Friday, December 26, 2014

Get the facts on upcoming Facebook and Twitter changes

The following post, at the link below:
http://thewriteconversation.blogspot.com/2014/12/social-media-mondayhow-facebook-changes.html

is full of misinformation.  The author of that post gives no links to back up the
wild claims that facebook is getting ready to start charging page owners for posts that seem to be an ad.

A quote from the post:
In 2015, they are about to charge businesses a monthly fee to advertise on Facebook through business pages.
When I first ran across this post about a couple of weeks ago, I then researched it.  Unlike many others, I did not wildly start panicking and sharing the post.  I headed to google and did some solid research.  Something the author of the above mentioned post obviously did not do.  

To get some real information, please refer to the following links.  Quotes from said link appear below the link:

My first link, to a post from facebook itself:
One of the main reasons people come to Facebook is to see what’s happening in their News Feeds. Our goal with News Feed has always been to show people the things they want to see. When people see content that’s relevant to them, they’re more likely to be engaged with News Feed, including stories from businesses.
That’s why we often look to people on Facebook to tell us how we can improve. As part of an ongoing survey, we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-facebook-rules-will-sting-entrepreneurs-1417133694
The change will make it more difficult for entrepreneurs like Ms. Bossie, the founder of four-year-old Earthegy, to reach fans of their Facebook pages with marketing posts that aren’t paid advertising.
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/11/how-facebooks-changes-in-paid-advertising-will-affect-your-marketing-efforts-draft.html
Facebook executives drew a line in the proverbial sand on Friday when they announced their plans to restructure the way posts placed by brands appear in newsfeeds. As if it hasn't been hard enough to gain organic reach, Facebook has essentially closed the door on anything other than paid advertising. Starting in January, as Facebook told marketers, if you want to reach customers on Facebook, you'll need to buy an ad. This change could arguably be long overdue for commercial brands raking in revenue at minimal advertising cost, but if you're a band on a budget or a musician trying to jumpstart a career, and you plan on using Facebook to reach your fans, it looks like you'll need to adjust your finances accordingly. 
http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-facebook-news-feed-unpaid-ads-20141114-story.html
The latest change made to Facebook’s News Feed comes not off the back of complaints about paid advertising, but off page posts that “feel too promotional,” according to an update on the Facebook blog.
The change, which was made in response to survey data, aims to reduce the number of unpaid promotional posts users see in their feed. Facebook said this will not increase the number of paid ads users see when they log into Facebook; it will just show fewer promotional posts.
And this last link, from Forbes, contains the best info of all:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/12/09/recent-facebook-and-twitter-changes-that-affect-marketers/
There’ve been some significant shake-ups at Facebook and Twitter recently; in this article, I’ll outline some of the most significant changes business owners and marketers can expect to see in the coming months.
Facebook: No More Promotional Posts
Many marketers already take advantage of Facebook’s promoted posts as a way to get content in front of more fans. However, Facebook recently made an announcement about reducing overly promotional posts in users’ newsfeeds.
This change applies to organic posts from your Page – not to paid promoted posts. Facebook has said they’re cracking down on posts that are “too promotional”, meaning:
Posts that push people to buy a product or app
Posts that push people to enter a contest without context
Posts that reuse ad content
In other words, if you’re used to pushing your products or services on Facebook, now’s a good time to stop. According to the announcement, the goal is to limit the amount of promotional content users see in their feeds; except ads will continue to be shown, of course.
What This Means for Business Owners: Continue to ensure that the majority of what you post on Facebook is non-promotional in nature. When you do want to promote a product, contest or sale, try to use language that isn’t overtly ‘salesly’.
Twitter: Filtered Feed May Be Coming Soon
If you thought Facebook was the only network with a filtered feed, think again. According to a recent Wall Street Journal post, it sounds like a filtered stream on Twitter is in the works.
And here is the link to the Wall Street Journal post mentioned above:
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/09/03/twitters-product-checklist-better-search-and-group-chats/
An algorithm-driven content feed. A souped-up search engine. Group chatting.
These appear to be among Twitter’s priorities to make its service more relevant and easier to use, an issue that has plagued the company ever since its IPO last year.
 What this change really means is that you'll have to work a bit harder to get your page posts noticed. But the whole goal of a page is to get people coming
** to the page. ** 

If people come to your page, this won't matter diddly. What does build a page is the same thing that builds a blog -- sharing content on a regular basis -- It's not something that happens overnight. It takes time and dedicated work. But it's doable.

Anyone who gives you the idea that you're going to be charged for just having a page, or that Facebook is going to become a page nazi and start charging you for any page posts that seem like an ad -- all that is just so much nonsense.

