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Follow Friday

Ahh, Follow Friday. It is both a blessing and a curse, right? I’ve found some really awesome Tweeps on Twitter because of FF, and I’ve been able to tell MY followers about some awesome Tweeps.

The problem? Clogging up everyone’s feed with a really, really long list of @namehere posts. I have a few lovely Tweeps who send sometimes 15-20 tweets full of @namehere. While I appreciate the share, it’s become a burden to share everyone (don’t want to forget someone and hurt someone’s feelings!). Plus I’m not as clever as some of you to say “Follow @namehere because he/she makes the best brownies in the world” for each and every #ff suggestion. Plus I don’t have the time.

So here’s the deal. If you want to have some great people to follow, check out my page of who I follow. I’m sure there’s someone in there you’d like. Or just pick through the list below to find someone if you’re in a rush.

I’m working on a list of my fave peeps who I’d love to give a FOLLOW THIS PERSON NOW shout out every single day. But that’s not possible so this page will have to do. If you’re not on here, don’t get your feelings hurt. I ain’t done yet.

Check out this link for all awesomeness on Twitter. Everyone I follow is pretty awesome so here’s the complete list:
https://twitter.com/#!/darthwiggie/following

 

Some of my fave Tweeps! (This is not a complete list!)
danielle. (mymercurialmuse) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/MyMercurialMuse

Laura Matthews (thinkstory) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/thinkStory

Marie Frizelle (mariefrizelle) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/mariefrizelle

Lori Fetters Lopez (fetterslopez) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/fetterslopez

Jenny (one800jenny) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/one800jenny

Jaime Callahan (jaimecallahan) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/jaimecallahan

♥Karen♥ (karensassybelle) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/KarenSassyBelle

Andrew Kincaid (andrew_kincaid) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/Andrew_Kincaid

Cindy Whitt (cindy_who) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/cindy_who

Candice Bundy (giggilles) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/giggilles

Alan Edwards (alan__edwards) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/Alan__Edwards

Jen Kirchner (jenlkirchner) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/JenLKirchner

amberwest (amberwest) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/amberwest

Tiffany Tackett (relentlessmuse) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/RelentlessMuse

Liberty Montano (libertysyarn) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/LibertysYarn

Barbara Watson (ba_watson) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/BA_Watson

Rachel Russell (rachelxrussell) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/RachelxRussell

Carlie M A Cullen (carlie2011c) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/carlie2011c

Jennie Ivins (autumn2may) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/Autumn2May

Beth Hautala (bethhautala) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/BethHautala

Steven Montano (daezarkian) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/Daezarkian

Cindy Jachrimo (cindyjachrimo) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/cindyjachrimo

Joseph McGee (witchslinger) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/witchslinger

Lynn Dickinson (lifesizeld) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/LifesizeLD

Irwin Funes (funesfotography) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/FunesFotography

A Geek Mom (Shannon) (ageekmom) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/ageekmom

Leanne Shirtliffe (lshirtliffe) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/LShirtliffe

Lisa Creech Bledsoe (lcbledsoe) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#!/LCBledsoe

NaNoWriMo: The agony and the ecstasy. :)

I’m scootin’ along on my Nano project and let me tell you something: I LOVE IT.  I wanted to participate last year but got involved a little too late (about 12 days in to be exact). This year I started as soon as I woke up on November 1st. I had a story idea in my head for a few weeks before and once I sat down at my computer to write, it was like Secretariat bolting from the start line. I had a good 27,000 words written by day ten and I felt as if I’d found my true calling in life.

But here I am, day 21 and I’m stuck at 34k words, hovering here for the past four days. What’s my problem? Well, it all started when this thing called “life” got in the way. You know what I’m talking about: that pesky laundry pile that’s grown to monstrous proportions;children who require to eat food three times a day and aren’t satisfied with me tossing a PBJ their way; meetings with teachers and trips to basketball games and piano practice so said children can have enriched lives. Oh and don’t forget my awesome boyfriend who seems to think I should pull myself away from the laptop once in a while (and maybe shower and change from my

I lost the amount of time I’d previously had to write so much, and in losing my time, I lost a connection with my plot. I’m having to reread my story to find out “where was this going? what was I going to say next? wait, who is this character?”  In doing so, I’m being tempted by the trap that NaNo has set out to help us avoid: my WIP is screaming “EDIT MEEEEE!!!!  REWRITE MEEEEEE!!!”

I’ve let it go, really I have. I didn’t change the poorly structured sentences, I didn’t correct the gawd awful grammar staring me in the face. I even let go inconsistencies I was finding: a blonde is now a brunette, someone lived in a desert but now they live near a sea.

