31 December 2014

No More Resolutions - Make New Year Goals

Two years ago I listed 5 Stupid New Year Resolutions. I've since read back through these to get a deeper understanding of why they don't work.

Each of the resolutions I mention are huge commitments, sacrifices you make "up front" which do not produce immediate results. So, rather than making one stupid resolution, I'm setting 10 goals for 2015, and here they are!

Start Graduate School

Okay, so I cheated. This one was already in progress because I had to get accepted first, which happened in November. My first class starts January 12th in the new year. I am officially a graduate student at Purdue University working toward a Masters in Communications.  I am humbled to have been accepted!

Advance My Career

Notice I didn't title this "Get a Promotion" or "Get Another Job." This is because achieving a goal should be at the control of the person establishing the goal. I cannot control getting a promotion or being hired at another organization. What I can control are the things I do in order to elevate myself so I am perceived to be the cream of the crop. Helloooooo out there! Here I am!! Another option in career advancement could be starting a business.

Outline My Memoir

But Diane, you're only...oh, never mind. You ARE old enough. You know what? Fuck off.

Attend a Writing Retreat

For all of you who have done this already, I ENVY you! I can see myself in the mountains somewhere, sitting at a bay window in a log cabin and sipping a cherry vanilla espresso. Who am I kidding though? I'll just be some washed up romantic with writer's block. Oh well, I guess a day on the slopes, hot soup, and a blazing fire will get me in the mood to write. Who's with me?!

Attend the Tallahassee Writers Association Conference

I haven't missed one since becoming a member and I know why. This is the mother of all conferences, so if you have even the slightest interest in writing, YOU. MUST. ATTEND. THIS. EVENT. Period.

Attend the Florida Writers Association Conference

This is the best excuse for making a trip to Lake Mary in October. I wish I hadn't missed it this year, but I had to support Tim's run in the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. I will not be missing this event in 2015, the entire event, not just one of the days.

Get Back Into Yoga

This is not like joining the gym. Embarrassing enough, I already am a member and this is a free activity provided twice per week. Why did I stop going? Because, I couldn't keep Tim from giggling because he couldn't contort the way some of the 90 year old men in the class did. I think I can get Chelsey to partner up with me. She might take it more serious than Tim.

Take Gourmet Cooking Classes

The Food Network planted the larva, but now I have a full grown bug driving this desire to blanch, roast, bake, and grill. This will not be a very cost effective journey because I won't eat any of the things I want to cook. Any Guinea pigs out there willing to risk food poisoning? I'll be happy to compile goody baskets.

Finish My GeekSsentials Website

I started this site because I wanted to offer up services to the local Tallahassee area small businesses. I know how difficult it is for businesses to get out there, especially start ups, and word of mouth just isn't going to do it in this economy. With companies having to fork out more in health care costs and penalties, there's much less financial resources going into marketing and promotions. Hello out there! I work with your budget.

Institute Mom's Night Out

A new thing I plan to start with my kids is called Mom's Night Out. That means once per month, one of them has to take me out to dinner, lunch, or a movie. I get to pick up the tab. Hey, what better incentive is there for such a wonderful occasion?

Happy New Year, everyone!

Do you have goals for 2015? Tell us what they are in the comments below!

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27 December 2014

The Merry Christmas Blogathon

Thank you to Maria Zannini for hosting this fun event for bloggers! We are supposed to serve up photos of our Christmas spread. However, my partial family ate out for Christmas dinner since there were only three of us. Everyone else traveled north, so it wasn't worth the trouble to make a spread, at least not of food.

Not all is lost though. I still took photos of our fun filled day. From presents to stocking surprises and family portraits, here are the Christmas day photos from our home.

The stockings were hung from our
decorated mantel.

Even the dogs and ferrets had stockings!

First Christmas tree with butterflies...
and fake snow. When does THAT ever happen?
Don't judge!

We're doing this from scratch.
I swear.

My group. I know. The gingerbread man
looks creepy as hell.

Chelsey's less creepy group. Psst! The candy cane
stripes were made with food color gel, leaving
 the cookie inedible. She gets it honestly. :)

You distract them; I'll grab the cookies!

Family portrait. Not sure what the dogs
were looking at, maybe the ferrets?