Some of pages 'free ride' on facebook, with ads disguised as posts, those posts will have restricted presence as far as showing up in people's newsfeed.  Facebook has recently instituted changes to the home page newsfeed that give users greater control in making sure that what shows up in their newsfeed is stuff that they're interested in.  I know this for a fact because I've been using these new controls to tweak my own newsfeed for a couple of months now.  Some advertisers, even their paid ads won't show up in my newsfeed because I have blocked them from my newsfeed.

What amazes me is how people have read this one post, and instead of doing some research like I have done, they panicked and started sharing the post willy-nilly.  As you can tell from above, what I say is backed up by personal experience and posts from solid sources.  Hope this post helps everyone out in understanding things better.
--jd--

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Are we really free?

Tonight finds me feeling very sad and discouraged and upset.  We are supposed to live in a free country here in the USA, but we don't.  The freedom that we feel we have is only an illusion.  You have that freedom only as long as you don't cross the wrong people.

I've taken to my blog, because over the past year, and very recently, over the past few months, I've learned that you aren't free to say what you want.  Especially on facebook.  And just tonight, I had an up-close and personal experience with 'we didn't like what you posted'.  I've never before felt harassed and intimidated in my own home before, but I felt that tonight.  It's a very disappointing and discouraging feeling.  Especially considering that I had an ancestor who fought in the revolutionary war, for the founding of this nation.

Over the past year, I've deleted posts off my facebook timeline because of the hassle that arose from a simple post.  I've had to unfriend and block people, because they got mad that I deleted their comments off of my posts on my timeline.  Tonight I deleted several posts because the result of those posts was rather unpleasant.

I've learned to fear speaking my own mind.  On my blog, on my pages, in facebook groups, on my own facebook timeline.  What kind of world have we created?  When people fear sharing their thoughts and opinions in what is supposed to be the freest nation on earth?

We have a president who has just recently taken dictator-like actions in order to ensure that his immigration policies are turned into law.  We have a government that does it's own thing with little regard for the people it is supposed to serve.  And perhaps that is where the problem lies?  Has our government forgotten that it is there to serve the people?  Each and every person, and not just the majority of people?  Or certain interest groups.  Or big campaign contributors.

Is this where our government has become corrupted?  Does it now serve only certain people?  Cater to certain interest groups?

We have a society of people who feel they are entitled to a wide range of things, including the right to harass another person if they feel like it.  Bullying, both online and offline, has grown to an enormous problem; with the harassed people sometimes sadly resorting to suicide to escape the torment.  And that is sad beyond words.

Even as I write this blog post, I already fear what possible, unforeseen repercussions might spring up from my writing and posting it.

I've learned the value of doing what my many friends do, and not making all posts public.  I've learned that many things I have to say, I'm maybe best off to just say them in my own journal, that is just for me and no one else.

I've learned to fear . . .
fear what may arise from the words I want to share.

I've learned to just shut up and not say anything . . . 
because saying something may bring unpleasantness, and it's just simpler to keep my mouth shut and not say anything at all.

I've learned deep and abiding sadness . . . 
sadness over the state of our world now, and the insensitivity and/or inconsiderateness and/or thoughtlessness of people in general.

I long ago learned not to trust . . . 
and to be suspicious.

We live in a day and age where we are more technologically advanced than in any other.  But our ability to communicate with one another effectively seems to diminish on a daily basis.  We are losing our ability to understand one another, to care for our fellow man.

We know more about people all over the world, now more than ever, and can communicate easily with someone on the other side of the world.  But we have less and less sympathy and compassion for other people all the time.

The people of this world routinely play violent video games where the point of the game is to kill people.  But when a shooting occurs in a school, we call for the ban of real guns; while ignoring the influence of the fake guns and the violence in these video games.

I don't like the way I feel tonight, and there is a deep and abiding sadness residing in my soul;  as if something precious and irretrievable has died tonight.  Is dying in our world.  I do not care to think of what the future holds.  I will only strive to deal with the moment, focus on our own needs; while keeping my own counsel as much as possible, and being cautious about . . . . everything.
-- jd --

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Writer tip - who's and whose

I do editing,
plus, I'm an avid reader once again, now that I've discovered ebooks and have my kindle.

I also have awesomely accurate spelling skills.  It was one of my fave things from grade school.

Besides all that, I'm a business college graduate who worked as a bookkeeper and legal secretary.

And, I'm a perfectionist.

So word errors really bug me.  I love it that you can now edit posts on facebook, and other places as well.  I can't stand an error in anything I've written.

