I wrote this a loooong time ago (around 2003) when I was getting busy with setting up my own domain with a blog for the first time. There are some old references like “tagboards” (anybody remember those?!) and the dreaded “wall of shame” — where you were named and linked on someone’s site if you were caught stealing their stuff. Ah, the old days. Aside from those things, this is still pretty relevant.
Caution: Sarcasm and snark to follow. Meant to entertain and enlighten.
And here you are, oh great unoriginal one! You’ve come to my site to see what you can raid. You have no intention whatsoever of giving me credit for things you’ve used, and you have only left a comment on my blog/guestbook/tag-board with some absent-minded remark for a free link back to your site. You might not be dumb enough to steal bandwidth, but you DID make your layout 99% similar to someone else’s, and a mishmash of content that 30 other sites made, to make yourself look creative and smart. You feel so accomplished after all that copying and pasting! What’s that? Even your “About Me” section isn’t really you? Sure, we can change a few words. THAT is customization! Let’s go look at everyone else’s .CSS and see how much we can make your site look like theirs! Brilliant! Don’t forget to state that if you find anyone stealing your work, that you will come over to their house and murder them. After all, that copying and pasting was exhausting. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to pick out someone else’s button/banner that you like, fudge out their name and put your own? Like anyone will care about some little button… and don’t forget to use those brushes you got from a well know brush distributor and smatter your layout with them. You’re offering graphics you’ve “made” and can’t even give credit to the one who made the brushes. Suddenly you find yourself hounded by those people you stole from, and can’t figure out why you’re on everybody’s “wall of shame”. Scratching your head in bewilderment, you go back to copying and pasting. “Phew!”
*Slams on the brakes*… You know you’ve seen someone like this. Its a mystery as to how someone with a conscience can do all that and think they have a right to it. Why would you want to look and be like everyone else, anyway? Stylish and pleasing to the eye are completely different from just COPYING. Show your own talents and creativity! Let your site/content reflect who you are!filed under: Freelance Writing, Thoughts on Stuff, Writing Advice & Inspo ||| leave a comment?
I wrote this last year as I was getting ready for NaNoWriMo myself and wouldn’t you know it, I made it! I actually finished my 50,000-word draft (and then some) before midnight, Dec 1st. Here’s a little advice — what I did — to prepare for the month of manic writing.
If you make it to 50,000 words by midnight December 1st, what you have on your hands will not be a novel. It will be 50,000 words that you will need to refine to form a novel. It’s your first draft, of course! Don’t expect to write your masterpiece in a measly 30 days. If you’ve never participated in NaNo before and you’re considering it, this thought alone should relieve some of the pressure.
Writing 50,000 words in 30 days means writing about 1,667 words a day, if you’re able to write daily. Just the other day, I wrote a short story that was just under this amount, and it wasn’t bad at all. My brain didn’t hurt afterward. Planning your story in advance and marinating in the idea is what you need to do before sitting down and hammering out the first draft — this applies to any written piece. Preparation helps to avoid brain burn and hitting the wall. Proper planning also helps you avoid feeling iffy about your idea a day or two later.
Like my so eloquently Dad says: “Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.”
Follow these planning tips to give you a better chance of slaying the NaNo beast!
Jot down your ideas on paper/computer and create the character profiles. Go as far into detail as you can with the characters. Write a small snippet (around 200 words or more if you feel like it), as if you jumped into the story at a random point, and write down his or her thoughts on the current situation. This gives you a better feel for your characters on short notice.
Write your outline on index cards. Summarize each chapter on each index card — these provide a quick reference for the general idea of where you will be going next.
Write out the outline in list form and go into more detail. Keep in mind that things will come to you as you are writing, in the heat of the moment when your story is moving along. Let these things happen and write!
Make time in your schedule and decide how much you will be writing when you sit down to write. Divide the 50,000 words among these days into amounts you can handle, or amounts that you might not be able to handle, but are still willing try. Get a planner if you don’t have one, or use your phone or whatever electronic device is your life line and add “NaNo writing time!” in the dates where you know you won’t be disturbed. Stick to these dates. Warn your family and friends that you will be busy on these days or during these specific times.
Keep in Mind…
You will make mistakes as you write. Don’t worry about this and don’t reread each sentence as you type it — this will only slow you down. The technicalities of writing mean nothing at this point. Now is not the time to be a grammar nazi!