Chelsey with her new Lenovo laptop/tablet.
Now I get to reclaim my Macbook. Woot!

In the voice of Austin Powers, "Do I
look sexy? Yeah, baby!"

They don't like sexy, you turd ball.
They like cuteness. See?

Of course, the ferrets had to check out the wrapped boxes. Look what fun Santa brought them!

Thanks for sharing your Christmas fun on this Blogathon. I'll be enjoying all of your photos on the 29th. Can't wait!!

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23 December 2014

Cooking Inspiration for Writing Horror

I don't understand why it is that every time I'm cooking something, whether for myself or for others, I get this sudden urge to sit down and write. It's the complete opposite from when I actually sit down in front of the computer, where I'm expected to write, and nothing comes to fruition in my tiny noggin.

I need to get these things off my chest because they're disturbing, these things which come to mind while I'm cooking.

Mixing Eggs

I think the same thing every time I poke egg yolks in a bowl and start whisking away at them with a fork. Drowning eyeballs blink back at me and brains scatter about the bowl screaming, "Noooo, please....!" And you know those bubbles that form when you've whisked away fast and furious? They balloon up and pop like in a cauldron of some witch's brew.

Seriously, this is what I see.

It's even more fascinating when you dump the mixture into a skillet waiting with a thin layer of piping hot oil. The fizzing and hissing, along with the bubbling, inspire me to write something horrific. It's excitingly violent.

Rolling Dough

I like the yeast dough, that stuff you have to let sit a while so that it puffs up nice and airy. I never understood all that making it bigger and airy. Aren't you just smashing out all that air when you punch and roll the dough? Duh.

Can you imagine
how this might end up if dough could punch back?

I don't do a lot of baking. Much of this I witness on the Food Network. Every time I see this rolling of dough, I get a sudden urge to write about my last mammogram experience. The mammogram is no joke. Get one every year if you can. Just don't look up into the mirror while your boob is smashed down to an eighth of an inch between two Plexiglass plates. You'll never look at rolling dough the same.

Pancakes on a Griddle

Anyone else addicted to watching pancakes form on a griddle? It's like I can't take my eyes off the holes. I try to count them as they appear. Things get overwhelming when they multiply exponentially, so I watch the batter dry instead. I find myself wanting to write about craters forming on the moon's surface and folks trying to escape while molten lava fills in on all sides until the tiny people are forced to jump into pits filling with fiery rage.

Looks like a flattened moon, doesn't it?

Then it's time to flip the pancake and the batter splats out the sides, just like I imagine a batch of lava spilling onto a flat surface. I should try red velvet pancakes next time.

Hot Dogs in a Microwave Oven

They always split at the tips, kind of like how a flower blooms, or a screaming alien. From the middle of each tip, the very first second, there go the ends. Boink. And they're steaming hot after 3 seconds. For some reason the middle of the dogs stay warm. I thought the microwave cooks from the inside out?

Painful, right? The creators of Alien
could have saved a lot of money using this image.

Hot dogs cooking in a microwave is the only activity which makes me think of human flesh and how it might blister and split when baked too long in the Florida sun. Skin cancer is no joke either. Stay out of the sun as much as you can, wear sun screen, and see your dermatologist annually.

Hamburgers on a Grill

A hamburger is supposed to be grilled on high heat. When done right, it gets that pink, bumpy texture everywhere and the bumps are surrounded by bloody streams   and this white solidifying  juice around the perimeter of the patty - always looks like a large canker sore to me. I know gross, right?

You're lying to yourself...
if you don't think this looks like some sort of STD.


So why does cooking reflect this imagery? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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14 December 2014

Thug Style Seems to Work

Classes start the 2nd week of January, 2015, but God has already taken me to task and is preparing me for my journey.

The first validation came in the form of a rare and challenging moment. It was in the midst of my attempting to acquire seats on a flight after having paid $1,100.00 for airline tickets to Roanoke, VA. Being a software developer, I understand systems go down at routine intervals for maintenance and such, thereby leaving websites unavailable to provide services. I also appreciate the alternative option of picking up the phone and calling the number provided in order to finish my transaction and ensure a product with which I will be satisfied, namely, a flight with assigned seats which will allow me to travel beside my companion and love of my life.

