped out of a plane, visited seedy salsa clubs to dance (mainly with old Hispanic men who like blond hair), gone parasailing, target practice...I could go on.

I don't want life to pass me by. I want to experience it and hence I'm usually looking for that next rush.

What's your rush to experience life? What do you do to know you're alive?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Drugs

Do you want to know a few things pharmacists are surprised the general public doesn't know?

1. Unisom is really just Tylenol and Benadryl - buy them separately - it's cheaper!
2. Yes "new mother", you can give your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen with the antibiotic I dispensed two hours ago.
3. There is a pill (my pharmacy sells Floragen)wherein one capsule contains the good bacteria from 10 cups of yogurt. It works magic.
4. No there are no oral antibiotics available over the counter for your sinus or ear infection - you must go to an actual doctor!
5. No, you cannot spread your vaginal jelly on toast.
6. Yes, that is a drug tablet in your poop and No, your body didn't forget about it. The drug was released by a tiny hole in the capsule.
7. Yes, it really takes fifteen minutes to get your prescription ready even though we only have to "slap a label on it." We are not McDonalds, we are making sure you don't die or overdose or get the wrong drug. We like you!

****

Disclaimer: These posts are for writing purposes ONLY and are NOT intended for medical treatment or advice.

Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Computers

Good morning A to Z bloggers and everyone else! Today we are lucky enough to interview a website designer who is both affordable and well-skilled. Betty Pries of Lakeview Business Consultants (www.lakeviewconsultant.com) has joined us to discuss ways to make your own website shine. I have personally used Betty to design Romance Flash (www.romanceflash.com) and am almost loathe to give away my secret weapon to success!

1. First off, tell us how you came to start designing websites.

I designed my first web site back in 1999 for a local church. They wanted a simple web presence so I picked up Microsoft FrontPage, bought one of those big “How To Use FrontPage” books and started at it. I gave them what they asked for, “a simple web presence.” But for me, it was the beginning of hobby which has now turned into a small business. It’s fun for me, because the learning never stops. Web site development tools keep advancing to new levels almost on a daily basis.

2. What are some questions you would ask specifically, an author before working with them on a web site.

There are a lot of questions to ask up front: Why do you want a website? What are the goals of your new website? Do you have any marketing tools already in place, such as a branded name, logo, and color scheme? Who do you want to target with your web presence? You see, the final product should visually reflect the content of the site. The choices in color, font, pictures and style need to come together and complement the content of the site. Let’s compare two sites, www.romanceflash.com and www.campbasic.com. Romanceflash was designed to give the visual effect of romance and maybe even passion, so that as you read the stories on romanceflash you are visually in tune with what you are reading. Campbasic was designed to motivate people to want to get out into the woods and enjoy a week of camping with some special people. If romanceflash looked like the campbasic site, or if the campbasic site looked like the romanceflash site . . . well that would just be wrong. There are certainly more questions to ask about the mechanics of the site relating to any special features and special functions specific to your site. Those questions are important, but they seem to pop up as the site is being developed and reviewed by the customer.

3. If you compare and contrast Betty's work for me on Romance Flash and the website I created myself (www.katheejantzi.com) - what areas do you see where you can take a website someone set up for themselves and really take it to the next level. (Side note: - which I will have Betty do, the INSTANT I get my first book sale.)

The website: www.katheejantzi.com is a nice simple site. It serves its purpose and even looks better than those sites I used to make eight years ago using FrontPage. When you work with someone who has been building sites for a while, someone who is staying on top of the latest tools and trends, customers get to tap into that experience and expertise. Every month, I pick up new ideas and learn new ways to help customers achieve their goals with their web sites. For me it’s easy to look at a simple site and come up with a list of fun, eye-catching, pop-out-at-you features that someone not in this industry might not have thought about. Or maybe they thought about it but didn’t quite know how to achieve it.

4. What kinds of packages do you offer for people wanting to build or redesign their websites.
Hosting

Design

Maintenance

Domain Name

Logo Design

Every package comes with built in Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Friendly URLs, and regular backups, just in case a server crashes.

There are more specifics at my web site: www.lakeviewconsultant.com and I am always running specials and willing to help out not-for-profits!

5. What's the best way to drive traffic to a website and how do you help with that?

This is not an easy question to answer, because Search Engine Optimization is an ever changing field of study in and of itself. Because there are millions of websites on the internet, people use search engines to find what they are looking for. Today the top three search engines out there are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. There are many others as well. On a regular basis, these complex engines continue to change the way they produce their search results. And so a lot of work and thought has to go into the design of a website in order to make the search engines happy. And even then, for some sites in some areas of interest, it can be easy to achieve great search results. But in other fields of interest, it is an extremely competitive market, and it can be difficult to get listed toward the top of a Google search. And so I use a variety of SEO strategies, and we are always looking for more opportunities to get other websites to add a link to your site.

