Saturday, August 18, 2018

Phrase . . . the true meaning behind the catch phrase: A fool’s paradise.

Pick a genre and you’ve probably read this catch phrase.

‘John thinks he’ll finally get the promotion, but then he lives in a fool’s paradise.’

‘Her fool’s paradise ended the day she caught her cheating lover in bed with her best friend."

Writing a historical and worried about the inception of this phrase?

Unless, your characters are pre-1462, you’ll be safe. This phrase first found its way on page in the Paston Letters, 1462.

But what exactly does a fool’s paradise mean?

Shakespeare embraced its usage in Romeo and Juliet, and certainly that was one couple that lived in happiness based on false hope.

Writing current fiction . . . or non-fiction?

The phrase – a fool’s paradise – is still as potent today.

Artist, Shohei Otomo, debuted his work in September 2012, entitling his exhibition: Fool’s Paradise.

The phrase shows its relevance in modern newspapers, as shown in The New York Times Opinion Section, October 6, 2008, article by Bob Herbert, A Fool’s Paradise, “We’ve been living for years in a fool’s paradise atop a mountain of debt.” has even determined that some wish to celebrate the day. July 13th is listed in their registry as Fool’s Paradise Day. Perhaps, it is just a day to
believe that anything is possible. Perhaps, a day not to worry about detrimental truth. And perhaps, it’s simply a day to assume that no matter the worst . . . it will all be over in a single day.

Whatever your take on the day, be careful not to live in a fool’s paradise.

Someday the truth will win out . . .
But then that’s a phrase explanation for another day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

12 Days of Office Depot Woes

Once Upon a Business, to Office Depot I did go . . .

ONE executive chair I did purchase

TWO hundred $$ did Office Depot over-charge

THREE fraudulent Office Depot charges on my account

FOUR bank rebuttals against Office Depot I did submit

FIVE different Office Depot departments who promised resolution

SIX Office Depot managers I did entreat -- please return my funds

SEVEN regrets for shopping with Office Depot

EIGHT Office Depot customer service agents I did beg -- please return my funds

NINE (90) minutes of typing/faxing/submitting rebuttal letters to Office Depot

TEN hours of listening to bad Office Depot hold music

ELEVEN broken promises from OFFICE Depot -- to date still no funds returned

TWEVLE (120 days) awaiting for funds to be returned.

For those in the business world . . .

for those authors searching for the perfect writing chair . . .

Hear my 12 Days of Office Depot woe.

Shop somewhere -- anywhere else -- and save the woes of miserly Office Depot who taketh but doesn't giveth.

Oh, and in case you really need to get in touch with a living, breathing person who is NOT part of the Customer Service 'useless' wheel -- their corporate number is: 561-438-4800. (It only took 120 days to obtain that phone number.)

If you call Corporate, expect a recording. Of course.
Be sneaky and persistent.
Select any department -- except Customer Service, then press 0 for the Operator and you should get through.

Oh wise shoppers . . .

-- especially do not go into OFFICE DEPOT.


-- and terrible customer service.

Protect your sanity and shop elsewhere.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mom Fun


I found this questionnaire on FB and it sent me down memory lane.
Take the trip with me and answer the questions about your FIRST born.
Actually, I'm not picky . . . if one of your other pregnancies is more memorable, think of that one.
Feel Free to steal the questionnaire and repost. I certainly did.

1. Epidural? Yes

2. Father in the room? Yes, although what he was supposed to do remains a mystery to both of us.

3. Induced? Yes

4. Delivered in OR/Delivery Room? Or All-in-One-Labor Room? OR: and honestly, I'm so grateful that I was totally focused on 'getting that kid out' during those moments of rolling into OR. These places are scary-looking.

5. Know the sex before hand? Nope, opted for the surprise.

6. Did you deliver close to the due date? Yes, actually only a few days early. I think the DOC induced out of self-defense. I'd threatened to slid down the banister to speed things along.