This was my ordeal while attempting to access the telephone version of whatever system assigns seats at this particular airline:

Airline recording: Please state your confirmation number using words in place of letters, such as C as in Charlie or P as in Paul. 
Diane: G as in God, B as in Boy, D as in Dog, K as in Kelly, 2, 5. 
Airline recording: I'm sorry, your answer is confusing. Many words sound the same. Please distinguish your letters and remember, C as in Charlie or P as in Paul. Please state your confirmation number. 
Diane: G as in Good, B as in Boy, D as in door, K as in Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, 2, 5. 
Airline recording: I'm sorry, your answer is confusing. Many words sound the same. Please distinguish your letters and remember, C as in Charlie or P as in Paul. Please state your confirmation number. 
Diane: How about F*** OFF?!!!! 
Airline recording: One moment while we transfer you to someone who can further assist you.

Further assist? You haven't assisted me AT ALL. You've only managed to waste my damn time!

THIS is why I chose the Communications Program...in the name of progress, of course. It's in my purpose statement, I promise. :)

Do you find this form of open-ended communications a waste of time? When is it appropriate to provide some human intervention?

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08 December 2014

Word of the Day - Security

Word of the Day


freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety.
freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; well-founded confidence.

Tim and I walked out of Walmart this evening with a handful of purchased goods and the security alarm went off. I was like, "Screw it. I'm running to the car." And I did.

I know this seems childish, but I'm tired of those things going off because some lazy cashier didn't swipe to deactivate the magnetic strip on my new PC game. That's right, it's mine. I paid for it. As definition number one states, I have the freedom from danger, risk, etc. Why? Because I have a receipt that says the product is mine. I am free from the danger of going to jail for shoplifting.

Last I checked, running is not a crime.

Walmart folks probably know they have a loose policy because human error almost always accounts for 99.9% of false alarms. So when these devices go off, nobody cares. And you know what? Nobody came after us either, and then I wondered why.

What if they had come after us? They would have checked our receipt and discovered, yet again, their security system is flawed.

Staff policy enforcer asks, "So, if you were innocent, why were you running?" 
"Because your fat ass was chasing me!"

Um, yeah. I think I did.

So why even bother to have this system in place if you're not going to run after us and check our receipts, or only do so discriminately? Sure it would be embarrassing to cause such a ruckus in the parking lot, but if you're using the alarm system as a deterrent, then you have to police a little better than this, right?

The funnier matter is watching the alarm go off on other folks who haven't gotten fed up just yet. They look around all astonished, turn back toward the store workers, hands and bags in the air hoping for assistance, and all the while, they have shock and disgrace written all over their faces.

WTF!? I paid for this shit!

A worker then walks toward the victim, who has now attracted the attention of every single person in the store, and says, "Oh, that's okay. Someone probably just forgot to swipe the security strip on a product you bought." They wave at the customer and motion for her to go ahead and leave, as if that customer had been officially detained somehow.

This is an example of the second definition of security. The store worker has the freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; well-founded confidence. She's confident that something didn't get swiped. How so? Because, SHE forgets to do that shit all the time!

I wonder if you can sue major businesses when their security policies cause undue embarrassment and emotional duress like these stupid false alarms, because if you don't enforce properly, this becomes a bullying mechanism at best.

What security systems baffle you due to their uselessness?

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02 December 2014

Social Analytics and Your Story

Have you ever wondered what your impact is as a start up author or publisher, especially if you don't have big business behind you? Stephen King and Dean Koontz don't have to ponder such things because someone else is doing that grunt work. This leads to a very popular question among new authors and publishers in today's digital world, because "sales numbers" are not as important as influence. At least, not at first! We're trying to establish a base and haven't even considered sales. How do we gain traction from the beginning?

We are coming into an age where information is freely available and people out there are proving that this data is more important in gaining power and influence than are sales numbers. Information is freely provided because it is acquired at less cost than past methods. As with drug addiction, if you peddle the product for free and if it's good stuff, they'll come back in droves!

You save money and effort while using today's freely acceptable modes of pushing your data. Facebook is free, Twitter is free. You have all these avenues of marketing potential. But, what do you sacrifice by navigating in the dark with no direction? Your time! And, with little feedback.

