Friday, December 16, 2011

Time Wasters

I was getting in some really good edits today until a headache hit. Brought on by stress and frustration and a whole bunch of other To-Much-To-Do stuff. The physical exhaustion followed, and I decided I needed a break. But what to do?

Then I remembered my favorite Time Wasters. Yes! I was set!

Allow me to introduce them to you.

First, we've got Movies in Five Seconds. Some of my favorites are:
The Lion King
Sixth Sense
and Harry Potter

Go ahead. Watch them. Then watch the other Movies in Five Seconds. Some of them are pretty darn stupid. Others are hilarious.

Second, we've got Desktop Tower Defense. 'Nuff said.

Then there's Overhead @ BYU. Again, some of the comments are pretty dumb, but others are seriously hilarious. (Yay for my Alma Mater . . . and the occasional silly student who attends. :-))

Then there's YouTube. Everything's on YouTube, ain't it?
We've got:
You're a Woman, Harry! (Potter)
The greatest dating video of all time
Any of Jon Schmidt's and/or Steven Sharp Nelson's videos (done by ThePianoGuys. Their latest video, Where Are You Christmas, actually makes me cry.)
The organist mess-up while playing the Hallelujah Chorus.

I also love looking at all the pictures my brother, Glenn, has taken, though I don't want to call it a Time Waster. :-) His pictures of LDS temples are absolutely breathtaking.

Last but not least, there's Travelocity. Because it's fun to think about getting out of town, even if you can't afford it. :-)

What are some of your favorite Time Wasters? Post 'em in comments below, and I'll add them to the list!

Your Favorite Time Wasters:
Other people's blogs
Playing Words with Friends

Monday, December 12, 2011

Can Guys and Girls Just Be Friends?

Okay, I need you to do something before reading more (or even watching the movie). Answer the poll to the right of this post. "Can Guys and Girls Just Be Friends?" I know it's hard to see (it won't let me change the colors), but the first option is "Yes," and the second is "No."

Have you voted? No? Come on, you know you want to do it. :-)

Now have you voted? Yes? Okay. We go on. :-)

Watch this video (it's not long). Then come back and discuss. :-)

Do you believe it's possible for guys and girls to be friends? What was your answer? What experiences have you had where this is concerned?

My answer was "No." My dad made sure to teach me at a young age that it's impossible for guys and girls to be friends without one being interested in the other, and subsequently being hurt.

While I was on a mission for my church (LDS), I got in a discussion with other missionaries about this. All of the guys said, "No," and all of the girls, minus myself and my companion, said, "Yes." I'm not sure if it's possible for many girls truly to understand how it works until they experience it. Either they'll be dying for a guy friend to ask them out and he never does, or he's waiting for a sign from her that she's romantically interested in him.

And one of my favorite music videos from Steven Sharp Nelson (and when he and Jon Schmidt go extremely big, I'll be able to say I've met both of them a million and a half times. I doubt they remember me. Ha ha. :-)):

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nature's Deadliest . . . Eeek.

My husband and I are sitting here, working on separate projects. I'm putting together some stuff for book marketing, and he's working on things for clients. To keep us company, we're watching documentaries on nature's deadliest creatures (Netflix, Discovery Channel). Needless to say, we've decided never to move to Australia, Africa, or Brazil.

It's really fascinating, and honestly, I'm finding myself inspired for future monsters to put in my stories.

There's this fish in Australian oceans that delivers a poison which targets the pain centers of the brain. No amount of medication or morphine or anything else will remove the agony. And it takes hours for it to wear off. Doesn't kill the person, just makes them wish they were dead.

Then there's the dingo - a really pretty wild dog in Australia that can kill an adult in ten minutes.

Next, the different kinds of snakes that kill really quickly. (Three minutes up to 48 incredibly agonizing hours. Lovely.) And of course monstrous crocodiles. And bull sharks, which swim upstream into rivers and kill within three minutes. Don't forget spiders and scorpions and Cape Buffaloes and rhinos and hippos. And killer bees. (Give them five minutes) And hyenas. (Only need three.)

We live in such a beautiful world. But dang, it's dangerous! :-)

Oh, and did you know the anaconda has six rows of razer sharp teeth? And I thought my Eetu fish, with its triple-lined teeth, was bad!

But seriously. If you write fantasy, or simply like to create different deadly creatures, why not get inspiration from these animals? The snakes, beautiful frogs, and spiders have enough differences to generate a lot of creatures.