I get it, I can NaNoEdit in December, right?

That would be great except in my attempt to catch up and raise my suffering word count I may have messed up. I hit it hard last night and this morning, starting a new scene and introducing new characters who had only been alluded to earlier. I reread it all this morning and realized I’d changed up my plot a bit: my antagonist is too likable, too friendly (we’re supposed to hate him, you know). I’ve spent paragraphs explaining tedious details for sake of supporting the plot and helping my audience understand the bigger picture, but it rabbit-holes quite a bit AND it all feels irrelevant to the original idea I’d had.

So now I’m stuck: I have oranges thrown into my apple bowl. I can get rid of all of the oranges but then I’ve wasted time (and my word count will plummet). I could spend the time editing my oranges to look more like apples, but that’s sort of defeating the point as well. And there is no way in hell I am going to tweak my already existing apples, that’s just ridiculous. (Are y’all following me here? Too many fruit references?)

I think I am going to follow some NaNo advice and white-out (change text to white) the problematic paragraphs. They will still exist on my page though, which means my word count will be deceptively high. (Which is fine, I can account for that when I update my true word count). Or maybe I’ll just cut/paste the offending paragraphs to another doc and save it.

However, about this uploading your work to Nano – are they going to read it? Are they going to see I’m uploading a bunch of underdeveloped, under-cooked and unrelated scenes and chapters? Is anyone going to think I’ve lost my mind? Or am I safely in the same boat as everyone else: we’re doing our darnedest to work hard and hit the mark and our many paragraphs of typed-out imperfections only bring us closer to the goal which is, after all, the point the whole point and nothing but the point?

Whatchuthink?

 

A friend’s rant on Manboys.

A pal from high school days wrote this in response to one of my posts on facebook. Thought I’d share it. :)  “Manboy” FTW.

 

“I do not understand this rash of boys in men’s bodies that are ruining their children. I have a couple of friends going thru literal hell with ex’s playing games with child support and with their children’s emotions. They have an ego and power trip that are tearing their kids apart emotionally. How in God’s name could you do that to your child?

To these little boys in men’s bodies; be very thankful you don’t know me. I have no respect for a manboy who is self centered and does not take his commitments seriously when it comes to his children. They didn’t ask to be part of your sick game. Your immaturity is only trumped by your ineptitude of being a man. Yes little boy, you made that commitment when you procreated. Whether you wanted a child or not, the biological function of sex is for procreation. So if you don’t want children, use the infinite forms of birth control. Little boys who cannot make his marriage work and wants to get revenge on his ex thru emotional abuse of his kids. You will suffer in the long run as your children will grow to hate you.

The two things I can think are that they did not have a strong father figure in their lives and total self absorption. Self centered attitudes are near impossible to break. They only see themselves and have no empathy to be able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. A father who is a man sets the stage by example of them sacrificing themselves for the betterment of their family. Those men who loved their kids more than having what the Jones’s next door have. Those fathers who committed themselves to raising their children until their children are able to care for themselves. You do not have to be with the ex, but you are still responsible for their upbringing and working with the ex to make the best world possible for those children. I am blessed to have a father who did just that and set a stage of a man being responsible for his family and putting their wellbeing ahead of anything else and to have a mother and father celebrating 42 years of marriage.

I realize there are MEN out there who do that. I know of one particular former marine that talks to his kids every night before they go to bed. Who even though he and his ex could not be with each other in the form of marriage, have forged a relationship that works for the children’s interest and well being. He lived like a pauper to cover alimony and child support until his agreement on alimony expired. I respect his and his actions for doing what it takes to make his family a success.

To those real men out there that thru actions show their love and commitment to their children by paying their child support and do not use their children as pawns in a sick game to further abuse their ex, I applaud and have respect for you! Keep up the good fight!”

Dear EX:

Yes, I’m posting another entry dedicated to my ex husband. He says he monitors everything I do online, and since he doesn’t really respond to emails and I refuse to speak to him on the phone, this is probably the only way to be sure he gets my message. Right? :)

So, Dear ex:

“I’m working on it” does not put food on the table for your children. It doesn’t buy them new shoes when their old ones are too small or falling apart. It doesn’t help pay the utilities or put a roof over their head. So, when you are yet again late on child support, or choosing not to send child support, or whatever the problem is over there, saying “I’m working on it” is probably the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard.

Not to mention you’re only hurting your children.

Not me.

I’m an adult. I can handle it. But your children know you are supposed to send support EVERY MONTH. They know that divorced parents are supposed to both provide for their children. They see that you do not. It’s not because I’ve told them either, they see it. They have learned that when you have a responsibility, you stick to it. When you are supposed to do something, you do it. When you’re ordered to do something, you get it done. They ask for different things during the month and I’m honest with them: “When child support comes in, we can do that.”

