Thursday, December 8, 2011
in a program that makes them available on the Kindle Owners Lending Library. This means if you have a Kindle and you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can now borrow any of my books FOR FREE for a month! So if you've always wanted to read one but it just hasn't been in the budget - borrow it! If you need something to curl up by the fire with this winter - borrow one!
You know all those authors who scream about their books being checked out of libraries and not getting any royalties? Well, the cool thing about this program is that the author - that's me - gets a wee percentage depending on how many times my books are borrowed. They will be on there for 90 days - so go forth and enjoy!
And if you would be so kind as to post a review when you are done, that would be awesome, too.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Zazzle is having a sale on greeting cards now through Sunday - 50% off cards, and 10% off postage (use code CARDNPOSTAGE at checkout).
Here's my favorite Winter Solstice cards (including mine, I admit - LOL)
This one made me chuckle:
That was a fun little diversion from all the griping lately, eh?
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I have a Kindle. It holds over 3000 books. Instead of eight bookcases and more books in boxes I am now down to two bookcases and four boxes of TBRs – two of which are in serious danger of being taken to a charity shop this week. One bookcase is full of non-fiction references that are not (yet) available on the Kindle.
With the Internet, it’s like having a million libraries right here on my desk, available any time day or night without having to get dressed and gas the car.
I create digital art. I need enough space on my desk for a tablet and a computer. Those are my art supplies.
I write – on the computer.
We love music. We each have our own iPod shuffle and iTunes, of course, on the computers. There is still one big box full of CDs, but the cassettes and albums are gone at last. They don’t take well to New Mexico heat anyway.
Okay, I do have a studio with one desk full of drawing supplies, and another table with a sewing machine and a box or two of fabric and notions. But those are not necessities. I have a shelf of knickknacks above my desk. Most are small, unbreakable, and have been survivors of the winnowing process for at least three or four years, some of them for twenty years.
Due to my husbands medical condition, we have an entire bedroom full of medical and dialysis supplies – but we much prefer being able to take care of him ourselves and obviously, it is so worth it to have him in my life and home.
We buy clothes based on what we like and wear and if we don’t wear something for a couple of years we give it away. Most stuff we wear until it is hardly useable as a rag.
We firmly believe in using up all the good in something. But we also firmly believe that if something is broken or used up, and cannot be fixed or reconditioned, or if fixing and reconditioning is likely to cost more and/or be more trouble than simply replacing – out it goes.
Use it. Love it. Or get rid of it.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Now I look back and I see that I have sometimes punished myself by taking all my stuff away from me. I may have justified it one way or another at the time – but that is what I was doing. I do have those self worth issues of any abused child, and guilt issues of any sexually abused child. I’m working on it. I’m a lot better than I used to be, and at least now I’m self aware, or I try to be.
When I left the abusive first husband I wanted out so bad that despite the fact we had been paying for a house together for eight years, despite the fact that either I or my mother had bought most of the furniture and appliances, despite the fact that I had worked almost every day we had been together, bought all the groceries, etc. he convinced me I owned nothing and had a right to nothing and further more, I was going to financially ruin him if I left taking my income. So I also paid for the lawyer for the bankruptcy to get him out from under all the credit cards he used to buy stereo equipment (he was an audiophile), his car payments (I surrendered my car), as well as paying for the divorce.
He made about 4x my income, not to mention what he earned selling drugs. I left the house behind - as he told me he had removed my name from the deed. A few years later I found out he had not - by learning that "I" had a foreclosure on my credit record. Oddly, I could not rent an apartment. He moved to another state and bought another house in less than a year. I still have credit problems from the foreclosure. Go figure.
I left with my books, my music, my clothes, and my dog. In a car I bought for $200 cash. I moved onto a ranch, where room and board was part of my pay. (The Breyer horses had been given to a friend years before to at least keep them in the hands of a collector – her abusive husband had burned the house down around her ears and my precious Breyers were a big lump of plastic in a dump somewhere). As upsetting as that was, I was more glad that she had gotten out without injury.
Books are my vice. I ended up paying for a storage, which held mainly boxes of books.
Suddenly, I was free. I no longer belonged to an abuser. I was earning my own living (I had been since I was about ten, but again, it was a long time before I realized that) and had money to go party and buy just about anything I wanted. Face it, I was a stablehand and assistant trainer and I wasn’t even earning minimum wage – but to me, I had a fortune. I could come and go as I wanted, eat what I wanted, wear what I wanted, and I was working with horses - my dream. All my stuff fit in the small bedroom in a single wide house trailer.