6. What part of designing a website the most time-consuming for you to work on?

I’m not sure what takes the most time. There is the time with the customer, learning what the customer wants and needs. Then there is the initial set up time, about 6 hours to start from scratch, register a domain name, set up the hosting account and get a basic design up and running. It can take another 6 to 10 hours to add all of the special features a customer might want on a site, and to make sure they are operating correctly. Sometimes a customer might want a feature or two I have never used on a site, so there might be a couple hours here and there to further my education. Then there is content. I sometimes spend a lot of time waiting for the customer to supply content and pictures for a site. I will even come out and take some pictures for the customer, if they so desire. After the site is about finished, I enlist a couple of trusted grammar experts to check over my work. After you add it all up, there is a lot of time involved. If I break the time into areas of work, there are usually five separate ones used for each site, and each type can take from 3 to 10 hours of work. When a section is complete, a customer might want to change something or add something (you know what I mean, right Kathee J). I try my very best to give my customer what he or she wants.

7. What kind of support do you offer after you've finished working with a client and are they able to update content on the sites themselves, or must they contact you for any changes?

All of the websites I create can be edited on any computer connected to the internet. I am happy to teach my customers how to edit and modify, add or change content, and so forth. I will support any feature that I installed on your site, period. If something stops working, just send me an e-mail of your problem, and I will try to get the issue resolved as soon as I possibly can. Sometime the fix takes only a matter of seconds. Sometimes it requires a little bit of thought or reading figuring it out. I want your site to work and I want you to be happy with your site and its features. That is very important to me. Now, let’s say you want me to make a bunch of changes to your site, in that case I will do the work for an hourly rate of $35 per hour or blocks of time may be purchased at special rates. I am easy to work with and I will support you and your site as best as I am able. I want you to be satisfied.

8. Any other special offers today for my blog readers or plugs you'd like to make?

If you contact me for a quote, (bettyprieslbc@gmail.com) just mention that you read about me on Kathee’s Blog and I will give you 20% off my advertised rates. This Spring I am offer one year of free hosting, that’s a savings of $100. What that means for you is web site hosting for a year and a basic site for $600. My specials are always changing and are listed on my web site as well.

Friday, April 1, 2011

B is for Buble :)

Fun Video Saturday - I'm an SNL addict - here you go!



Best line is "His eyes went black and he slapped my face."

See everyone Monday! I have a great interview with a web designer all ready to go...

A is for AIM





Helloooooooooo A to Z bloggers!! See what I was up to this morning? Heck yeah, - now that's the way to spend a rainy Friday morning. I shot a 357 and a 44 magnum as well as a .32 and .22 semiauto. I was stoked to finally shoot a gun my great-uncle pulled off the enemy in WWII - see above - isn't it sweet?



So, on Friday's I'll usually post about all the wonderful writing I got done this week, but honestly, this week sucked. My friend and coworker had their two year old son diagnosed with stage 3 hepatoblastoma. This is my first day off.

I'm praying like mad for this little guy and hope to get more writing done next week. Love to all!

Kitty

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Free Query Critique

Hello all!

As I continue to gear up for the A to Z Challenge, I'd like to give you an amazing opportunity to have you query letter placed on my blog and critiqued by the infamous "Kimmy" of Query Tracker fame. If you are on query tracker and/or have ever visited their forum, you know she is a pro. She writes YA, but can do amazing wonders with any query.

I got my first requests for partials and fulls after Kimmy's help. So if you'd like your query spit polished by someone amazing, email me at jantzidk@msn.com and I'll get it to Kimmy. If I get enough takers, we will do query critique on every Tuesday for the month of April.

C'mon - what do you have to lose?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gearing Up for April!

Wow - I'm really getting excited to gear up for this blog challenge in April - blogging every day except Sundays. Here's my tentative schedule:

Mondays: interviews
Tuesdays: pharmacy news and tidbits
Wednesday: my thoughts for the week - you'll get to know my personality, quirks and all
Thursday: Drug of the week - I'll pick a drug and go over how it works/side effects/drug interactions
Friday: I'll update you on my week in writing
Saturdays: funny video (likely a lot of SNL, haha)

Whew - I can do it!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Interview with Joe Fraser:WisRWA Fab 5 Coordinator

1. Today I'm interviewing Joe Fraser. Joe is the coordinator of the annual Fab 5 contest for the Wisconsin Romance Writer's of America. Tell us a little more about the contest.

