06 October 2015

A Funny Thing Happened When - A Writing Prompt

For the first time in several years I have the flu. While at home feeling miserable as all fuck, I decided to take my mind off my misery by finding a creative writing prompt. I chose the grade level twelve, because what the hell, I think I qualify. In an attempt to lighten my mood I chose "A Funny Thing Happened When..."

Do you know how difficult it is to remember funny things when you have the flu? It's really hard, but I found one. This happened when two sisters discovered they are just too close in age. Everything my sister and I learned in our social circles: the good, the bad, the ugly, we learned at the same time and practiced on each other. Like the middle finger snap to the forehead. That was the ugly.

This kind of ugly, for real.

It was I who had practiced on my sister. Who knew I'd be successful in landing the perfect blow on the first try? She certainly didn't. I think I actually felt the surprise on my own face, even as I looked at the anger which crept onto hers.

I took off and she took off after me. I knew I had to get away, because though she was smaller than me, she would beat the shit out of you if she were mad enough, and boy was she mad!

Kind of like this

I felt I got away because we were yards apart when I reached the door in the hallway. All I had to do was get through that door and shut it right in the demon's face. I pulled on the knob and my knees buckled. My physical self got ahead of my practical self and I forgot to turn the handle. My entire body slammed into the wooden obstacle and all I could think was, "I'm going down." I may have even silently thought about Will Robinson.

I think I may have been 15 or 16 years old at the time, but if you can imagine a grown me screaming, "Ma! Ma! Dad!" at the top of my lungs before busting out into laughter, that's the image I want you to keep, because I don't recall what happened from that point forward. Each time we get together, we talk about this incident, but we never get past the laughter to finish the story.

Me and my sister, St. Marks 2012

I hope you will enjoy your own writing prompt. Please share them in the comments or link to your blog post. I'll especially enjoy it if you choose the same topic. I need the cheer and entertainment.

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23 September 2015

Writers Seeking Investors

I read a post by one of my blogger friends a couple days ago and while composing my thoughts about it, my comment grew beyond a suitable length, so I decided to post the response on my blog instead. Thank you, Randi, for such a stimulating topic. I can't believe I had more than a few sentences in me about "requesting financial support for writing and publishing a book." Apparently, these have become common projects on sites like GoFundMe.com and Kickstarter.com. However, the general public seems to be in a sort of debate about this, whether it is ethical or not. Many feel that these young writers should earn their way via some secret writ of passage. Let me put this in perspective a bit.

First off, GoFundMe and KickStarter are great programs and I think most people can peruse the projects on those sites and decide for themselves if a project is worthy of funding. Sure, the Internet wasn't always available, and these sites suddenly pop up and now there are more options for young writers today than ever before. So, you missed out? No! Go start your own project rather than scolding the young for having dreams and exploring new ideas. Who says you have to write, edit, submit, be rejected, and start the process all over again while you slave miserably 5 days per week, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., at a job that pays you a wage? Today you have options, obviously.

Don't whine that these folks aren't worthy to be published because they didn't get raked through the coals like you did. Let site donors decide if these projects are worthy of funding. If you don't think the project is worthy, then don't donate your money. Simple as that.

What if I want to fund some writer's dream? Should it matter to you? I'd much rather fund an honest person's dream than to let the government take it from me and give it to some person who sits on their ass all day long doing not a damned thing.

At least these kids are wanting to do something productive and creative. And, it doesn't matter how the funds are utilized, whether for a laptop with word processing software, an income to pay the bills while they write, or a fancy desk where they can spend their days working on their product. Isn't that how the government utilizes our tax revenue?

If a donor wants to fund a creative writing project, then that's what those platforms are for, giving creators a voice in requesting funds for their project ideas. The creation of a product is the creation of a product, no matter what it is. It could be a cool new game, a fancy cooler, or *gasp* a novel. Why should writing the next Great American novel be considered any different than any other creative endeavor?