Times are tough right now though, right?

After all, I don’t have a job right now because of the economy, yet I manage to pinch and scrimp and beg and borrow to get them everything they need. I’ve been creative and have come up with money for “extras” and the kids have too. Your daughter raised almost $200 in less than 24 hours so she could go to basketball camp.

Yet “you’re working on it” when you apparently live in a large home, drive a nice car, work with your wife from home and have been able to purchase a piano during the same time that you couldn’t send child support or have the kids come home for summer break like they are *supposed to.* What are you doing to make sure your children get the money they deserve every month, not every other month or some months but not others?

When they are older, do you think they are going to remember you for the sacrifices you’ve made for them, or that you “were working on it” when they couldn’t have the things they needed growing up?

I already know the answer to that question when I ask myself.

Why You Should Be On Klout. Or, Why I Love Klout.

I’ll make this short and sweet.

Y’all know I’m a single mom. Oh, and I lost my job a year ago because of layoffs. Times are tough. Child support is spotty.

My 12 yo wanted to play basketball but we didn’t have the money to go.  She decided to make a cute video and ask for sponsors to help her raise the money needed. She did a great job and in less than 24 hours, she raised the money thanks to friends and family on Twitter and Facebook. She even had $30 extra after all was said and done. She immediately donated it to a pal who also was trying to earn money for the same basketball camp.

Today she had evaluations for the teams. I watched as she ran some laps back and forth and was slipping in her sneakers. I felt bad and realized she needed new shoes, preferably basketball shoes. I thought of taking her to Dick’s Sporting Goods because it was on the way home but also realized that shoes would likely be expensive there.

So we just headed on home for dinner and I was checking my Twitter when I got a tweet from KloutPerks. It said I’d earned a $50 gift card to check out a link. I was skeptical but it looked legit so I put aside my suspicious nature and went ahead and filled out the info. Then I tweeted them back asking “Is this for real!?!? Not spam!?” (not those exact words but you get the point! :)

Sure enough, a pal on twitter AND KloutPerks both tweeted me back. TOTALLY legit.

I’m rather stunned. I was expecting a “just kidding” response or a website that said I had to sign up for some services or sell my first born, but no, nothing but a simple name/address and that was it.

Yep, times are tough but little things like this come along still and add a bright spot in your day. Not only was my daughter blessed and fortunate enough to raise money for basketball – and help a friend too – but now we may be able to get a decent pair of shoes for her to wear to basketball.

I’m really thankful and happy. What a neat little surprise.

So, if you like social media and think you have some influence in the twitterverse, facebookverse etc, check out Klout. Follow them AND KloutPerks. I bet you will find a bright spot in your day, too.

:)

PS Thanks Klout AND Dick’s Sporting Goods for the treat. :)

“Whatever”

So I figure if I post complaints about the ex not paying child support, I should post when he DOES, right? Well, no he hasn’t yet but he DID write me back. I figured I’d post this:

My email this morning: no message just “Yes or no question? Child support in July or no?” in the subject line.

His first response: I told you in your first email that I would be sending it out this week quit bugging me me about it

My response: Unfortunately I did not receive a response to any of the other emails.  Thanks for letting me know. Unfortunately I DO have to bug you about it because we never know if it is coming or not, so it’s helpful to know if I can depend on it or not.

His response:  Whatever

Now, does that whatever mean he DOES send it monthly and I SHOULD know I can depend on it? Or does it mean he really did send an email and I’m losing my mind?

I think it means he knows I am right and doesn’t have much to say about it.

So lets hope he does send it soon. We’re eating expired pancake mix and are out of bread and lunch meat. Oh and SCHOOL FREAKING STARTS IN A WEEK AND A HALF!!!

Karma is going to be a ******

Is it a heartless bastard who won’t reply to multiple emails BEGGING to know if child support will be sent this month?

Emails that include messages like “We are running out of groceries” or “we need to pay the bills” and “School starts in 15 days and I have NO MONEY for school clothes or supplies.”

Is it TOO HARD to say “yes” or “no” in a response to “Are you sending child support for July?”

We’re at almost $4,000 in arrears which doesn’t seem like much compared to others who are owed tens of thousands of dollars in late child support, but when you are a single mom looking for full time employment after cut-backs at your employer a year ago, well it’s a lot.

Same guy who couldn’t be bothered to send child support in December at Christmastime. Thankfully my friends and family supported us in an overwhelming way and we had the best Christmas ever. EVER. People we DON’T KNOW sent money to the children and sent presents to the children. Their dad could not be bothered. Although he did send them each a $5 gift card to Toys R Us.

