Silver Frogs

Yesterday, I finished teaching a once a week, 1 ½ hour, four-week course called Indie Publishing: Who Me? for Texas Christian University’s Silver Frogs Program. This is part of their Extended Ed program. And yes, all the students are over 50. (Well, as is this teacher, too. LOL) I taught the course two years ago. In the interim I’d learned a few things and had to make a few additions to the power point.

There are two main points I make with the presentation:

  • This is a learn by doing activity (and if I can learn to self-pub, anyone can.)
  •  WRITE THE NEXT BOOK

Bright, bright, interesting folks. The students had lots of potential. Each shared some of their writing samples. A couple were writing children’s books. Several were interested in writing memoirs. (Fortunately, I have a good friend who’d just published a book to help with that very thing.) Your Words Your Life Story, A Guide for Sharing Memories by J. Q. Rose. Several were into writing short stories, and I referenced fellow Sisterhood of Suspense, Vicki Batman’s short story collections. One man was already published with some technical books no longer in print. He was especially interested in marketing. I shared several examples of author’s newsletters, one of Kathryn Jane’s banner, and showed samples of SWAG. We talked about doing book presentations and all the places you can do that. We talked about Bitty Booklets, my best marketing strategy.  Laron Glover at http://www.ninthmoon creates these.  The other side has the opening paragraphs of the book and the other book covers in the series. MW_BB_2019_OUTSIDE_1

Doing something like this takes away from my writing time, but I love to do presentations. Lots of folks have helped me along the way, so it’s only right to pay it forward.

Have you been able to share your writing experiences with other? Are you terrified of speaking to groups? Just like writing, that’s a learn by doing activity. You only get better by doing it. Now, I’ve got to get back to my WIP. Love to hear from you.

The first book in the 4-part Second Chances Series is SECOND ACT. Four women friends from elementary school days, struggle with loss, tragedy, danger, and love. Read them all to see if they get their happily ever after.

Amazon Kindle http://amzn.to/19TAB4B

Amazon Print http://amzn.to/1NiKvcb

KOBO http://bit.ly/1FWzZH8

B & N http://bit.ly/1YKCq8S

iTunes https://apple.co/2umRBiy

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Crisis of Conscience

The idea for this post came to me while I was speeding along 820 W, the loop that circles Fort Worth. I travel on this road daily and frequently more often. For most of this road the speed is 65 mph. (Does Canada have the same speed limit measures?) Usually, I set my cruise control about 67 or 68. That’s because most of the folks are driving 70-75. Seriously. And I know cars have flown by me going 80.

speedometer (I slowed down to take this picture!)

So, Saturday I didn’t have on the cruise control and looked down to see I was flying along at 75 myself, just keeping up with the traffic, you know. After slowing down to closer to the limit, I set the cruise control.

By nature, I’m a rule follower. If the speed limit is 65 mph, that’s what I should be driving. At least very close to it. 😊 I realize there are folks in the world who are by nature not rule followers. Sometimes they are inventors and the creatives, and we’re grateful for their contributions to the world. But the world runs better IMHO if people follow the rules and the laws. Bad things can happen if these are ignored. Rules(Free from ClipArtBest.com)

Many years ago, on my older daughter’s 6th birthday (She’s in her 40s now.) my husband was in a wreck, totaling his car. A woman flew through a red light. I mean flew through it. Two cars had gone on the green before my husband entered the intersection. Now I don’t know what was going on in her life that made her think it would be okay to do that, but that was a bad decision. Fortunately, my husband wasn’t injured, but his mostly new car was totaled, and it was years before we could afford to get him another new car.

There are all sorts of examples of people skirting rules giving no thought to the affect of their actions on others. Do people just not have a conscience that doing bad doesn’t bother them? Are folks cowards to not stand up for the right? Years ago, in some class or other, I heard this exclamation of what our conscience is like. Imagine a ball. Inside the ball is a cube.

Cube Free from ClipArtBest.com

When you do something you know is wrong, the cube tumbles and scratches against the ball, making you feel uncomfortable. So, conscience is that little scritchy-scratchy feeling when you do something you know is wrong. The one I get when I glance down and see I’m exceeding the speed limit.

What happens if you keep doing wrong? I think the points of the cube get warn down, so you don’t feel discomfort anymore.

A crisis of conscience occurs when we know what’s right to say or do, but the consequence of doing so might not be the best for us. That can be something as simple as accidentally getting out of the store without paying for an item. Do you go back in, making you late for your next appointment? Or do you just forget about it?

Or what if you know your boss is cutting corners and not following the guidelines for a building? You need the job, but the building could fall if you don’t say something.

What if the person doing the bad thing is someone you’ve always liked and gotten along with, but you find out they are stealing from your company? Does that make a difference?

We went to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo Monday night where I have a small crisis of conscience which causes me to root for the animals. 😊IMG_3029 (Chuck wagon races last year.) 

IMG_3312 (From 1984, the first time I ran for the School Board. I lost this election. It was for the best. Kids were too young, and I learned a ton in the next four years when I ran again and won.)

I had a major crisis of conscience came when I was on the school board in the early 90s. We had seven single member districts with the President and Vice President elected at large. There was a push to make our board more diverse. We had two members who were black, but no Hispanics in a district with a growing Hispanic population. The idea was to make the Vice President position another single member district, making it easier for a minority to win it. The white Vice President was a very good friend of mine. We’d gone on the board at the same time. She was a strong advocate for our minority population. I was so torn by how to vote. Vote to make the change which would allow another minority and a Hispanic on the board? Or vote against my friend? It was agonizing trying to make that decision. Ultimately, I voted for the change, but I lost a good relationship, which only in recent years has been repaired. Still I believe it was the right vote.