Soooo, having said all that, this is the first of what will probably become a series of sharing word and spelling foo-pahs that I notice people using.

These posts are created with the intent of hopefully educating people in a better use of language.  With the internet today, and the awesome search engines that exist, there is no excuse for ignorance.  Computer and internet access can be found now days at any library, even in the small towns.  I know.  I live in a small town and my first internet experiences was at our local library.

Note - you can check the spelling and/or definition of any word by simply typing in:

define (your word)

Then hit return.  For example, here are my word lessons for today:

Please note everyone -
who's
means who is.

It is not the possessive form of who.

It also means -
who has.








While on the other hand, for the possessive form of who, you would want to use:

whose

This is the word you use for the possessive form of who.








And that's your word lesson for today.  Screenshots courtesy clipping from a google search.

If you liked it, share it.  Comment that you liked it.

Feel free to comment and suggest other words that you would like me to feature.

Thanks,
Jacqueline

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My response to Bestseller Labs 10 key questions

So here's the link to Bestseller Labs article:
10 Key Questions That Can Determine Your Success As A Writer

And here's my answers to those 10 questions:

1. Do you employ the potency of your TRUE self?
Yes, I do.  One thing I've been faithful to is showing the real me to the world.

2. Are you writing for a particular genre because it’s popular?
No, I'm not.  I write the genre I love the most.

3. Do you stick to a schedule? (Be honest.)
No, not really.  I'm still working on that one.

4. Are you afraid of being judged?
No.  I got over that one years and years ago.  If they don't like me, my writing, I'll deal with that.  I'm not doing this to be popular.  I'm doing it because it's something I've always wanted, and I'm pursuing it full force.

5. Do you edit as you write?
Hmmm, not really.  When the words are flowing, I just go with it.

6. Do you use a professional editor?
I am a professional editor.  But before I publish my book someday, I will have others give it the once over.  I value editors and proofreaders and know their importance in the process.

7. Do you write for a specific, easily identifiable genre?
Yep, I sure do -- science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal.  All my book ideas fall into one of those 3 genres.

8. Are you hoping for a bestseller with your first book?
Of course I'm hoping for that.  I'd be an idiot with a severe lack of confidence in my own talents to not hope for that.  I'm also realistic too.  Which is why I'm expending this pre-publishing time in promoting me, the writer.

9. Are you planning to just write and leave everything else to a publisher?
Nope.  Refer to above answers.  I'm already promoting me the writer.

10. Do you know WHY you are writing?
Yes, it's part of who I've been since high school.  It's what I've wanted to do since 1979.  And I'm participating in it more now than ever before.  Writing is how I express myself the best.  For the me, the words just flow - from my brain to my fingers, onto the paper, then out to the world.

So, I've answered the questions honestly, as I read them.  And I think I fared pretty good.  I think I have a good likelihood of succeeding.  I know I'm going to give it my best try.  

I've wanted this since 1979.  I'm not a green kid.  I'm a mature, experienced woman who knows what she wants and is going after it with gusto.  I'm at a point in my life where I can pour my all into it, and I am.  

Thanks Jonathan for the questions!  
-- jd -- 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Amazon, and Hachette, and me, and my dream

The news has been full of the Hachette vs. Amazon dispute that is going on.  I could share the links, but hey, just google them.  I will share one though, that I got just today:
A Message from the Amazon Books Team
If you've read this, then you know about the email they're asking people to send.
Here's mine.  And yes, comments for this particular post are turned off.  Considering the controversy going on surrounding this, I thought this was a wise move for my own sanity and peace of mind.

<<<<<<<>>>>>>>

Dear Mr. Pietsch:

I’ve been reading for a while about this controversy going on between you (meaning Hachette), and Amazon.  It interests me greatly.  And I am firmly on Amazon’s side in this.  Let me tell you why, and I do hope you will take the time to read this.

Back in 1979, I graduated high school wanting, more than anything else, to be a writer.  But publishing was a whole different world back then.  Back then, in 1979, if you wanted to get into writing for a career, you had to go to college and get a degree to start off with.  No one in the publishing industry would even give you the time of day unless you had a degree.  And I was from a small town.  A very small town, of around 6,000 people; and you aren’t going to find many writing opportunities there in that small town.  Unless you write for the local weekly paper or something like that.

So I faced reality, heeded the advice of my mom, and relegated my writing to mainly a hobby status; figuring I would never achieve my dream of being a published writer.  That was the writing and publishing world back then, in the late 20th century.  Internet and desktop computers were infants back then.  When I graduated business college back in the mid 1980s, they were only just beginning to teach about desktop computers.  That was the world then.