7. Morning sickness? Oh, you betcha! Six weeks of the flu-like systems.

8. Cravings? Mexican food - anything spicy -- chocolate covered cherries. Yes, and sometimes together. That's why they're called cravings.

9. Pounds gained? 25 (It was those chocolate covered cherries.)

10. Sex of the baby? Girl

11. Place you gave birth? Ft Worth. I managed to deliver all (3) of my babies in the same hospital, with the same DOC, no less.

12. Hours in labor? 12 hours

13. Weight: 7lbs 13oz

14. Name: For those who know me well, you know my oldest daughter's name. For those who don't -- honestly, you don't need to.

15. Age now: 29

And I added a couple of my own:
16. First thing my husband said to the baby? 'This is your daddy speaking.' Of course, considering that he'd said those exact words to my tummy for 9 months, it's no shock that my daughter turned her head and blinked at him. He swears it was a 'wink' of acknowledgement. Maybe it was. Those two have always been thick as thieves.

17. Sweetest memory? The first moment I held her in recovery. Almost 8pm on a surreal quiet Friday evening, still the old fashioned recovery area (the open concept) except for the bleached white separating curtains. Lights low, some soothing tune on a radio at the nurse's station, and then the squeak of metal wheels across tile as a nurse wheeled over the bassinet. From the blanketed depths, she lifted this tiny mummified creature and laid her in my arms. I was no wide-eyed youngster, but I knew a moment of sheer terror. I didn't have the first clue how to peel my baby free of all the swaddling. Watching my confusion, that I'm sure mirrored hundreds before & after me, the nurse lifted edge-after-edge until there was my baby girl. In an instant, there was this perfect being, stretching out baby ivory hands with sudden freedom, yawning and blinking open light-blue eyes to owlishly stare at me. How could something so perfect be mine? I marveled. Because God is good, and blessings do happen.

*Come on Mamas! Let's hear your story! Copy and paste. Change my answers to yours.

Enjoy the trip down memory lane!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Marketing: 13 Thursday Tips on TEXT TEASERS

TEXT TEASERS are a fabulous way to entice readers to purchase your book.
Today's job has been about seducing the reader.

I've highlighted Paint for the purpose of this blog, but other options for image-compiling the Text Teaser are available. However, I highly recommend working these early steps through Paint.

STEP 1 --

Resize book cover to several different sizes and SAVE!

STEP 2 --

Select side background picture for text teasers and paste as an addition beside your book cover. You will need to work with the sizing. Again, I suggest saving in multiple sizes for different media releases. What works on Facebook and what works on Twitter may require different sizes. Take the time - upfront - to resize and then mass media release is possible. Additionally, you can utilize a 'blank or solid colored' background if no particular picture reinforces your book. However, consider the multitude of free media images before you go with a blank slate.

STEP 3 --

Choose text teaser. Mine for gold. Choose a teaser that will still make sense when pulled from the text. Choose a teaser that emphasizes character conflict.

STEP 4 --

Load text on side background picture.

STEP 5 --


STEP 6 --

Oops! Won't save.

STEP 7 --

Re-select side background picture and add, change size of background picture, or as I did -- save as a .png.

STEP 8 --


STEP 9 --

Load text teaser on side background picture.

STEP 10 --

**Transparent? or Opaque?

If transparent, is your text color easy to read? Sized correct? Is your text teaser too long? But long enough to entice? Should the sentences be set apart for more impact?
If opaque, what color? How does that effect the overall read-readiness of your text? Is the text color the right shade against the opaque background color?

STEP 11 --


STEP 12 --

Reopen and make certain that you like the look of the text teaser, the overall sizing, etc. This TEXT TEASER technique is perfect for uploading reviews of your book. Once the basic cover art is sized for multiple media release, changing text teasers to reviews, and then more reviews is a click of the mouse.

STEP 13 --

Now upload -- everywhere.


Repeat all steps for more text teasers and to increase marketing presence.