In TRUTH BE TOLD, the heroine’s father has a crisis of conscience, and chooses to pay a blackmailer causing all sorts of problems for his family. Truth Be Told 300dpi

 

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Have you had a crisis of conscience over anything? Do you have another explanation for how our conscience works? Love to hear from you.

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Crash, Bang!

author 100 x 100   I love computers. I’m betting you do too.

I hate computer “problems.” I’m betting you do too.

Last year, my 1 ½ year old laptop—a first for me—crashed. Like I turned it on, and nothing happened crash. I panicked. My books! My stories! My life!!!

computer-smile[1]
I had a warranty on this laptop. I don’t buy warranties and a nice tech man put a new solid-state hard drive in. I sent the old hard drive off to have material retrieved (which, by the way, cost more to have done than the actual computer). Soon I was back in business.
But in the back of my head was “when is this going to happen again?”
Last week, my computer program was corrupted. I had everything saved, all was wiped, and restored. I had to spend several hours again to bring it up to speed.
Again, my brain went to the dark side— “when is this going to happen again?”
One week later, my laptop wasn’t running well. I determined to have the security software company run its scans. I’d paid for this premium service after the crash and could use as much as I wanted. Fortunately, what they found was no big deal (except in my head) and no virus had attacked it.
I’m still having thoughts of “when is this going to happen again?”
I don’t like living like that. Maybe that’s normal for laptop people. I’m not sure. I don’t watch movies, TV stuff, or do games. I write and buy handbags. So why me?
After a huge discussion with Handsome, I decided to buy a new laptop, but what kind?
question mark black So, I’m appealing to you and your computer knowledge…what kind of laptop do you like?

 

Just Desserts 400x600 72dpi

No problems here! Just lots and lots of laughs and happy every afters! “Some had me laughing out loud and others had me saying…awww. Quick little stories and a great way to escape from the stress of the day and just sit back and enjoy. Each story shows how two people meet. Sunshine, humor and heart all rolled into one enjoyable book.”

Find yours at:

Amazon    Amazon print Nook Other vendors

 

Ahhh! Technology!

I’ve written about Technology here before. Those of you who follow me on my blog have read lots of stories about my misadventures. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with the big T.

Last Friday, I was getting my new Surface ready to go to the Saturday NTRWA meeting where were going to have a giant writing fest. Lots of folks were away at RWA, so this was a good plan. So, I charge up the Surface, which I’ve only had a month or two. It’s so light and fits into my purse. Love this about this device.IMG_7185

I opened Word, so I could save my book document and the character list to the Surface which I’d emailed to myself.  I got a message that Word was about to expire and if I didn’t do anything, I could lose my work! Not words a writer wants to read. Ultimately, I didn’t go to the meeting. ☹

Sunday afternoon, I took the Surface to Best Buy and explained what the deal was. (I do love the Geek Squad. They are all so very nice, and never make me feel like an idiot. 😊 ) The kid asked if I had other computers at home and did I have that message on them. I knew I didn’t on the big computer and told him I’d check the laptop when I got home. So, I checked, and the Laptop is okay. If my husband can find the documentation for the program (I think that’s not the right word.), I can just update it on the Surface. If not, I’ll take it and let the brilliant Geek Squad guy/gal unload and reload it on the Surface. (Should I use the “the” in front of Surface? It sounds a bit odd either way.) 😊

So Sunday, after church Bob and I ate Mexican food for lunch.taco-2610649_640 (Free from Pixabay RobinsWorld)

(Just because it’s 109 outside is not a reason to skip Mexican food.) I responded to a friend’s text and then ten minutes later I was going to text the family. (There is a whole other issue about whether I should’ve been doing anything on the cell phone while I was at a restaurant with my husband!) I picked up the phone and a black screen stared back at me. Nothing changed when I punched the bottom button. I punched the on/off switch. NOTHING!

IMG_4730 (It does have a cracked face, because I’ve dropped the phone too many times!)

I don’t know about you, but pretty much my whole life is on my phone. Well, not my books, or reports I’m working on for the church move, but everything else. I know my cell number, which would do me no good, since the phone wasn’t working, and I know my daughter’s cell number, which she’s had since she was 16. She’s in her very early 40s now. Other than that, I know nothing.

I asked Bob who was on his way to work (long story) to text the family so they knew I was out of the loop.

Driving to the store with no phone was like driving naked. I mean, what if I had a car wreck? What if I ran out of gas? (I had a half a tank, but still….) What if I went too fast, and a police officer pulled me over? Being naked is scary.

You know how at technology stores they have greeters who open the door for you and ask what the problem is? Well, this nice young, emphasis on the young part, woman looked at my phone and did two things, and the little apple with the bite out of it popped onto the screen. Now I don’t know what caused the problem in the first place, but the next time this happens, I know what to do to try to fix it myself.

Push the bottom button and the side on/off button at the same time. Somehow that resets the whole deal. So for little time and no money, my cell and I were back in business. I am a happy camper.

Do you have those heart clutching experiences with your technology? Or are you a ninja warrior where technology is concerned? Love to hear from you.

PS Thanks to all of you who helped spread the word about my 3-Day $.99 sale I had going to celebrate the 5th birthday of VERMONT ESCAPE. Forgot to take it off so it’s still on Sale at Amazon https://amzn.to/2LgWGBh

Vermont Escape 300dpi (1)

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