When I felt like moving or got a better opportunity or offer somewhere, I tossed everything I owned into that little old truck and took off. I did it several times – maybe just to prove I could. I started dancing and was making a lot of money – most of which I spent on other people. But if I wanted to move cross-country, I just packed my books, my clothes, my pets, and went. I bought new stuff at the new place and also developed a fondness for tiny furnished all bills paid apartments.
I got married again – to the wonderful young man who is still somehow putting up with me. We acquired stuff. We added old cars to our vices. Old cars, books, and he started buying horse models for me, as well as dragons and some other stuff. Moving across country was still doable but tended to involve a Uhaul. Eventually moving the fragile china horses was a weeks worth of packing alone. I was still prone to jettisoning anything I felt we could buy new at the new place. I thought we had settled down a few times, but nothing quite took.
We made it a habit to go through all our stuff a couple times a year using the simple Louise Hay commandment - If you don’t use it or love it, get rid of it.
After packing and moving cross country several time, all of my collections were pared down to a few remaining very special individual units. I switched from collecting fragile figurines to stamps and postcards. Books were still a vice. We no longer had the income for the old cars. Art and hobby supplies were probably the most bulky stuff. I had even finally allowed myself to be dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age. Computers, I have learned the hard way, need to be jettisoned every three years or so and replaced anyway.
A few years ago we reached something of a point of closure - with his family, with my old career, with his job, even our lease was up on the apartment. We stuffed everything into a small car, bought a tent, and took off. We pointed the car south and west, seeking someplace warmer. We left behind a small storage full of books and art supplies, and some computers and a few collectibles. A laptop went with us in the car. We drove around the Southwest until we fetched up at a place we thought would do for a winter.
We are coming up into the fifth winter here now...
Later, when I got tired of the storage people’s constant bullshit, we went back and gave away an entire SUV full of books, tossed the majority of the art and hobby supplies, and kept the things with inestimable sentimental value and a few boxes of books we held to be too hard to replace and too dear to release.
Which is why I know exactly which book I want in my suitcase if I ever get stranded on a desert island ;)
Friday, November 4, 2011
“If you don’t use it, or love it, get rid of it” – Louise Hay
In my life, I have had a long standing love/hate relationship with stuff.
As a child, if I cared too deeply about something, if I really liked it – my mother would see to it that it vanished. Preferably in some fashion that she could say was my own fault. Not as punishment, simply another aspect of her subtle cruelty. Her favorite was “It’s your fault, you lost it. You are so stupid, you are such an idiot…” you get the idea. It took me a very long time to admit that most of the things I “lost” had been removed from where I had carefully left them in what I believed was as safe a place as I could find. (I well knew she went through my room on a daily basis and destroyed or removed things as well as reading anything I wrote and inspecting my artwork - all of which was prone to "disappearance")
As a child, I collected things. Notably, I collected Breyer horses. I would go hungry to save the money my mother gave me for food (she stopped feeding me when I was about 12 and instead left me a few bucks on the dining room table to go to a restaurant or buy frozen and cook it myself). I would buy something cheap – or nothing – and instead buy old Breyers, Hartlands, Hagen-Renakers, and other horse models. There were so many it was a bit hard for her to disappear them, although she made some vanish now and then. Her greatest coup was having a garage sale the day after my first wedding. I stopped by the house the next day to get a few things only to find every item I had left behind labeled with price tags in the garage and a crowd purchasing rare discontinued Breyer horses for their children to play with for a dime each. My mother laughed hilariously while she told me she wouldn’t waste the space to store any of my things. My fresh new husband screamed at me as I ran back and forth frantically gathering things and throwing them in his car. We did not have room in our apartment, he told me, for my shit.
Like most abused children, I had escaped one abusive household only to marry an abuser – thinking he was my saviour since he was not as cruel to me as my mother.
(Please spare me your sympathy - it's nice, but I don't want or need it - this is simply to give you an idea of the background I am coming from, okay? Thanks anyway)
P.p.s. I don't much care if you dislike the fact my mother was my primary abuser. I don't really care that she probably had a bad childhood (actually from what I understand - she did not and her sisters and brother are not abusers) or her own problems - she was, and is, mentally ill and probably never should have been allowed to raise a child. Like it or not - some mothers are BAD and EVIL and she is one. I know so much about psychopaths because ONE OF THEM RAISED ME.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Last night the altar was set with photos and mementos of our beloved dead to welcome them home for a brief visit, to let them know we remember them and cherish them and look forward to seeing them again someday. The black candle was burned to absorb the negativity of the last year and a bright orange candle greeted the new year with energy and passion.