But then time passed, computers and the internet matured, and came into their own.  The bubble popped, the year 2000 came, and a new century arrived.  And this new century brought with it a great change in the publishing world.  Instead of getting their news from paper newspapers, people started getting their news online, on the internet.  And physical, paper newspapers started struggling.

The paperless revolution was beginning.  But did you folks in the publishing industry take a hint?  Get a clue as to what was coming?  Try to get ahead of the curve in some way?  Try to keep up with the times?  No, you didn’t.  You just stuck your collective publishing heads in the sand, and tried to keep the good old boy publishing ways the same.

Amazon has been innovative, and groundbreaking, and has paved the way for writers to be published.  Yes, writers have to do their own editing, and formatting, and cover work, and marketing; but they’re getting better at it every day.  Amazon took a clue, is working all the time on keeping up with the times, is always trying to get ahead of the curve.  Their kindle paperwhite ereaders are wonderful!

As a small kid, a teenager, and a young adult, I was a voracious reader.  But somewhere along my path through adulthood, I got away from reading.  It wasn’t until I downloaded their free kindle app for pc’s that I got back into reading again.  Now thanks to an event I did last year, and the help from some of my Indie writer friends, I have a paperwhite that is my constant buddy.

Now, once again, I’m always reading something.

Back sometime in 2011-2012, I was checking out all the great opportunities that writers today had available to them, and I was feeling envious; wishing that I would have had all this when I graduated high school back in 1979.  But as I’ve said before, it was a totally different world then.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped feeling cheated and envious, and started taking advantage of the opportunities that are out there.  I set up some blogs and some facebook pages.  Then I got started doing book reviews.  And pretty much every book I’ve reviewed has come from either a small publisher or an Indie author.  You big publishing houses, you’ve never made it into my review blog yet.
It’s not that you’re not welcome.  It’s just that you’ve never asked.  And the Indie authors, they’re writing some great books, and I am covered up in review requests.  I truly have a great choice in reading material.  Feel free to check out my blog:  http://jdslzone.blogspot.com/
I’d be more than glad to review your author’s books, if they’re in a genre I read and it sounded interesting to me; but you’d have to get in line, as I do have a list.

So now I’m finally able to pursue my high school dream, and am achieving it, and I’m having a ball doing it.  Yeah, there have been some unpleasant moments, but I’m not stopping because of those.

Don’t worry, when my book is finished, I won’t come knocking on your door; nor the door of any of the big publishing houses.  You all kept me locked out of my dream for too many years.  I didn’t have an agent then, and I still don’t.  Thing is, now, thanks to people like Amazon and Smashwords and self-publishing, I don’t need an agent to write and publish my book.

I don’t need you.

So yeah, in an argument, a war, between you and Amazon, I’ll take Amazon’s side any day of the week.

I’ll certainly never take your side.

Most people think this whole thing is about a contract between 2 companies, a financial agreement.  But it’s more than that.  I finally just figured that out in the last day or so.

I had commented in a couple of places online on articles about this whole mess.  I’ve been reading the articles on this for a good bit now.  One place, I got kicked out of a group over what I shared.  Another place, some guy decided to pick me to rag on, for no good reason whatsoever.

Then it hit me how this whole thing between you and Amazon has polarized the publishing world as a whole.  Even the writers have gotten into it.  Some of them are your pet writers.  But us Indie writers are getting into sharing our opinions on this.  And so are a whole lot of other people.

Then it finally dawned on me what this whole thing is about.
This is about a whole hell of a lot more than a contract between 2 companies.

It’s about power, it’s about control.

Once upon a time, you had all of it.  You and the other big publishers controlled the book world.  You got to decide who succeeded as an author and who failed, who got published and who didn’t.  Self-publishing back then was looked down upon, and was a last ditch effort that the author had to pay for out of their own pocket.

Now days, you can write a book and self-publish it, and not spend a dime.
I love that.  I think it’s absolutely great.

But you hate it don’t you.  You and all the other big publishers.
You want to drag things back to the way they were back in the last century, when you controlled and monopolized everything.  Publishers like you (Hachette) have locked scores of writers out of publishing for years.  What's at the bottom of this is big publishers who want to go back to the way things were when they controlled who got published and who didn't, and you’re all mad at Amazon for spoiling your game.  They’re the big dog, sitting on top of the heap, and that has you seething.  They’re sitting where you used to be, and you hate it.  You want to knock them off the top, and be king of the hill once again.

