Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Don’t Want To Be Too Hasty

But I think iOS 6.1 may have resolved my iPhone 5 Bluetooth issue.  My post from a few weeks ago “My Cat Cracks Me Up, But My iPhone Is No Joke” describes the issue I’ve been having trying to answer calls in my car hands-free over Bluetooth. Calls were just dropping. As of this morning, I have successfully answered two incoming calls in my car. Woo hoo! I’ll keep testing it over the next few days to be sure, but this may be fixed.  I am ridiculously excited about this.....It really is the little things sometimes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

O Brave New World

I’ve entered two new arenas this month. The first is self-publishing. The second is children’s birthday parties. I’m not sure which one is stranger.
My daughter and I are addicted to Angry Birds. She’s just discovered it and she insists that I get her to the next level each time she plays. I’m all too happy to oblige. This is way better than Mr. Potato Head.
I just don’t understand how everyone can be so active on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, their blog, and even Linkedin. I’ve got a Twitter account now because I’ve been told that I MUST have one to promote my book. Well, I follow five people and one person follows me (thanks btw!). I’ve tweeted nothing so far. I’m not sure, but that might defeat the purpose of having the account.
I’m doing a final revision of another book that I plan to self-publish on Amazon. This one probably falls into the chick-lit category. I realize that the publishing world says chick-lit is dead, but I still read it. Anyway, when I sit down to write, the story comes out the way it comes out. I just don’t see paranormal vampire and werewolf tales seeping out of my brain. I almost wish they would. They sell so very well, and it’s a trend that is far surpassing its fifteen minutes.
Pats lost. Very upsetting. But having two coaches who are brothers taking their teams to the Superbowl is pretty interesting.
Last weekend was the “no pants subway ride” day on the T here in Boston . I understand that it’s a humorous improv thing that takes place in lots of cities now. But being half naked while riding the T? If I could wear a hazmat suit when I took the T, I would. I have seen some disgusting things on those trains. College kids coming home from frat parties ride those trains. Nevermind the rats.  Seriously, you want to wear pants while on the T and anything else you can find to cover yourself.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nick Jr. Night Time Programming for Moms - Are They Serious?

When the television in my house is on, it’s tuned to Nick Jr. My three year old daughter loves all the shows on that station. Don't even think about watching anything else. If Ni Hao Kai Lan is on, she's glued to that set. Lately, I’ve been seeing commercials in-between her shows for programming that they are apparently running at night. They’re calling it NickMoms (or something like that) and they’re saying it’s for “mom time” when the kids are finally asleep and you get those few precious hours to yourself that you look forward to each day.
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at this. Do they seriously think I’m going to watch Nick Jr. once my daughter is asleep? I can’t change that channel fast enough. Forget CNN, forget CSI, forget NCIS, forget Bravo (yes, okay, I watch those housewives shows) I need more Nick Jr! Come on. Seriously???

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Cat Cracks Me Up, But My iPhone Is No Joke

My cat thinks he’s a person and I haven’t told him otherwise. At the end of a hard day’s work consisting mostly of napping and begging for food, he likes to take it easy and let it all hang out.

Next topic: I’m so disappointed in my iPhone 5. I had an old 3GS that was great. But it was heavy and bulky and when the iPhone5 came out, I was due for an upgrade. Big mistake. Being an early iPhone 5 customer is no fun. It seems everyone has heard about the map issues and the camera issues, but my biggest issue, which Apple is still not admitting even exists despite message boards filling with complaints, is Bluetooth. I cannot answer calls in my car hands-free using Bluetooth. When I attempt to, the person on the other end cannot hear me and the call gets dropped after a minute or so. I can pair the phone with the car, no problem. I can make outgoing calls over Bluetooth without issue. I can stream music from my phone over Bluetooth just great. But I cannot answer an incoming call without physically picking up my phone and manually toggling it to the phone speaker and back to the car’s hands-free system.  Unless I do this, I lose the call. Having to do this for each incoming call while I’m driving is dangerous.  So, I find myself calling my phone names and turning Bluetooth off when I get in the car.
Big surprise, when you go to the Genius Bar or call Apple, they blame the car. They say the Bluetooth in the car must be old. The car is brand new and it supposedly supports the latest versions of Bluetooth. My car manufacturer was nicer, but they blame Apple. I think they’re right. A quick Google search shows that tons of people have this same iPhone 5-specific issue with all kinds of different car models. I’m just so mad about this. If Apple would admit to the problem and say that they’re working on it, I wouldn’t feel so frustrated. But they’re complete silence on the issue is hard to believe. Maybe iOS 6.1 will finally fix it. Rumor has it (not Apple) that it might. Pretty, pretty, please.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dexter Is Done But Downton Abbey Is Back

Do I fit into anyone’s demographic? Is there anyone else who loves Dexter and Downton Abbey equally?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

“Black Metallic”

by Catherine Wheel. This is one of my all-time favorite songs. It was in my head quite a bit as I was writing Wintertide. It’s really the perfect theme song for Daniel. It’s part of Daniel’s playlist at the end of the book. I think I anguished over that playlist almost as much as I did over the book as a whole. When I first heard “Absolute Zero,” I thought that was a good song for Daniel, too. I made it the first song on his playlist. But the overall feeling of it is much too passionate to be a theme song for Daniel. The moody atmospheric sound of Black Metallic and my interpretation of what that song is about, suits him much better. I really wanted to add more Disturbed songs to the playlist, but they just didn’t fit the story - too much relationship stuff and too much emotion overall. Daniel just isn’t a real emotional guy.

There Are No Icebergs on Cape Cod

Yes, I’m aware of that. When I showed the cover of Wintertide to my brother-in-law, that was his first comment. I looked through thousands of stock photos to find the one that I finally used for the cover. This was the only one that was actually affordable and had the following: a guy about the right age who could represent the main character in the book, a winter scene with ocean - which is the setting for the story, and good spacing for the book title and some other verbiage. All in all, the photo fit the bill.  And if you can suspend your disbelief just a bit, he could be standing on the sea cliff from the story and not on an iceberg. (“Iceberg, right ahead!” Sorry, I can’t think iceberg and not think about that movie quote.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Write What You Know (Sort Of)

That’s what all writers are encouraged to do. Everyone, even those who do not write, have heard that advice. But it can’t be taken too literally. Otherwise, there would be no hugely over-hyped and over-written vampire genre. Oh no! (Actually, I have read and liked some of those books.)
When I told my family that I was going to publish a book that I had written, they all assumed it would be a heart-warming coming-of-age story or maybe a chick-lit book.  “You should write about all our crazy relatives,” I’ve often heard and still do hear. But then I gave them all copies of Wintertide...and they started looking at me funny. I could read the unspoken thoughts behind their bewildered eyes. Who the hell is she and what really goes on in her head? Did she really write about what she knows? The answer is yes.....and no. Daniel's personality is very similar to mine. Seth is derivative of several people I’ve known. Eddie is, as well. But I took those characters to places I’ve never been. It is “what I know” about them that anchors the characters and hopefully makes them believable even though the circumstances they find themselves in are rather extraordinary.