Anyway . . . back to marketing. :-)

I'm putting together a list of somewhere around 400 middle grade and young adult fantasy books. I'd love to be able to read them all! Should I post them on my blog? I think I will. :-)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kindle's Borrowing Program. Like? Dislike?

How many of you have Kindles? How many have Nooks? Have you heard of Kindle's newest plan to help push their products?

You can find it here for authors and here for readers, but in short, it allows Prime Members who own a Kindle to borrow up to 12 books a year (no due dates) for free. This is great - in my opinion. I'm a Prime Member, and once I can afford a Kindle, I'd love to participate. (Kindle phone apps don't apply.)

However, in order for the author to have their book in the borrowing program (which comes with perks), they have to agree not to upload, sale, or distribute their books via any other method, including their websites and blogs, for as long as 90 days.

Kindle, Nook, and other eReader device owners, how do you feel about this?

Indie (and other) authors, are you willing to take the risk of losing potential readers just for the extra perks?

As for me, I'm not. I don't get as many sales through Nook, but I get a ton of traffic from Smashwords and the eReaders it distributes through. And I really feel sick when I think of alienating those and my Nook people. Plus, Smashwords allows me to be in complete charge of my prices, including allowing me to drop a book to free for as long as I want it that way. Kindle doesn't give you this freedom (though, with the new program they'll let you post your book for free for a few days. Whoopee.)

Another thing: Smashwords has helped me so much with formatting, style, and sales (things applicable to Kindle and Nook) that it would be pretty stupid of me to pull my eBooks from their catalogs. And why would I want to prevent potential readers from accessing my stories for 90 days?

Lastly, I just partnered with an independent bookstore to sell my eBooks through their online store. That was hard work and I'm not about to throw it away!

I don't think the perks equal the disadvantages. Amazon usually does smart things, but for an author, this really isn't one of them.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

JK Rowling on Failure and Imagination

JK Rowling's address to Harvard graduates is one of the most inspiring I've ever read. I hadn't known her depth of understanding or experience in true-life matters, aside from what we hear all the time: "She wrote Harry Potter on napkins in cafes," until I read this. She really "gets" it.

Her thoughts on failure are uplifting and inspiring, and she definitely understands her way around the English language.

Please take the time to read (or listen to) her address, located here. Her message is valuable! Plus, she's funny. :-)

Oh, and also, The Key of Kilenya is being featured on SavvySisterShops! Go here to see it. :-)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

This is soooo hilarious!

I couldn't help but share this. With everyone I've ever known my entire life. :-)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Guest Post from Danyelle Leafty's Husband

Hi, everyone!

Danyelle Leafty, author of the Fairy Godmother Dilemma series, has gotten really sick, and we'd like to help her out. Here is a message from her husband about what happened:

Danyelle had been working very hard to get her series up before Christmas. Then "IT" hit. I guess she'd had internal gas all day, and by 10:45pm, she started experiencing unbearable pain that went until 12:15am when I got home. I got our four kids out of bed and loaded up, then helped Danyelle into the car and drove her to the ER.

As soon as we pulled into the hospital parking lot around 1:00am, our six-year-old autistic son flipped out. He hates doctors. He didn't want to be there, and I didn't want to leave my wife. I contacted someone from our church who volunteered to sit with our kids at home so I could stay with Danyelle.

Turned out to be a kidney stone. We got Danyelle home around 4:00am. Luckily, during the last two days a great lady has filled in for me at work, so I could wait on Danyelle hand and foot, and tomorrow my mom is coming.

Having Danyelle get sick right when she was working on releasing her books has been very stressful. We'd appreciate any assistance anyone has to offer to help us get the word out before Christmas.

Three of Danyelle's books are available as eBooks, and she has five total for this series. Here are the three on Kindle: The Fairy Godmother Dilemma: Catspell, The Fairy Godmother Dilemma: Firespell, and The Fairy Godmother Dilemma: Applespell.

Her website.
Her blog.
Her Facebook account.
Her Facebook Author Page.
Her Twitter Account.

Thank you!

Check out these other blogs featuring Danyelle and her books!
Andrea Pearson Books
Notes From the Writing Chair - Giveaway!
Anne Bradshaw's Place
Diana's Amazing Book Adventures - Giveaway!
Christine Fonseca, Author - Giveaway!
Roots in Myth - Giveaway!
Robin Weeks - Giveaway!
An Author Incognito & Janette Rallison's Blog - Giveaway!