If you don’t make it to 50,000 words by the deadline, you still have a nice chunk of your novel written! Don’t stop now! You might be a little burned out, but now you know what you’re capable of. Keep using the planning tips to make sure the first draft gets finished.
Make sure you sign up at the NaNoWriMo website, fill in your info and explore the site. You can report your progress, and there are helpful people and links in the forums.
So, are you going to participate? I’m not sure if I can handle it this year, but I’m still considering it.filed under: Thoughts on Stuff, Writing Advice & Inspo ||| leave a comment?
This little goo-filled pink heart is a miracle.
The Hot Heart Massager. Science at its best.
I tried this out the other night. You bend the metal disk inside the heart (you have to get a hold of it through between the vinyl outsides) by folding it in half until you hear a snap. At first, I didn’t hear the snap noise and I thought I had broke it…
But then, it started getting warm. About 129 degrees Fahrenheit, to be exact.
Last night was chilly, so I didn’t mind the added warmth, and the heated massage. It was pure bliss.
I tried it out with the massage lotion that I got with it, the Serenity Massage Lotion. The main thing I liked about that: I didn’t feel like a greased-up pig afterward.
Actually, I don’t remember much after that, because I drifted off to sleep! (I think I may have found the cure for my insomnia when it rears its ugly head again…)
The massager does cool down eventually and gets hard as a rock. When you want to use it again, you just boil it for 10 minutes, set it out to cool and snap the metal disk again.
I’ve never seen anything like this before (have you?) and I’m impressed.
PS: I’m not getting paid to endorse this. I didn’t get it for free, either and I’m not getting anything later (no commission or anything!) — I just thought this was exceptional!filed under: Fun Stuff, Thoughts on Stuff ||| leave a comment?
A thrill seeker’s candy land. I love this place.
I love roller coasters. When I was a kid they scared me and it took a lot for me to get on one (back then we had Geauga Lake with roller coasters, not just Wild Water Kingdom) but after I conquered a few, I was hooked. It went from a fear to a craving.
I realized once you’ve gotten on one of the really good ones, nothing else quite cuts it anymore. After the Millennium Force and the Top Thrill Dragster, some of the other coasters didn’t seem so great. Even in this case, Cedar Point manages to keep outdoing itself.
One of the newer rides, “Windseeker” actually intimidated me. I wouldn’t go on it last year. It’s a swing ride that goes 300 feet in the air. I felt safer on the Dragster! Really though, there was nothing to be afraid of, it was just a nice view. Feeling nervous again on a ride actually felt good, as weird as that sounds.
You have to make sure you pack all the best rides into one day and that isn’t always possible, especially if you go on a weekend when it’s pretty packed. Not everyone can afford a “Fast Lane” pass (you get to skip ahead in line!), so what do you do? We always try to arrange to go on a Monday or Tuesday. We barely had to wait in line for most of the rides.
We also figured out a few things in the last two times we went:
The Maverick is so good and everyone loves it so much that even on a Tuesday, your wait time is 45 minutes — that didn’t stop me from riding it twice in one day, though. So in this case, next time we know to make this our first ride of the day. If you get there right as the gate opens, run to the Maverick! This early in the day, people will still be arriving, so you might not have to wait as long.
Second ride of the day? Top Thrill Dragster. We also had to wait longer for this one, but it still wasn’t as long as the Maverick. The Dragster might be the shortest ride in the park (17 seconds to be exact) but you also shoot straight up and straight down at an unholy rate of speed, so it’s worth it.
The other coasters you HAVE to ride: The Wicked Twister, Millennium Force, Mantis, Magnum XL-200, Raptor and Mean Streak. Ride these first, the others can come after.
Power Tower is only scary while you wait 20 seconds at the top for the drop straight down. I distracted myself by counting and looking off in the distance at Lake Erie.
The maXair is my favorite non-rollercoaster thrill tide. It doesn’t seem like a big deal at first, and then you get that fluttery feeling in your chest when it gets to it’s highest and fastest point.
I wanted to take more pictures, but I didn’t want to slow down our group or have to worry about losing my phone.
I can’t wait until Aiden is tall enough to ride them with me!filed under: Fun Stuff, Thoughts on Stuff ||| leave a comment?