Thursday, July 12, 2007

Getting things going on the web

I've been busy doing nothing. Well, at least that's what it feels like. I've done a lot, but nothing seems to ever get done. Especially on the computer. I spent all day yesterday cleaning up files, getting the computer sort of set up like it was before it got sick, and in the end, it's still mostly the same. I still didn;t get much else done, and I have a lot of other things to do. I have a cage to finish building (of course I really need a second person to help with that, so that's my excuse for not having done it) I have a Street Faire Saturday to get things done for, and I have my regular chores.

Why is it chores when you have to do it, but housework when someone else does it?

My father used to say "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get." Yep. That's the feeling. Oh well, all I can do is what I can do.

Now, as far as the web stuff... (see title of this post) I've actually gotten some things done. Not much yet, but some. I haven't figured out how to make a membership area on my website yet. I hate to think I'll have to pay for it (EEK!) but I don't want people just coming onto my site and watching my videos unless they've signed in and left an email address. Yeah, I'm a control freak.

I did open a MySpace page. Its address is See, my every web page name is bursting with originality! No stale sense of sameness here.

I have some pictures of us on there and a really embarrassing profile. Okay, it's not really embarrassing, but something must be wrong with it, since I keep getting "Friend requests" from twenty-something girls that want to meet me and have me go to a party with them. Doesn't the word "married" mean anything anymore?

Anyway, I haven't gotten my FTP program up yet, so I can't really upload a video to the website. I have the Lockpicking one done (and I think it's much better than any of the ones I checked out on YouTube)
Future topics will be:
Bullet proof vests...(featuring my level 3 and possibly some help from a local PD officer
Guns...Okay, I have lots of guns, I'll show you the difference between a pistol and a revolver, and so on.
Under the hood of a car... I'll ID parts and what they do so you can actually write like you've been under the hood of a car before (and I mean on purpose)
Boating (non-gasoline boats)... Featuring my sailboat and possible a canoe.
Animals ... I do wildlife education full time, I'd be pretty stupid not to do this one
Basic handyman stuff for your fix-it characters... There's nothing sadder than reading about a fix-it character from an author that has never fixed anything
Blacksmithing... I'll fire up the forge and make something decorative (no, not a sword, It's only a five minute video!)
Tatting and lace making... Arts and crafts are nice additions to books, and tatting is a classic craft.
Rockcutting and jewelry making... Yeah, I do this too. The last name is Stone, I had to do something with rocks!
Carpentry and wood carving... Different but similar to the handyman one, just more artsy.

So, which ones should I do first? Any othre ideas of videos that I'm qualified for? Feel free to leave your comments.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wonders on the Web

I've finally done it! I got my lockpicking video back off the damaged disk!

Ha! You didn't even know I made the video did you? Well, guess what? I did. I made it for authors so they could actually describe lockpicking correctly. I made it specifically after I spoke to Stephanie Bond. She was very interested.

So, I'm thinking that I'll make lots of little five minute videos and making a spot on my website where authors can visit and view helpful videos.

I think it will be a really neat idea.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Back up and Running

My limited online time with the Mac is over. She's safely hidden away again, and the PC is back up and running. So, now the Mac is back to being my movie making machine, and the PC is back to being my online machine. It works out pretty good that way, I never have to worry about my expensive software and machine getting infected or my data being taken off it.

But, back to my blog. I did the submission for the e-zine. It was a sort of a chick-lit / comedy story. I had to send in two different submissions since I couldn't decide one was batter. Hopefully I didn't blow it by doing that.

I think insecurity is one of the biggest flaws writers have. We write our stories, and re-read them with great satisfaction. We're proud of our accomplishments, and in love with the entire manuscript, every word and nuance of it.

Then it comes time to submit it to someone else. Suddenly we start to notice flaws. Words seem to rearange themselves to make less sense than they did when it was just us reading it. So we edit it.

We work on it for days, weeks, or even months getting the newfound flaws out of our perfect baby. Once it is totally perfect, we send it in. Whether it's email or Postal service, we send the work out and chew on our fingernails and pull out or hair waiting.

Sometime, usually about a month later, we check out our copy of the manuscript we sent. And then we see it... On the first page... In the first paragraph... Ruining the entire submission... An error. Okay, it's not exactly an error, but it just sounds awkward. It might be the wording, or it might be just to bland a beginning. Whatever it is, it makes us worry.

The more we put out there, the more we worry about. By the time we've checked over all our submissions, we need to check into a mental hospital. Errors errors everywhere, and not a fix in sight!