This whole mess over this contract, it’s just a first step.  If you can win here, then you and the other publishers will go for more.  This all goes to the winds of change that are sweeping throughout all of publishing.  Hachette vs. Amazon.  Traditional publishing vs. the new wave of self-publishing.

Amazon represents everything that is changing about publishing in general. But it's not Amazon that started the change.  It’s the desktop computer and the internet itself.

I believe this is about something a whole lot more important than your contract dispute.  It’s about the changing realm of publishing itself.

Change has happened, whether you like it or not.  Pandora’s box has been opened, and you can never close the lid, or roll back the tide of change that has come.

What you can do is change and adjust with the changing times.  Whether you will or not, that’s up to you.

I want to close with this thought.
One night over the past week, I was browsing the kindle store on my paperwhite, looking up a book.  Turns out there was a box set, and the set was published by you.  You wanted $46 dollars and some change for that box set, which is ridiculous.  For under $10 dollars, I can get a box set from an Indie author, about the same number of pages, just as well edited and all.  You’re losing the fight Hachette.  Every day, you’re losing the fight.  And you don’t even realize it.

Don’t you get it?  You’re the dinosaur in this picture.  You can either become extinct in time, or adapt to the changing climate and survive.
Which will you do?  Survive or die?

As for me, I’m finally pursuing my high school dream.
Best of luck,
Jacqueline Driggers

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Being poor today

Many people in today's society assume that if someone is poor, that it's their own fault.  They assume that there's some agency or organization out there who will help that person out.  If you've fallen on hard times, and post about it publicly, you'll get 2 dozen suggestions of things you can do; most of which you've already probably tried.

Those who know what you're talking about, and give you the support and sympathy you are seeking, they are usually poor too; which is why they understand where you're at.  Thing is, they can't help you out because they're needing help themselves.  And they're the very people who would help you out, if only they had the money.

Those who are well enough off the help you out, those are the people who are the least likely to help.  Every once in a while, you will run across someone who will help; but it's been my experience that they are the exception, and not the rule.

All those charitable organizations that are supposed to help poor people out, I've never been able to get any help from them.  It makes me wonder just who they do help out, and what they do with all that money they take in.

And when you're poor, getting ahead, bettering yourself is next to impossible; because if you're not careful, you'll lose what little help you are getting.  So just how are you supposed to dig yourself out of that hand-to-mouth hole that you find yourself in?

That's a good question.  If anyone has figured out the solution, I'd love to know.  Most 'solutions' that people will offer up at this point - they are either some kind of stupid scam, or something you've already tried and it didn't work.  People today just don't seem to grasp that the thing to help a poor person out is just plain old cold hard cash.  And that's the thing no one really wants to give.

As for getting help, only someone who has been down on their luck understands all the hoops one has to jump through in the process of trying to get help.  Doesn't matter whether it's a government agency of some kind or a charitable organization, they want you to prove that you're poor enough to deserve their help.

Do you have any idea how that feels?  I mean, it's depressing enough that you're down on your luck.  Then you have someone who's supposed to be there to help you out, rub your nose in it.  Then you jump through all their hoops, and either the help you get isn't much, or . . . . worst of all . . . . they decide that you're not poor enough to merit their giving you any help.

What's even worse is when you do manage to get some help from another agency, then you have to inform agency b that you're now also getting help from agency a, thus agency b will either reduce the help they're giving you, or cut their help out entirely.  That happens folks!

So if you're not poor, not in a financial hole, thank your lucky stars.  And scrape away your miserliness enough to help some poor sod out.

If you are poor, are in a financial hole, you have my sympathies.  Let's just wish each other luck.
-- jd --

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Testing out something I learned

Well, I have a new blog toy that I want to try out.  I've discover that here on blogger, you can schedule a post, schedule when you want it to post.  Now I'm wondering if this will work like it says it is supposed to, so I'm going to try it out, here in my personal blog.

I want to try it out and confirm if it works okay or not, before I use it on more important posts in my other blogs.  Here's hoping that it works.  I've scheduled this post to go up at 5:00 pm, central standard time, this evening.  Now I've been up all night and am getting ready to get off here and go get some rest.  So next time I'm on, I'll find out how it worked; and if it did, then . . . Yay me!
-- jd --

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The one he loved -- music: All of Me - John Legend - David Choi Cover



She tucked herself into the corner, behind the closet door and the dresser, hiding from him.  "What do you want?" she murmured softly.

"Why do you hide from me?" he asked.

"You can't want me," she protested.

"But I do," he replied.

"Why?" she asked.

"I love you," he said earnestly.  "I love you so much."

"But you can't want me!" she protested.  "I'm just, just . . ." and her voice trailed off.