Today the altar is cleared and set with two new candles. One dedicated to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. I long hesitated to pray to this particular saint - because I really hate to think anyone or anything is a lost cause. And if they were a lost cause - then what would praying accomplish? But there did come a time this year when I felt that all was lost in a particular situation. I did not know what else to do - and I purchased my first St. Jude candle. Shortly thereafter good news sailed in out of the blue. It was too little, too late, to save what was lost - but it was enough and in time to save the one who lost it and give them hope for the future.
It's as Garth Brooks sings in "Unanswered Prayers" - sometimes we think God isn't answering our prayer, when what is really happening is he is telling us to wait because he has something much better for us.
The other candle is for Saint Martin Caballero (also called Saint Martin of Tours). He has been part of my life now for several years. Originally I brought his candle home because he is always pictured on a horse. I thought for sure a horseman would care and understand about the same things I do. More than once, St. Martin has come to our rescue. The more I learned about him, the more I liked him. He's the kind of man who would slice his cloak in half to share half with a beggar who was naked in the cold. He has the courage to stand up to his superiors and refuse to fight, although he was an officer in the Roman Calvary. It is true, that in his later years, after he was made a bishop he was famed for fighting against the Pagans, leaving burned groves and overturned stones in his wake. I'll grant him that he was a man doing what he believed was right at the time. None of us are expected to know more than we know when we know it. His red candles have never burned any groves or tossed any crystals off the altar in my house. He has, however, come through for me in some tough times.
Part of the prayer to St. Jude I used when doing a Novena to him, promises I will spread his worship. So, today, here is my bit of spreading the word for both the saints who have helped me and people I care deeply about.
Monday, October 31, 2011
The best news so far today is the sale is completed for Color-Your-Own.com The new owner is a nice guy so you be sure and welcome him kindly in the next few days, ya hear?
Which clears the board for the new year for this little pixie witch. Now what shall I do? Well, I have some old projects and new warming up on the backburners that I shall unveil as the year winds out.
Today, however, I am going to waste playing silly computer games and watching old horror movies with the husband :D and maybe even get to hand out some candy later. Go forth, beloved friends, and enjoy the holiday!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
If you've been stealing my line art now might be a real good time to take it down.
There shouldn't be any down time for the website.
Monday, October 17, 2011
This little book is very good at what it is meant to do - introduce you to nine indie writers through their stories. They span a wide variety of the paranormal genre, from romance to old fashioned ghost story to horror. If you like any kind of paranormal or horror story, you'll find at least one that you like very much and probably at least one you don't like. You have a good chance of finding at least one of these indie authors that you like so well, you run out and buy anther of their books.
For me, that was the Shimmering Taste of Revenge author, Jack Wallen. I was very happy to discover his book Zombie is also now free for Kindle. I snapped it up. No doubt I will be buying more of his books in the future. Especially since he tells me the main character in Shimmering - Vlad - is going to get his own book.
I also liked "The Village of Those Who Touch the Dead" and "OR 13". Other readers will no doubt prefer the humor of "the Special Werewolf" or the romance of some of the other stories, but they didn't appeal to me.
With one exception, the stories are not related to Halloween other than by the fact that they are all paranormal stories of one sort or another. That just means you should feel free to enjoy these stories any time of the year. But they are especially fun right now - just in time for the holiday.
By the way - the book is still free on the Kindle, as is this one.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Not that it's entirely a bad thing.
Yesterday we took the hubby to the Big City for his monthly clinics. We were braced to be chewed out royally. He has been slowly sinking into anemia - not at all unusual for a dialysis patient. They had threatened to begin making him come in three times a month to sit for hours hooked up to an iron IV (which is quite unpleasant, to say the least). Hubby had already stated to me that he intended to refuse the treatments.
Of course, last month we bought his new (refurbished) computer. This caused us to be very short on money. So short that we were not able to purchase the food we have been purchasing. Mainly this meant we did not buy any meat to speak of. His dietician has been emphasizing that he must get LOTS of MEAT for his anemia. Instead, we had to purchase beans, tofu, rice, green leafy vegetables and the vegetarian meat that we can both eat (as I am still vegetarian). The only meats were a few packs of chicken, and some sandwich meat. As it is, I skipped a few meals (don't tell hubby).