All we can hope for it an editor or agent willing to ignore the tiny flaws for a good story and overall good writing.

In the mean time, we recognize fellow writers by their bitten or fake nails and thinning hair or judicious use of hats. (We won't mention the office chair spread or the ghostly pallor of never getting outside.)

Since I got back the rejection on the Green Haired Beauty Manuscript, I'm now waiting on an agent reviewing Dawn of Blood, one publisher reviewing Magick's Bounty, another publisher reviewing two erotic short stories, and a magazine reviewing an article.


(Extra fun thing, I just saw a cute video cartoon at:
Check it out, but be warned, it is a rant and profanity is involved.)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Premature Excitation

I'm guilty. I went off too soon. I crowed about how I was online again, and boom, my karma ran over my computer. We got an ugly virus.

Yep, the things been down since my last post. It's still down. I had to do what I didn't want to do, I had to put my Macintosh G4 onine. I love my Mac, but there are no real decent antiviral or protection programs for it, so I don't want it consorting with other computers. You never know what sort of things it can catch; let alone what might happen. (If I'm not careful I might end up with little iPods running around!)

Yeah, My PC is down with a virus, but heck, it's a PC it can take it. I know, It's old fashioned to treat one computer differently than another simply by it's gender, but I've raised my little Mac from a Mac plus, and she's my little desktop diva. She makes better photos and better videos than anyone else (even if I am a proud parent, I know it's true!)

Meanwhile, my PC is getting better, so he'll be online in a day or two. I had to erase the hard drive and go to my back up system files. It's going to take a while to get all the kinks out of it, but he's a tough guy, he'll make it.

Oh, and I've finished the draft of that magazine assignment. Now to let it stew for a day then check it again. I'm never sure with Chick Lit...

Monday, July 2, 2007

Confusion, meet frustration...

As a writer, I try to do my best to submit my work to people in a way that will get me noticed, but not annoy the person I'm submitting it to. That's why it is so important to check out the submission guidelines before I send ot a query letter. I don't want to have the possible agent or editor remember me as the writer who can't follow directions.

My problems arose when I started using the internet to find agent and publishers to submit work to. I subscribed to "The Writers Market Online," and I looked at pages like "" for possible leads.

In doing so I discovered you can really P.O. an agent by looking at these sites, and not double checking their own personal web site. Once I sent a query to an agent via email, and got back an email saying they only take hardcopy submissions. Another time I met an agent at a convention, and when I mentioned reading about her on one of the online writer's pages, she was surprised. She had no idea there was anything about her on the site, and said she had no part in it being there.

It makes me worry. I have enough angst about sending out my manuscript at all. The thought that I could be sending it off just to anger an agent or publisher gives me the heebee jeebees.

I figure between my impatience and the errors from submitting things wrong, I'll soon end up with my face on warning posters in the agent and editors offices with a caption like:
"Beware of S. A. Stone, AKA: Stalking Author Stone. Subject is considered odd and annoying. If seen, go to the opposite side of the convention and hide or seek high ground. Do not approach unless you are wearing a business card proof outfit, have lots of time to waste, and want a reputation for a total lack of taste."

Of course, if and when I get to be a famous writer one day, I probably won't have to worry about those darn posters anymore...Right?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Odd Opportunities

Sorry I didn't write yesterday. I actually had a weird day. It pretty much started on "Friday night" after midnight, so it was Saturday morning.

When I logged on to check my emial before my weekend started, I found a surprise. An e-zine I had sent a submission into sent back an assignment / request. Since it was a magazine, not a romance novel, I used one of my other email names. What was really cool was that when they had trouble with the email address, they used my web site from the query letter to get to my main email name. They actually had to work to find me after my submission, and they did!

I was pretty flattered, so I worked on the assignment they sent into the wee hours of Friday night. Remember, this is not a romance novel, and I don't even know if this publisher is on te RWA recognized list. But none of that matters if it is a real writing assignment and possibly a continuous opportunity.

Saturday Morning I met with someone who made a very lucrative offer for the wildlife refuge. He offered land for the refuge to use to care for our birds and to make a public visitation area . It is not a large amount of land, but it is good land in a good location. Unfortunately it is a bit far from where I live, making it a 45 minute commute each way forme if we move the refuge there. I spent several hours researching and discussing the possibilities.

Then I had to take care of the birds. I had a rescue bird to pick up and a vet to visit aside from the normal daily animal care work. By the time I had finished work for the day, I had a birthday party to attend. I got home late Saturday evening, and was just too tired to blog.

So here I am, Sunday night around midnight writing my blog to try to catch up...