The FabFive contest provides detailed critiques to emerging writers and an opportunity for the best of them to have their work reviewed by industry professionals. Our contest is open to unpublished Romance writers. We evaluate the opening 2,500 words of each contestant’s novel in process. A contestant can enter more than one project and choose among seven categories: Historical, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense, Series Contemporary (long and short), Single Title, Women’s Fiction, and Young Adult.

Each entry is scored in the opening round by three trained judges. The top five entries then go to an industry professional (either a literary agent or an acquisition editor of a major publishing house) to determine the winner and final rankings. These professionals often request either partial or full manuscripts from the highest-ranked contestants.

Our contest accepts entries from January 1 through March 1 each year. Finalists are announced in April, and the winners are announced in the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Conference in May or June. Additional contest details are provided in our website: http://www.wisrwa.org/

2. Why should writers enter contests? Most already have critique partners, so what is gained by putting your work on display or other writers, some of whom are unpublished.

A writer can never get enough critiques. I work with multiple critique partners, and I’ve never received anything back that didn’t have at least one thing the other partners missed. In addition, contest judges critique anonymously and may be more honest than partners who know you. Finally, while many of our contest judges are unpublished, they’re all well-trained, and we strive to assign at least one published writer to each entry.

In addition to the value of preliminary round critiques, The FabFive presents an opportunity for a writer to obtain an evaluation (and perhaps a request!) from an industry professional. Our finalists learn from an expert the improvements their projects need to become publishable.

3. If a contestant finals or wins their category, then what? Is that something an agent or editor would be interested in the manuscript is being queried?

If a contestant finishes in the top five of a category, the final round agent or editor might ask for more material. Many writers enter RWA chapter contests, including FabFive, to avoid query slush piles and fast track their work to an industry professional’s desk.

In addition to this opportunity, we’ll publish the names of all finalists and the titles of their projects in a late-summer or fall issue of RWR.

4. What have you learned about writers by coordinating this contest?

I’ve learned that many talented writers have easily-correctible flaws in specific areas such as style, characterization, hooks, and plotting. Our FabFive judges take pride in the ability to identify these weaknesses. We’ve had contestants perform poorly in a contest one year and come back the next year writing like rock stars. Some have become published as a result of the improvements they’ve made.

On a personal level, I’ve learned that writers are wonderful people. I’ve made many friends whom I met online in my role as a contest coordinator.

5. We hear there are a record number of submissions in each category this year. What does that mean for emerging writers besides more competition?

The fact we’re enjoying record numbers while some other chapter contests have struggled should tell emerging writers we’re the contest to enter for the best critiques and most attractive final round judges. We’ve also kept our fees low, and we’re one of the most affordable contests in the RWA.

6. The 2011 contest is closed to entries now. What’s in store for next year?

We’re considering the possibility of adding an eighth category – Erotic Romance. Also, we may make our category entry count ceilings more flexible (currently set at thirty) so late entrants to a popular category won’t be turned away.

7. Will you have enough judges for that?

While we have an adequate pool of judges even for expansion of our contest, we’re always looking for more. If anyone has an interest in serving as a judge for one of the best RWA chapter contests, contact me at jfraser6353@yahoo.com.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Brian Regan makes me laugh :)



OMG - this guy kills me. I have an eye appointment coming up and had to watch this again - for anyone with bad vision - enjoy!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blood Bound Books releases Season in the Abyss!

Cool - my horror short story, featured in the Fall section of Seasons of the Abyss (published by Blood Bound Books) has been released! Paradise Road is a flash fiction piece about the haunted section of road outside of Jefferson, Wisconsin...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Marriage of Broadway and Saturday Night Live

I just saw "Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf?" at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. Carrie Coon (Honey) is an APT alum and the reason I saw the show--she was amazing, it's going to be her breakout role. Madison Dirks was Nick, Amy Morton was Martha and Tracy Letts was the scene stealer as George. Turns out Tracy got a Tony and Pulitzer for his play, Superior Donuts. Here's a You Tube clip promo that is a bit of Andy Samberg and J.T., don't ya think??

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Anthology Cover Art



I'm so excited to share the awesome new cover art from Gary McCluskey for the anthology book that I will have a short story featured in. Isn't it cool?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who do you do for YOU??

Uh, I'm not exactly the best person to ask, but make of list of five things you do JUST for yourself...

For me:
1. Nails
2. Massage (got first one today in two years and it rocked - what have I been waiting for?)
3. Read on my beloved Kindle
4. Buy wine (never know when you'll want a glass while sitting by the fire)
5. Brazilian Blowout (I'm sold, my hair is stick straight and I LOVE it!)

How about you?

Here's a funny massage video - enjoy!