If you noticed a theme in the process, it was SAVE. Save at each step so if part of the process falls apart, you can simply reopen the work @ the last step and start again. Starting from scratch is no fun; avoid the aggravtion, and SAVE OFTEN. Oh, and I keep a separate file inside my BOOK COVER folder, marked: TEXT TEASERS. I date each finalized selection so I'll know that's the finished process and I can easily drop into a marketing site.

HAVE FUN with this process.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

To War - fighting back from Hurricane Harvey

Weather is a constant, and 'whether' it's you, a family member, the dearest friend, or the most distant neighbor --
ALL of us have experienced terrible storms and their aftermaths.

Texan proud - I have lived in Texas all my life and like so many fellow Texans, I feel overwhelmed by the devastation that I see left behind from Hurricane Harvey, and I am completely humbled by the outpouring of day-to-day heroes.

In a world where anger is so often the proclaimed answer; where violence seems to be the norm; and words slash with deadly accuracy ---- I say, enough.

Stop for a moment, look around you right now. There is something of beauty in front of you; something that will provide you joy; and something that YOU can do for another.

The smallest acts are often the most valuable.

My challenge:
not one whiny word for the day, not one accusation, not one UNNECESSARY frown.
Stay in the moment, look inside, and find joy.

I'll let the pictures speak. The words are LOUD & CLEAR, if you'll simply listen.

Harvey blows ashore.


Rides come in all shapes & sizes, but the rescuers are all Heaven-sent.

Carried to safety!

Heroes save EVERYONE!

Even our Texas dogs are 'doers'. Sometimes, you have to save yourself.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

3-2-1 Book Launch

3-2-1 Book Launch

Book releases have changed over the past ten years or so. What was once the primary responsibility of the publisher’s marketing team has morphed into the author’s responsibility. What was once covered with editors/agents emails and flyers to brick-n-mortar shops is now vibrantly alive through social media.

To keep myself on track, I’ve compiled a list of what-to-do’s for my upcoming book launch. Am I arrogant enough to think I’ve covered it all? Nope, not even close. But I work better with a list, and as I reminisce of Bloggers’ Thirteen Thursday, I decided to start with that number.

1) Complete final editing & formating review of manuscript – check and recheck.
a. Visit with establish authors for last minute insight.

2) Format through

Sigil & check all formatting through

Calibre – underway.
a. Visit with technical support staff.

3) Compile list of teasers from manuscript for social media releases – check and recheck. (More may be added at future date.)
a. Read, review, & assess current teasers used in social media.

4) Decide on title – check and recheck.

5) Class on tagline; complete tagline – check and recheck.
a. Finding valuable resources on taglines is the first step to #5.

6) Work with graphic artist on book cover, tweak, analyze, confirm pixel requirements, file specifications, generally make myself crazy and then decide on the final version – check and recheck.
a. Select a brilliant graphic artist. I was incredibly lucky as one of my nearest & dearest friends is said graphic artist.

7) Resize final book cover to several sizes for social media release. Add release date – check and recheck.
a. All on my own & invested the due diligence in Paint.

8) Begin primary release of book cover with release date – underway.

9) Write book dedication – still in process.

10) List book reviewers and design spread sheets for monitoring – underway.
a. Research a viable resource list that is consistently updated and then visit each potential reviewer’s site to find those that are the best fit. Thanks Melanie Rockett

11) Complete all necessary documents, dates, & pricing structure for release with Amazon – underway.
a. Going through the specifics for a 3rd time. Comes from having an attorney in the family.

12) Determine possible author interviews, set dates, schedule return favors as needed – underway.

13) Update all Romance Writers of America

information to reflect current release – pending.
a. Spoke with Houston office and followed their specific advice on how to update member profile.

Finally – The reality is that there’s more to cover. So, brainstorm on all the things that I’ve forgotten to do; try not to hyperventilate; make the next list; and get on with the release.

Texas sayings

~Watch your step! Cacti, tumbleweeds, and an occasional armadillo might be ahead.

~Welcome to the land of tar-bubbling summers, gas-guzzling pickup trucks, standard Stetson headgear, and mile-high hair.

~Welcome to the Lone Star State, and Romance With A Texas Twist!

Quote of the Day