What's missing? Analysis and decision making are lacking. All this data means nothing when the other guy is using theirs to make decisions which beat you out in the market place. They know what the data means and they know how to produce more content via reviews and conversational feedback, which in turn allows them to target in a way to maximize on the knowledge they gained by analyzing the mined data they have accumulated. Say what?

Simple terms. What do they have that you don't? Direction and a budget, sustained by years of branding and accumulating that base you're trying to establish.

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself when promoting your product.

Brand: What is your message?

Stephen King: I can produce horrific stories that will make you lose sleep at night.

Mission: What goals have you established which will live up to your brand?

Stephen King: I will write 3 novels that will creep you out!

Scope: How will you reach your goals without diluting your brand?

Stephen King: I will write from my heart and not listen to all these folks who give feedback saying that I should do something other than write 3 novels that will creep you out.

Feedback: What feedback will you utilize to reinforce dedication to your brand?

Stephen King: I will not wait for feedback in the form of fan mail and gratuitous visits to my estate. I will go out into bookstores and institutions who invite me to speak and I will listen to my consumers, the readers of my books. If they're not happy, it's time to change my brand or the execution of my message.

What is your message to your audience?

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22 November 2014

The Humility in Making Progress

When success feeds into your humility rather than your ego, you will naturally attract the energy from others who also desire success as a team.

This is not a regularly scheduled blog post, but I wanted to share the profoundness of what's been missing in the world I'm viewing.

"Be that change you want to see in the world."

I saw this quote somewhere and it became my favorite, so short and sweet. But I recently found that it's not really a quote by Mahatma Ghandi, but evolved from a quote more attributable to the great leader and shared by BRIAN MORTON in his article Falser Words Were Never Spoken, Published: August 29, 2011:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.”

Be kind to one another and work toward the best tomorrow you can conjure for yourself and others.  :)  Pass it along in the Blogosphere. This one-minute, inspirational video says it all.

What is your favorite inspirational quote? Share it in the comments below.

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18 November 2014

Your First Post - Blog Hop

I'm sharing my very first blog post on this site, my only blog site, because I think it's an awesome concept to share the "why" behind your original motivation for exploring and creating. Mine wasn't to promote my individual writing progress. It was more to discover what blogging had to offer for our communications division where I work.

More than 5 years later, here I am. I'm part of this fascinating community of like-minded folks who love to write and share.

Will you take the time and sign up for this blog hop and link your very first post?

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16 November 2014

The 5 Office Villains

When I think about the villains I'd like to develop, I imagine those people I've known in the past who annoyed the hell out of me. Is it a great way to get sued? I don't think so, because these folks are everywhere, and it's kind of hard to pinpoint oneself when you aren't even aware that you have these annoying qualities.

My favorite villains are those driven by insecurities rather than the goals and objectives they set, unlike evil lords and emperors, who basically have no weaknesses. Those archetypes either want to destroy the world or own it. That's boring. It's more fun to watch the amateurs! :)

The Identity Thief

This is the person who wants to be you. They love everything about you, but won't admit it. They want your money, your looks, and your brains. Why? How the hell else are they going to be like you without stealing your identity? It's not like they can work for it themselves, lazy bums.

At the end of my story, this person would unknowingly steal the identity of a convicted child molester who violated probation for failure to register as a known sex offender. That'll teach them. =)

The Ignorant Narc

She's in everyone's business and thinks nobody knows she secretly envies everyone who has anything she doesn't, which is basically a lot to make up for. She has nothing going on in her life, so she reports on everything going on in your life, in your friend's life, in your dog's life, and essentially anything else she can make up. Little does she know, the person to whom she's reporting these things also thinks she's a loser.

It's hard not to feel sorry for this character, so in order to avoid making her a sympathetic character, she cannot EVER feel loneliness or self-pity. Keep the evil intact and do not give her any redeeming qualities.

The Immoral Whore

You know this person as the one who is sleeping with the boss to get ahead. He thinks everything is discreet as he slips into the big cheese's office to get a little quickie. He comes out adjusting his tie and gives his colleagues a little wink before heading back to his office.

He takes long lunches with the boss, they wait on each other before heading over to the "big" morning meeting, and they laugh and joke, coffee in hand, on the way back from the "big" meeting. He eventually gets fired for under performance, but we saw that coming, didn't we?