To the writers out there who are requesting funding, you can't be too modest while in pursuit of a dream and you can't worry about what other people are saying about the way you are pursuing said dream. Just do it and have no regrets. Because when you are a success, it will be the only indicator that you did what was right for you! If you make it though, do give credit to those who donated to your project. It's the considerate thing to do.

And for this message of encouragement, I only charge a 10% fee on your first royalty check, so when you write that epic series comparable to Harry Potter, you can donate to my personal fund.

Go ahead, click it, seriously...

Your donations are greatly appreciated!

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18 September 2015

The Ethical Hacker - Oxymoron

Someone in my class used this term earlier this week and I had to respond to it. I'm tired of people using these two words together as if anyone at a professional level wouldn't be completely offended by it. There is no such thing as an ethical hacker. Please stop using these two words together. They make up the truest oxymoron in existence today. DON'T DO IT!


1. a person or thing that hacks.
2. Slang. a person who engages in an activity without talent or skill:

a. a person who has a high level of skill in computer technology or programming; a computer expert or enthusiast.

b. a person who circumvents security and breaks into a network, computer, file, etc., usually with malicious intent.

[eth-i-kuh l]

1. pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.

2. being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession.

Seriously, I don't like the term ethical hacker. Professional experts who access systems using skills other than ones known to the average user are not hackers, a term connoting persons hacking away at something until they gain access to what is needed. An expert who legally utilizes skills in order to access systems does so in a methodical approach.

What makes it legal is the owner of the system requests their expertise to assist in accessing areas where they've lost capabilities in doing so. There's no reason to tie the word "ethical" to a negative term in order to indicate the opposite of that term which refers to IT professionals who already carry titles such as Systems Engineers, Network Analysts, Security Analysts, etc.

Hackers are criminals. There is nothing "ethical" about hacking. You are gaining access to a system in which you do not have permission to access. Would you ever refer to a locksmith as an ethical burglar?

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14 September 2015

Future Book Promotions on my Blog

Beginning this month, book promotions will make up a small portion of my content, but I will only be promoting one book per month. Don't forget the theme of this blog is writing and making progress. I can't think of a better way to contribute to the blogosphere, can you?

Once I'm finished with my studies and have time to read for pleasure again, I may switch over to book reviews again. But, for now, here's the first promotion and it's for my dear blogofriend, Randi. Did I just make up a word? I think I did.

I know I will love these because Randi is a hell of a writer and I can't wait to read both books.

Author Randi Lee is running a buy one, get one promotion for two of her books: purchase a copy of Randi Lee’s “Affected” between September 14—22, 2015 and receive a free eBook version of “Snap! A Quite Quick Collection.” To receive your free eBook, e-mail a copy of your receipt for the purchase of “Affected” to: randi.lee@mail.com.

“Affected” by Randi Lee is available on major online bookselling sites, such as: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, kobo and Powell’s. Visit emotionalnovel.blogspot.com for more details.

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11 September 2015

Memorial to the Victims of Terrorist Attacks

I remember the day when the planes crashed into the twin towers. I was at an IBM conference in Orlando, away from family and friends. The conference leaders dismissed sessions in order for the attendees to watch as networks covered the horrific events.

I can't tell you how small I felt watching the footage unfold on wide-screens in the lobby of that hotel. I wanted to hold my husband and my children. I needed to comprehend how the most powerful country in the world could be experiencing such a mind blowing phenomenon such as the picture spiraling out of control before my eyes.

And then I wept.

I had nobody to hold me that night and nothing to look forward to, just the knowledge I had yet another session to attend in the morning. It was a long night.

I woke the next morning to complimentary bagels and cream cheese, a selection of fruit, and a choice between coffee or tea. I picked coffee.

I wonder today how different my life was at that moment than any number of the folks who jumped from windows of the twin towers to avoid the painful death of burning as opposed to sudden impact.


The next time you make one, remember those who lost their lives on that day. At least you have another day for choices.

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