He slipped over, while she was lost in thought, and pulled her into his arms.  He held her close, getting lost in the feel of her body against his.  "You're everything I ever wanted," he murmured softly into her ear.  He felt her snuggle into him.
As long as he had her in his arms, he had the world.

Monday, May 5, 2014

My story inspired by Colin Kennaugh's song 'She's Gone'



"Well, look who's here," Brett commented softly.
"Who," asked Derrick absentmindedly, waiting for the bartender to hand him his soda.
"Her," Brett replied softly.
"Her who," Derrick asked in a grouchy tone, taking the glass from the bartender and turning around to look in the direction that his friend was pointing.

His heart stopped, and his breath caught in his chest.  It was her.  After all this time . . . times of thinking about her, of thinking about what had happened, of the things he wished he had done differently.  Times of wanting her, thinking about her, wondering where she was and what she was doing, . . . but not seeing her.  And now here she was, across the room from him.
His friend Brett thumped him on the arm.  "Breathe dude!  You know, take in air, heart pumps and all that."  He looked at his friend, and one look was all it took to see how gone over her he still was.  So much for that 'getting over her' crap he had been peddling to everyone.  He hadn't bought that for a second.  He looked to see if she had noticed them yet, if she was alone.  "Derrick , she's here alone; go talk to her."
"No Brett.  What I've got to do is get out of here," Derrick said, with a panicked look on his face.
As he started to get up to leave, Brett grabbed his arm and stopped him.  "No dude.  You don't.  What you've got to do is go talk to her.  Talk about the weather for pete's sake!  But talk to her.  If you don't, you'll regret it for the rest of your life.  Now go," he urged him.
"Yeah," Derrick replied softly, a spaced out look on his face.

** What happens next?  Maybe my friend Colin will write another song to inspire me?  Or maybe one of you will inspire me? **
-- jd --

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Being a writer isn’t easy

No one ever said being a writer was easy.  
It's not.  I don't do it because it's easy.  I do it because I love it.  And yes, you’re going to have shitty days.  It's part and parcel of being a writer.  
Suck it up cupcake, and move on.

It isn't something for the timid or easily discouraged to take on.  You have to develop a tough hide.  I have.  During my life, I've been stomped on by the best.  But I've picked myself up, dusted myself off, and kept on going.  Kept putting one foot in front of the other.    

Bad reviews are also part and parcel of being a writer.  But you can’t let them tear you up too badly.  They’re going to happen.  Not everyone is going to love what you write.  Accept that.  Read them, and make note of what the person writing the review said they didn’t like about your book.  Determine if there’s any truth in there, something that you need to fix.  Make lists of the pros and cons reviewers say about your writing.  Look at the reviews critically and impartially, and use them to make yourself a better writer.  Don’t whine and wallow in a self-pity party.

Watch what other writers do, BUT DON’T TRY TO MIMIC THEM!  You’re all individuals.  What works for one may not work for another.  We each have to find our own road as a writer.  What creates success for one writer may not necessarily do so for another writer.  FIND YOUR OWN PATH!  And stride purposefully, passionately down it. 

Always be learning.  Always be putting yourself out there.  Get people to know who you are, the author, the writer, the person.  You can’t sit in a cave and throw a book out the entrance and expect immediate success.  Promote yourself as a person, as an author, before you ever publish that first book.  Don’t jump out of your cave, finished book in hand, and say ‘Hey world!  Notice me and my brand new book!’  The world doesn’t know who you are!  Unless you’ve first taken the time and invested the effort to introduce yourself to them.  Have you introduced yourself to the world?!!?  There’s no excuse for not doing it cupcake.  The world, and the internet, provides you with many tools to do that with.

~~~~~~~~~~<>~~~~~~~~~~

As I write this, I’m 53 years old.  I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since high school, and that was back in the 20th century, back in 1976-1979.  When I graduated high school, I had been through several career options, and discarded them all.  I wasn’t sure about going to college, because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, what I wanted to take.  So I put off going. 

I had watched too many of my upper-classmen friends head off to college, spend a couple of years there, and then drop out.  Without accomplishing anything.  I didn’t want to do that.  I didn’t want to waste my parents money. 

So I spent 2 years at home after high school.  But they weren’t wasted time.  I got to spend some quality time with my parents; and most importantly, I matured, and I learned stuff. 

My mom had cautioned me against pursuing writing right out of high school, and she was right.  The writing world was a totally different place back in 1979 than it is now.  Writers have so many more opportunities now than they did then.  If I were graduating now, and wanted to be a writer, no matter what else I did, I would be pursuing my writing.