The Dastardly Moron

This one likes to be the smart guy who knows everything about anything, but nobody's allowed to actually SEE any of this knowledge in any sort of product he has created. You only get to hear him talk about his prowess, but you never see the results of anything he's ever accomplished.

Don't disturb him, either. He's BUSY! The boss is convinced this guy is a genius and now our superstar is trying to figure things out, all on his own, before he's found to be an utter moron. All the while he's screwing up all those things you will eventually have to fix once he's fired.

The Yes Man

Tim says I must absolutely list the "Yes" man. But I'll stop picking on the guys so much, so this next one will have to be the "Yes" woman. You know her as that person who agrees wholeheartedly with the new boss every chance she gets, no matter the utter moronic decisions executed.

The new boss says, "I think [Dastardly Moron] is doing an outstanding job. I think I want to promote him to management."

[Yes Woman] says, "Oh I AGREE with you! [Dastardly Moron] would make an excellent addition to the management team. Great call, boss! When I first met you, I just knew you would take charge and come in and get shit done around here. Are those new shoes? Those look like a pair I have at home. I do admire your taste."

Now, get back to work. But, share this first. We need to spread the word about this untapped resource of readily available villains.

Which of these would you vote as most annoying?

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08 November 2014

Digital Analytics and Your Story

I spent this past Thursday and Friday engrossed in conversations about digital analytics after hearing from top executives at companies like Coca Cola, Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting, Facebook, QVC, and many more who have embarked on leveraging big data to drive their businesses. But what do little guys like me want from a conference such as this? I want to understand how to collect, process, and analyze this data as well, but I'm not trying to make money. What I want to do is provide better content, some product that is more targeted to my audience. I discovered big data is useful to anyone with a goal.

For example, if your goal is to sell more books, you need feedback. If you place 10 books on the bookstore shelf and all ten sell in the first week, how do you know producing 10 more of the same book will have a similar result? How will people learn about the success of your book? How do you know your book impacted the readers who purchased it? Book reviews, star ratings, tweets, Facebook likes and mentions, and shares are those things that help today's producers connect with their consumers.

At some point you need to step away from your product that you've been pushing and take a look at what your consumers are telling you. Marketing is fine, but if you're spending all your time, money, and efforts on pushing your product and you don't look at your feedback, you may be making the wrong decisions, or at least experiencing some missed opportunities.

There are some interesting ways these organizations use big data and their executives were passionate about sharing them. Did you know that Instagram is the number one social media platform used in data mining by smaller organizations which are physical attractions? Think about it. Unlike liking something or sharing an article, what do people do when they visit a physical location such as a museum? They take selfies at these locations and post them on Instagram. Hello geolocation data!

I'm sure the Plaza Resort & Spa will appreciate my patronage. 

Think about your goals. Think about how you can utilize digital data. There is a story in the conversations you have when you build that relationship with your consumer. I think what I'm looking for is that story...

How do YOU engage with your audience?

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29 October 2014

Finding Your Writing Niche

I don't know why I did it, but today I purchased William Zinsser's On Writing Well from a gift shop bookstore. It was a little pricey, but the impulse, arising from boredom, put me in a curious mood. The front cover of this book clearly warns it is a "Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction."

Did you see that? The color of the operative word is red.

I've been trying to produce a fictional novel for the past several years. I've written fourteen chapters in my third attempt. Why would I gravitate toward such an extreme as nonfiction? I had to ask myself this because my appetite for fiction seems to have taken a dive. I leave my manuscript at various stages and in multiple locations: Dropbox folder, flash drive, external hard drive, etc. Sometimes I wonder when I'll actually hunker down and go looking for the most current version. Sad?!

So now I ask myself. What "nonfiction" subject would appeal to me? I've pampered my blog for 5 years now and I've never once treated it like I do my manuscripts. I haven't ignored it for months at a time. I check the health of my blog with Google Analytics to ensure she's getting the proper attention. I post articles with keywords resulting in promised and predictable results. So why don't I allot the same attention to my manuscript?