(Sidebar)I know for a fact that anemia can be cured by being vegetarian. I know this because I was severely anemic (as in getting a monthly iron shot) up until I was twenty-five. Then I finally lived on my own for the first time in my life, and bought and cooked only what I wanted to eat. And after a few months discovered I had gone vegetarian. I had also stopped being anemic. Years later I read that some doctors prescribe a vegetarian diet to cure anemia. But that is me - I am in good health. My husband is on dialysis and has no kidney function at all. So when his dietician said feed him lots of meat - we fed him lots of meat. Or at least, as much as we can afford to buy.
So we went cringing in to get our talking to (so we thought). The first good news was the dietician was not available so the social worker would go over that part of the tests with us. If we thought we dodged a bullet there - it only gets better. Because the hubby's anemia is gone. Gone. Cured. All of his several indicators for iron were in the normal range.
Pause. Think about that.
Yes, so we are going to go back to doing what we've been doing for twenty years or so - being vegetarian. High protein vegetarian. Try not to laugh, but it is true. Because I've found that I drop to my ideal weight and stay there on the South Beach Diet - modified to vegetarian foods. Before hubby was on dialysis we had to be very careful with the protein, because most high protein foods are also high purine - which means it caused him to have gout attacks. Since he has been on dialysis, he seems to have a higher tolerance for those foods (knock on wood) without having gout attacks. I'm sure the dialysis helps keep the urea from building up like it did when he was struggling along with 10% or less kidney function and no help - not to mention working full-time in a physically taxing job.
Now all of that is kind of a sidebar to my original problem. Because when we walked out of that clinic I felt like someone had removed an iron weight from around my neck. I was floating like a butterfly. Full of energy, happy thoughts, and relief. I had burdened myself with the idea that I was not taking proper care of my hubby. We got home, I had a nice semi-napping semi-reading afternoon (Sixkill by Robert B. Parker - a Spenser novel is a good 'un) and then sat down at the computer and whipped out almost 4000 words on a brand new vampire erotica story (like I need another WIP). I'm full of ideas and the enthusiasm to do them. Better yet - the hubby is off doing his volunteer half day today so I might get something done!
The sun is shining. The hubby is happy. Pearl is in the living room having papergasms. It is actually QUIET here for a change. Whoot! Ima gonna quit this blogging and go get some work done.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
OMG - hell I WANT ONE. Barbie dolls sure have changed since I was a little girl. Okay, I'm really old - I know. But I sure never thought I'd see the day that Barbie went PUNK or GOTH on us! Well, tokidoki like those adorably cute tough Tokyo grrls. Forget all the hokey Christmas presents - what self-respecting rebel girl wouldn't love this doll!
Don't look now - but I think I'm going to add a DOLL to my wish list for the first time in, oh, forty years?
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
If you don't seem something there you like right now - check back in a few days as I plan to add some new Samhain greeting card designs and some new Day of the Dead greeting card designs!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I watched Heavenly Creatures on Hulu.com last night. Yes, I know now that it came out in 1994 and was nominated for an Academy award. I’m not much of a movie person, honestly. Seeing Peter Jacksons name roll up in the credits did reassure me that this was a worthy way to spend a couple of hours, though.
I am a psychological thriller crime person. And this story, from the summary, intrigued me. It is closely based on the actual crime, called the Parker-Hulme murder in Christchurch, New Zealand. Peter Jackson and his wife, Fran Walsh decided to focus on the intense friendship (I’d call it a relationship, since it becomes clear that they were lovers) between the girls and how something that should have been a positive part of their lives went horribly wrong.
Which is something that I am also very interested in. All the ways that love and friendship turn into murder and mayhem. I was particularly interested in this story because even at first glance it seems to have some parallels with the novellete I am currently writing, Catalyst (former working title “Silent”).
In the movie, and in my book, the girls are lesbian lovers whose intense relationship leads to the death of those who would come between them. And there the resemblance ends.
Heavenly Creatures does a beautiful and graceful job of recreating the girls’ relationship. It is easy to see how happy they make each other, how close they become, and how each becomes the others one ray of sunlight in a world that does not seem to love or appreciate them.
I could easily identify especially with Pauline. I was a very angry young teen myself, who deeply and desperately hated my mother. And yes, I actually did spend a good deal of time – very early in my own life – considering ways that I could kill her. One reason I did not was because I saw several cases (I was a newspaper junkie and crime hound even then) where the press and public vilified children who killed their parents – no matter what the cause may have been. They still do. I concluded killing my mother wouldn’t do me much good if I spent my life hated and in jail. I decided to kill myself instead. (That’s a whole nother story, and obviously I haven’t killed myself – please don’t inundate me with sympathy and “don’t do it” messages – okay? Thanks)
Juliet is such the proverbial poor little rich girl. Her story underlines the fact that money cannot purchase you health – and that sometimes the things people do to us “for our own good” is not what is best for us at all. I’m actually quite sure Juliet’s parents wanted to do the best for their daughter, and undoubtedly loved her dearly – but their actions left her feeling very abandoned and unwanted.