~~~~~~~~~~<>~~~~~~~~~~

But I’m not a high school graduate now.  I’m a 53 year old woman, with a lot of miles under her belt, who’s been through a lot of crap, a lot of unpleasant crap; and who still has crap to deal with. 

BUT, CUPCAKES, I pick myself up and go on with the business of living, of getting by from day to day. 

And I still love books just as much as I did when I was a wee kid.  I love where they can take me.  I still love the escape from my ordinary life that they provide.  I need that escape now more than ever. 

Many of my writer friends have provided me with that escape.  Thank you.

~~~~~~~~~~<>~~~~~~~~~~

And I still love writing.  No, I didn’t pursue a career as a writer right out of high school.  But I have kept on writing over the years, since I began in high school.  The what I’ve written has changed.  But I’ve never stopped writing. 

And all the miles under my belt, all the stuff I’ve been through, they only serve today to make my writing more vivid, more alive, deeper and more passionate.  They make it better.

I’m still pursuing my writing. 

My mom and dad are gone now.  They’ll never see me accomplish my dream of being a published writer, of being a ‘book published’ writer.  But that’s okay.  They neither one ever got that part of me. 

The one who does get that part of me, who gets all parts of me, is my husband.  We’ve been together now since around 1990, so we’ve put a lot of miles on the odometer together.  Been through a lot of crap together.  Learned a lot together. 

I dedicate this to him, my hubby. 

~~~~~~~~~~<>~~~~~~~~~~

My hubby has helped me find me, my true self.  I’m very fortunate to have someone like that in my life.  Someone who is so totally in my corner. 

My mom, she was all about who she wanted me to be.  She never did get the whole, real me. 

Don’t get me wrong, she was a great lady.

But she never got me.

My hubby, he gets me.  And he’s helped me crawl out from under those ideas of who my mom thought I should be.  He’s helped, and pushed, me to discover myself.  And he’s always in my corner.

~~~~~~~~~~<>~~~~~~~~~~

So cupcake,
here it is, 2014, and I’m finally pursuing my high school dream of being a writer.  I spend most of my waking time either online working on this, or offline thinking about it.  I’m pursuing it for all I’m worth, passionately, and without hesitation. 

Thanks to ebooks and ereaders and ereader apps, I’ve gotten back into reading again.  I now pursue books with the same thirst that I did when I was a kid. 

And back in September of 2012, I got started doing book reviews; which combines my love of books with my love of writing.  Here’s a link to my first book review:

Which brings us to a very important anniversary for me, as a writer.

~~~~~~~~~~<>~~~~~~~~~~

On April 14th, 2012, I started writing my first fictional novel. 
I’m still working on it. 
No, it’s not done yet. 
I stay busy with lots of stuff.

Since then, I’ve continued to come up with more book ideas. 
At current count, I have over 60 books ideas.  All different, saved in word files, and can be one day turned into a book.

Before this, I’d only managed to write 1 fictional story.  For a Star Trek fanzine, and it was about when Spock told his father that he chose Star Fleet over the Vulcan.  If I ever run across a copy of that story, I’ll post it on wattpad.  It’s among my many and sundry ‘stuff’ somewhere.

~~~~~~~~~~<>~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve come a long way since that day back in 1979 when my mom discouraged me from writing.  And each day, I get up and keep plugging on. 

So happy anniversary to me,
and congrats for still plugging on,
still chasing my dream
here in the 21st century in 2014.

~~~~~~~~~~<>~~~~~~~~~~

Coming soon – a fictional book written by me. 

* Read my writing right now on wattpad –
* Visit my website –
* Visit my writer’s page on facebook –
* Visit my writer’s page on google plus –

Visit some of my other pages on facebook –
* Recipes, cooking, and food –
* Your Home-time Zone –
* The Leisure Zone –
* The Book News Journal –
* JD’s Writer Services –

Plus, here are some of my other links – me on:
* Medium
* twitter, me
* twitter, books and reviews
* twitter, food and cooking and home

And here are some more of my links –
* Linked In
* Goodreads
* Smashwords

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Jacqueline stop on the 'My Writing Process' blog tour

“My Writing Process” is a blog tour which takes place every Monday. Through this tour, you will discover an individual author’s writing process based on four simple questions.

Okay, so my post was supposed to go up about a week ago.  The 3 writers I recruited were supposed to put theirs up today.  Oh well, the best laid plans of mice and men, and all that.  Plus I should also throw in, better late than never.