After I read the first 3 chapters of Zinsser's book, a revelation struck me. I'm not a storyteller. I don't have a story I can jot down in a set number of words to make a novel. I'm a writer who wants to tell you about what I know and believe. That's why I return here so much. I'm not wired to tell stories. I'm wired to give an opinion about things I care about, namely writing and the crap that happens to me.

This is sort of about writing, but it's more about crap that happens to me. It's about the purchase of a writing book which may have changed my writer path. Whether that's for the better or not, we shall see.

Maybe I should look into memoir writing...

Topics available:

1. The Magic Closet - the story of my son who has A.D.D. and the number of times I found naked girls in his bedroom closet.

2. Hi, I Don't Belong Here - my week long stay in the hospital because I lost it, really lost it.

3. I'm Glad I Wasn't Aborted, Too - a candid discussion with my mother who revealed the fact she couldn't afford to abort me and the relief she felt afterward.

Trust me, all three are nonfiction titles! Please vote and let me know which story I should tell. I appreciate your input. You all have been with me through the years. You SHOULD be the ones I listen to when making these major decisions with my writing journey. I trust you. Write your votes in the comments below.

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20 October 2014

Top Ten Replaceable Words

An article jumped out at me while at work today. A link to it in our weekly newsletter lured me away, the title being "18 Common Words You Should Replace in Your Writing." So what do you think I did while reading this article? I mulled over each word and instinctively produced some fresh ideas of my own, not just replacement words. I'll summarize 10 of the suggestions given, then provide my own thoughts.

1. Good - superb, outstanding, or exceptional.

I agree with this one. If you want to say something was good or someone did well, try a little creative back story.

I hadn't had a meal like that since grandma made her chicken and dumplings and won first place at the Greenwich Country Cook Off.

2. New - latest or recent

If you're talking about a recent batch of donuts, wouldn't they be warm and sticky? Choose words which describe the properties of being new or recent. Maybe the smell of alcohol-based duplicating liquid would indicate the recent production of examination papers a teacher passes along in class.

Jackie lifted the paper and sniffed at the drying fumes on the exam sheet Miss Robinson placed on her desk.

Okay, so if you were born circa 1980, you won't get this. Just carry on.

3. Long - extended, lingering, or endless

If you tell me that it's been a long time since you last saw me, isn't that subjective? Maybe I didn't want to see you again, in which case it hadn't been long enough. Instead, be specific.

"Oh my goodness! It's been 10 years since I last saw you."  
"That many years, huh? Seems like yesterday to me."

4. Old - ancient, fossilized, decaying, or decrepit

The frayed laces and the unglued, rubber-tipped soles of his tennis shoes are a better way to describe something in a specific manner. Again, old is subjective here. To someone who grew up poor, that's just the half way point.

5. Right - exact, precise, or correct

It is the right thing to do! Oh yeah? Whose moral code are you following anyway?

She is right. Really? You mean what she said is based on fact? She spoke the truth, or otherwise didn't tell a lie.

I enjoy my coffee with 2 teaspoons of sugar in an 8 oz serving. Just right, for me.

6. Different - odd, uncommon, exotic, or striking

Instead of using the word different, I like to read descriptions which show contrast.

He flung the fair-skinned maiden onto the center stage in a room filled with Arabic bidders eager to make the purchase for her endowments. They yammered in quick, high pitched syllables, and the whites of their eyes bulged wildly from their sockets.

We can assume the lady is different in many ways, including race, community status, emotional state. So, when describing differences, think about why something or someone is different or odd. Let the reader enjoy the difference.

7. Small - microscopic, miniature, or tiny

Another subjective adjective. Babies are small, but baby rabbits are smaller. Here is another opportunity to show with contrast. What if you read about a tall man who had stubby, two-inch fingers and one-inch thumbs. Weird, huh?

8. Large - substantial, immense, enormous, or massive

I agree, large is boring. Huge is better! I like the word ginormous, shared by a fellow geek at an IBM conference once.

If you tell me a man palmed a regulation sized basketball, I will assume he has large hands. When describing mountains, it is not necessary to refer to them as massive. For real, is there a mountain out there which isn't massive?

The reception bill for my daughter's wedding would be considered large or substantial, but mentioning that it totalled $21,000.00 puts it in perspective a bit, doesn't it? Details are more substantive than mere adjectives.

