November Twofer

November is upon us…which means National Novel Writing Month! Woooooooo!

To recap: every November, from the 1st to the 30th, people from around the world attempt to write a 50,000-word book (approximately 250 pages) within that month. There is no fee and no prize, other than the satisfaction of saying, “Hey, I wrote a book…and in a month!”

I’ve been participating every year, since 2006 (or ’07). Last year, as I’ve mentioned before, I finally “won”: that book was published in August of this year (2014). Maybe you’ve heard of it: The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille. ūüėÄ

Camille ebook cover

I became aware of a sister contest: National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), which is a similar concept for bloggers. For the entire month, you post one entry on your blog per day, every day, from November 1-30? The prize? Getting into the habit of blogging ,and maybe even some more followers. Or, you can have the satisfaction of finally starting a blog.

I talk about it here:

Join in the fun on November 1, and strap in for a month of writing adventure! I’ll be blogging about my participation in NaNoWriMo, and I’ve already registered this blog, so I’m doing a twofer for November. You’re welcome. LOL

BTW: if you do NaNoWriMo, feel free to add me as a buddy (I’m afrosaxon).

I hope to see you on the interwebs! Thanks for stopping by.


The Social Media Shuffle

I recently consulted a social media expert (who happens to be a member of my sorority, and who also provides social media services to the sorority at the national level) to figure out how to best maximize my exposure. Since this is my first book, and I am a self-published author, I have to work twice as hard in order to gain half the exposure of a traditionally published author.  She reviewed my latest newsletter and recommended that I really work social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, etc) to get my name out there.

Well…that sucks. :/

Not because I don’t realize the necessity of this, given the technological strides we’ve made in our society, but because social media management is a full-time job, and it’s hard to do that AND create a product that requires promotion on social media. ¬†Plus, let’s keep it real: I am of a certain age, and have the most basic understanding of social media versus someone who was born with a smartphone in their hand, and with a Tumblr account. I know how to Twit (yes, I said “twit”, as I prefer it to “Tweet”), post on FB, LinkedIn, and Google Plus; I have a Tumblr account that I rarely check. But that’s about it. For all those multi-layered nuances that so many social media experts send newsletters about, well…I’m not on that level, and can’t afford to hire someone on that level right now.

(sidebar: if there are any college students who want to manage my social media for free, holler. Serious inquiries only.).

The good news is, a lot of the products I use are integrated with each other so that I only have to post to one place/site, and it shows up on other sites (Bless you, WordPress!). Still, the social media sorority sister suggested that I actually post unique content to the aforementioned sites, as a way of providing a more intimate feel with my audience.

Prince WTF look lip curl

Lookie here, I pour out my angst, euphoria, on my blog; I have to do it elsewhere too? This is too much for my little life. But alas, if I want to be marketable, it’s a sacrifice I’ll have to make…kicking, screaming,and Twitting all the way.

Oh, and I now have an official Author Page. Check it out!

Thanks for stopping by.


Multiplicity: The Irritation of Managing Multiple Social Media Accounts

I faced a dilemma recently. Since I returned to Facebook (FB )after a two-year hiatus, I have mainly checked my primary account (mind you, I have more than one due to previous lives/professions/life stages, but I can’t even get into those anymore). I also had what I called my business FB account, which was under my previous job and where I hardly posted; when I did post, I kept it clean because of the business contacts there. ¬†However, now that I’m rolling solo again, I needed to make some changes to that biz account.

Which brings me to a dilemma: how to be in two (or even three) places at the same time, social media-lly speaking.

It’s simple, yet complicated: I used to check my primary account on my smartphone (the layout is easier on my nerves LOL), my biz account on my laptop, and my side hustle on my tablet. Now, since my tablet ¬†has given up the ghost¬†(and I’ve eased back on said side hustle), I don’t check that account much. Which leaves primary and biz accounts. ¬†My biz account was previously linked to my biz email; now, I’ve updated that email so that I can keep up with various and sundry notifications–especially people who automatically tag me and message me on my biz account, because it’s under my more easily recognizable government name (even though they are also on my personal account, where I post a lot, but I digress).

I need Facebook to be like Google or Twitter: I have multiple accounts there, as well, but they are both ¬†set up so that I can easily flip between the accounts as needed. That’s very helpful as I keep boundaries between my personal life and my professional one. FB? Nope. You are locked into viewing/posting via one account, and one account only. Boundaries? Not on their watch!

As my duties increase going forward, I may have to look into one of those platforms like Hootsuite or Buffer or something. I guess. I’ll figure it out.

Anyway, now I have to get used to the changing of the guard. I hope I remember to post my snark in the proper place.


Thanks for stopping by.


Protect Ya Neck: The Quest to Keep Your Intellectual Property Safe on the ‘Net

I’ve been toying with the idea of posting short stories, etc, on this blog, so that more people can get a taste of my work. However, like most authors, I am very leery of people copying my work and trying to pass it off as their own–the Internet being what it is. ¬†Filing my work with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress is one thing; trying to police the internet is a whole ‘nother animal.

I know that there are various programs, plug-ins, add-ons, etc that can protect images, text, and the like from 95% of Joe Public. The other 5% are the computer hackers , and odds are that you can’t protect against them anyway unless you are a hacker yourself. Anyway, I did a search in the WordPress (WP) support forum to see what it had on offer. Cool stuff in the WP lab, BUT…can’t use it unless you’re on a site hosted elsewhere than WP. Dang it.

More searching (I had to get creative with the key words) and I found ways to protect blog content within the parameters of WP hosting. There was a laundry list:

  • Post a static copyright warning via a WP widget
  • Do a Google Search
  • Use watermarks on posts (can I really do that?)
  • Set up Google Alert(s)
  • Get a Creative Commons license
  • Change RSS feed settings
  • Use Copyscape

Oy vey.

By the time I got through doing everything but the Copyscape, I needed a nap. Being that I’m not the most technologically proficient person in the world, it took me a minute.Trying to keep your intellectual property out of the hands of the unscrupulous is very tiring. Even then, there’s no guarantee that some Adrian Lamo/Alec Hardison wannabe doesn’t crack the code on your little piece of the interwebs, and jack your ish for fun and/or profit. If that happens, and the above steps have been followed, then you’ll need to file a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice.

So I will give some writings a test run and see how it goes. If folks act like they have some home training, then we can have nice things and you can check out more of what I have to offer #FREE. If not, then the content comes down and you’ll just have to pay for every fiction item that I write.

Get it? Got it? Good!

Thanks for stopping by.