I was invited by author Kris Austen Radcliffe, who I am lucky enough to be assistant to.  We've just recently been working on the release of book no. 3 in her Fate <> Fire <> Shifter <> Dragon series.  Plus, she has the release of book no. 2 in her Quidell Brothers series coming up May 1st.  You can find her post here:

So here are my answers to the 4 questions:

1) What am I working on?
Several things.  I have a poem I’m working on to submit to a site.  Have a couple of books I’m working on.  I post stuff on wattpad.  Plus I have a bunch of undeveloped book ideas.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Because it’s mine.  It has my unique stamp as a writer on it.  I don’t try to copy anyone else’s style or theme or anything. 

3) Why do I write what I do?
Because I’ve always loved science fiction and fantasy, ever since always.  And now I’ve added paranormal to that too, which fits well with the others.

4) How does your writing process work?
I get an idea, I open a word file, and I start typing.  It’s that simple.  I get an idea and I run with it.  If I’m not on the computer, I get pen and paper and start writing. 

To read more in this tour, visit the following:

Shani Bush
I am a writer of a rainbow of genres. I have only one published at the moment a poetry short.

Jean Booth
International author of the Zombie War Trilogy and the Origins of the Supernatural's series.

Georgina Hannan
I am an IT Consultant and an author from England. In my spare time I write, watch movies and spend time with family.

Monday, February 10, 2014

America used to be the greatest nation on earth


Once upon a time, we were the greatest nation on earth.  We still like to believe that it's true.  But the basic fact is, it's not true anymore.

The things this actor says, they're not popular nor pleasant to hear, but they're the blunt honest truth.  I recognize this actor, and like him, and respect him.  I respect him even for saying the truth.

Hear me people!  They're true!

Today's American society is more vain and superficial than ever before.  Just take a look at what's advertised.

  • White teeth
  • perfect teeth
  • perfect complexion
  • perfect makeup
  • no wrinkles
  • no gray hair
  • perfect figure
  • just the right clothes
  • just the right shoes
  • just the right handbag
  • you wear the popular cologne
  • involved in all the popular things
  • involved at all the most trendy places
  • and your cell phone is constantly attached to you
That's the checklist of a totally superficial and vain society!  Which most sadly, is what we have become.  

We live in a day and age when it is easier to communicate with people than ever before.  And sadly as well, people have the least to say.

There are those who won't like this video and what it says.
There are those who won't like what I say here.  
But I don't care.

I have the right to say these things.  You know why?
I have an ancestor who fought in the revolutionary war.  This isn't guessing, it's fact.  I had 3 ancestors who fought in the civil war.  I'm related to frontiersman, Kit Carson.  My family being here in this country dates back to the very founding of it. 
So yeah, I have a right to say these things.

These are things that need to be said.
Because I don't want to sit here and watch our country stagnate and die.  
I want to see it claw it's way out of the pit of vanity and apathy that it has fallen into, and strive once again to be the great nation it has been in the past.  

Words like these above should challenge Americans.  Not anger them.  
If you're an American, and these words above anger you, rather than challenge you - then there's something wrong with you.  

Strive to be better America!
Strive to be better world!

Each of you, as individuals, always strive to be better.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My facebook look back video

Thought I would share with you my facebook Look Back video.  I love mine.  I played around with editing it a bit.  Wanted to share hubby's with you, but I never could get the embed code for it.

To learn more about the Look Back 1 minute facebook video, check out this link from the facebook help section:
https://www.facebook.com/help/206982576163229

And now for my video.



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Colin Kennaugh performs his song 'Play by the Rules'



Here's a new song from a favorite singer of mine and a good facebook friend also.  If you haven't discovered his music, you are so missing out.

And check out the awesome stained glass window in the background!  Isn't that just amazing!

He's performing his Song 'Play by the Rules' from his forthcoming album 'Life is not always Sugar-Coated' live at The Church of St Lawrence in Winchester Square. Filmed by Jay Mckay of AVS Systems in Winchester.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Meet my friend, Colin Kennaugh



You can meet a lot of neat people online.  One I really enjoy being friends with is Colin Kennaugh.  He lives across the Atlantic from me, but I really enjoy his music.  Here's just one of his videos.  If you want to hear more of his music, check out his youtube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/kennamusic?feature=watch

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An excellent tribute to the late Phil Everly



Just wanted to share this.  One thing I love, and have always loved, is music.  Here's an excellent tribute to the late Phil Everly, very well done by Jerry Colbert.

Song puts me in mind of a story, a story based on the song, posted on wattpad, in tribute to the Everly Brothers.  Who are just a couple of Kentucky boys from Central City, Kentucky who made very good; and who have made some excellent music.

Yep, I'll have to write that one.
Later,
--jd--

Friday, January 3, 2014