9. Young - naive, youthful, or budding

Please be reminded that old people can be naive too. As a matter of fact, schemers tend to target elderly folk who are more naive in the ways of social engineering through technology and digital media.

10. Almost - nearly, practically, or verging on

Why even use these at all? I think this robs us of the fun in having things actually happen. So what if someone nearly fell off a chair? Wouldn't it be funnier if they fell off the chair?

Do you have any replaceable words to add to the list? 

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14 October 2014

Making Progress is a Humbling Experience

I was so proud of my male ferret, Shogun, when he learned this new skill. Casting rollover is a difficult lesson to learn and it took two weeks of click training, but he finally got it down to perfection. I love this kiddo!

Wait a minute, this journey isn't over yet! Soon after he mastered this new skill, Shogun became confused and did not respond appropriately to new stimuli with which he came into contact. He tried to make sense of his newly acquired skill, but nothing happened when he cast the spell again and again. Even the introduction of a plastic cup duped him...three times!

Then it hit me. Shogun takes after my sister, the new magi. Listen closely, wait for it.

For all my tech friends out there, just because you learn a new skill does not mean you necessarily understand how to use it. You must research and practice. :)

Have you learned something new and techie?  Would you like more understanding about your newly acquired skills? Ask away in the comments below and we shall be certain to enlighten.

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05 October 2014

When There's a Lack of Progress

I've been thinking a lot about my career lately and what seems to be the progress I have NOT made. It appears whenever opportunity knocks and I decide to answer, the door gets swiftly shut in my face. But you know what? Life isn't over by a long shot. You can do things to make a more positive experience for yourself. One of those things is to list out the obstacles which keep you down. Share them with friends and family. Get some input and have a few laughs. Try not to let things get you down. Your day is coming!

Here is my list of 5 things that go wrong in the work place and how you can combat them to make your life bearable again.

Lack of Motivation

Don't give up! Find new things to occupy your mind while others around you are attempting to drown out your enthusiasm. Why? Because when you find new things that spark your interest, you're likely to find others who will follow. There IS a difference between controlling the status quo and paving a path to a brighter future. Be that change you want to see. Don't just let things happen to you.

Lack of Experience

Are you watching the same mistakes being made from afar? You know what's wrong, but you don't have the authority to step in and give a helping hand, right? Do it anyway. Point out the obvious. You are more likely to get a thank you than an angry outburst for your meddling behavior.

Lack of Supervision

You've seen it, too? Those irresponsible twits who get away with everything they're doing wrong, never to be held accountable for their actions. Yeah, annoying as hell. If something is getting ready to land on your ass, you need to say something. If you don't say anything, you're just as guilty when something goes wrong.

Lack of Proper Coaching

When relying on teamwork, it's very painful when you make the right move and the other player is not focused on the task at hand. Makes for a big disappointment, one which overshadows your wonderful skills and desire to perform well. Be patient. If you have a coach, remember, they don't like to lose either. Some adjustments might need to be tweaked. Give it some time. The team will come together if the right coach is in place.

Lack of Professionalism

No need to explain this one. We all know too well those at work who seem to throw things in your face whenever the opportunity presents itself. They love to remind you how great they are and how not so great you are. Sure, they don't know how transparent they are, they just think they're too cool to deal with you on a professional level.

I think for now, I'm done. Let this be a lesson to you all. Play nice, and remember…always know, life is too short to let these things bother you.

I'm good, you're good, and life's good. Peace out!

Do you find these things in your life or at work? If you have a situation to add, please do so in the comments!

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28 September 2014

Real Ultimate Power - Ninja Style

I have decided to share the REAL Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book. Have you been feeling shut out, left behind, even made to feel like you have no skills because you are not super haXor material? Well, this book is for you! I'm not lying.

I've gone up against these folks myself. They are out there, everywhere! You can't hide. Well you can. Sort of, but not forever. The other side will eventually find you lurking.

Please get it, read it, live it. Be your own ninja, and don't ever let anyone tell you any different. It is in the code, folks. The code. It is only shared by those who have already mastered the skills and are not just posing.

If you read the book and still don't understand, use my contact form and send me your questions. Ninja power, folks! Ninja power. Get the book, learn some skills. And remember to always be happy and play nice.


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