The same guy who speaks with lies “I have a million dollars in the bank” and then says he can’t afford to fly the children out for their winter visit or their summer break as ordered in custody agreement paperwork.

The same guy who says he’s broke but buys a piano and makes all sorts of home projects a priority.

So we’re back in the same boat again – any savings I had are wiped out for lack of monthly child support, we have nothing for school shopping, and I am begging to know if child support will come this month or if it will come at the end of August.

Funny how when I lost my job I asked if child support could come near the beginning of the month and it immediately went to the very end of the month, and then on to every other month at the very end of the month. Seems to be he’s found a formula to keep child support enforcement off his back and to avoid his responsibility to care for his children.

I hope you are reading this (remember you said you monitor everything the kids and I do online.)  Your children are in a tight spot but it’s not making me look bad as you’d hoped. Your comments to them about moving out with you because life is somehow better there than here isn’t making much sense to them. They know the problems we have are not because I’m a bad mom but because you shirk from your responsibility – your COURT ORDERED responsibility – to pay child support to support them. While I don’t remind them every day that you have not paid up, when they need something and we don’t have the money for it, I certainly DO say that we are waiting for child support to come and can’t do much without it.

So think about that for a minute. I’m not covering for you or lying for you and you alone are responsible for the image you are painting for your kids: a dad whose personal life and other commitments are far more important than they are.

Not for long though. I have an amazing man in my life who is showing them that real men keep their commitments, keep their word, honor their responsibilities.  Every day and every week that goes by that you can’t be bothered to call or talk to them is another day and another week that they see how people who really care about them treats them.

Makes me sad for them that they have to experience this, but I know that they are going to come out as strong, healthy adults who also honor their responsibilities and take care of the things they are supposed to.

I was born blonde. This proves it.

I needed some quotes for pest control here at the house so I called/left messages for several pest control companies the other day. My question was “Do you do free estimates for pest control?”  Mind you, I know nothing about pest control or how they do it. I figured they do it once a year and only do outside.

 

One lady sent me this response in an email:

 

Pest Inspection, Inside & Outside Treatment, Webbing. Covers house

ants, spiders, roaches, mice, rats, silverfish, house crickets,

centipedes, earwigs, CHARGES: For a 2000-3000 square foot home the

cost is $85/quarter. For 1000-2000 square foot the cost is

$75/quarter.

 

So I am trying to figure out why they charge per quarter of the house? Is this like carpet cleaners who charge per room/upstairs or downstairs?

 

I wrote her back:

 

Thanks for your email and information. Could you please clarify the $/quarter? Is that per quarter of the house? Our townhouse is under 2000 sqft so would that be $300 for the whole house? ($75/quarter). Is this because some people only have certain areas of the house done and not always the whole house?

 

Why didn’t she just say it is $300 instead of breaking it up into quarters?! Made no sense. Made no sense until I talked to another company who asked me “Do you want yearly service or would you like the house sprayed quarterly or bimonthly?”

 

Well sh*t.  I felt SO STUPID. As soon as I heard those words I knew what the other lady had meant in her email and couldn’t believe I didn’t understand her the first time and was SO EMBARRASSED that I wrote her that back. I bet she’s laughing still today.

 

I wrote her back again:

 

Please disregard that last email. I feel really silly now that I’ve reread the email and after talking to another company, I realize it is an ongoing quarterly service that you’ve quoted me.

 

She COULD have said that there is YEARLY service or QUARTERLY service. Guess which company I will be using? (Not only because they don’t know how silly I am but also because they bothered to EXPLAIN it to me!!!!)

 

*sigh*

 

Empire Avenue

{EAV_BLOG_VER:eba591cd3efee25b}

EAV_BLOG_VER:eba591cd3efee25b

Ignore this code. It’s placed here because I have to add my blog to Empire Avenue so I can feel like I’m cool.

It’s bad enough that I feel I have to entertain everyone on Twitter or else I’ll loose followers. I obsess about it quite often. I have fun twittering and facebooking but I really do have a lot of self esteem tied up in it.

It’s going to get worse with Empire Avenue – this is a fairly new site that monitors your social network activity (twitter, facebook, linked-in etc) and you go up or down in ‘stock’ based on the frequency of your activity.

I was consistently going up in stock for the past three or so weeks, but I noticed a big dip after the weekend. I tweet and facebook less on the weekend apparently. That was a big surprise. :)

Anyway, it’s fun and if you aren’t on there already and frequently blog or tweet then you should really join up and be like the rest of us popularity/follower/friends obsessed. You can watch your stats go up and down in a cool chart. The more you tweet/fb, the more you are worth. We all need to realize our social network worth, right?