These two outsiders meet and find they have a rich, humourous, imaginative world in common. Finally, someone to open up to – who appreciates them. They create a beautiful fantasy world – and write novels (I wish I could read them) – and eventually become lovers.
The problem occurs when their parents become determined to tear them apart. For their own good. For the good of Juliet’s health she is to be sent to South Africa (although I can see that in her eyes her parents, now divorcing, are just getting rid of her again – neither of them want her in their new life) and of course, at the grand old age of 14 Pauline’s mother has no intentions of letting her leave the country!
Everyone is doing what is best for their daughter – but the girls can only see that the only person who makes them happy is being torn away from them and there is nothing they can do to stop it.
Except perhaps…and murder and mayhem ensues.
Summer Fey Foovay
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I earn $5 to $10 a month from Adsense, $20~ from Squidoo (for which I do not need any actual webhosting) and about $100 a year from Zazzle (again, for which I do not need webhosting) but it is possible that some of my traffic to Squidoo and Zazzle come from my hosted work - and visa versa.
I also earn (chuckle) about $12 a month from my adults websites WHICH HAVE NO CONTENT and have had none for years now. (It is residual income from some dear souls who continue to buy from my sex toys and porn VOD store and one very long term paysite member who continues to renew their subscription)
Originally I purchased my own web space for several reasons.
At that time, I could and did hand code webpages and websites – yep, we are talking over ten years ago – and they were competitive with professional sites and in many cases, outperformed those sites in my chosen niches. Times goes on, things change and so did that income. Dramatically. Those sites all went down when my old webhost imploded, during the time we were homeless and without Internet, and by the time I was able to do something about it, it didn’t seem worth the trouble. Time – and the Internet – had moved on and past those article sites.
I could host my own blogs. At that time I had a nice little PHP blog program that ran like a top and out SEO-ed all these new blog platforms big time. Several of my 12 blogs were number one result at Google for their niche for years – even after they were offline. Since then the PHP program stopped working, and I don’t know enough PHP to fix it. I also personally believe the days of making money on a blog are dead. Running Wordpress on my webspace gives me no discernable advantage over WP on a free host or at Wordpress.com, Blogger, etc. but does offer major disadvantages as far as being hacked and SPAMMED to death. I’ve already decided this blog will move – just not where it will move to.
I could create adult sites (as long as I made sure my webhost allowed them, and of course, I did). For a time – pre-Bush porn vendetta – I made way more on porn than anything else. It certainly paid for itself and made a profit. When Bush went on his porn vendetta, my husband became afraid I would be jailed, and begged me to take all of those sites down. I did so (thus why it has been years – yes, over 10 years – since those sites had any substantial content). I could put them back up now, but after some research I believe that between the availability of free porn, and the extreme porn that comes from the former USSR (where there is currently no laws governing what they can put online) so very cheaply, I doubt there is any real money to be made by a small time porn site or three hosted and run in the U.S. So I haven’t bothered doing anything with those sites, and have even lost some of the domains when I couldn’t come up with the $12 to keep them (last year when we were struggling to keep hubby alive).
I could host my own art, clipart, and coloring pages. Those were, in fact, some of my best earning sites. Then I discovered that most people steal your art and don’t even bother with credit or links. Many of them add insult to injury by stealing your bandwidth. I looked at my hosting statistics today and it is clear someone in Germany is direct linking to something on the clipart site and using more bandwidth than all the other pages on this domain put together, including the clipart pages linked at Squidoo and the free novel downloads I used to have available! This in spite of safeguards put in place by my webhost.
Even though Color-Your-Own.com continues to have over 20,000 unique visitors per month – my income from that site is $2 or so a month. It does send some traffic to the Squidoo lenses and sell some of those coloring books, and Squidoo still sends a little dribble of traffic when someone drills down or searches hard enough to find one of my coloring page lenses..We won’t go into how much of my line art has been stolen and not credited, used for commercial purposes, and my personal favorite, claimed by someone else as THEIR original art. Or better yet, used on someone elses Squidoo coloring pages lens which is ranked 100 times higher than mine and built entirely of other peoples art. And Squidoo claims they prefer original work – what a big fat lie that is.
I could host and run my free eCards site. Of course, we all know better than to open anything marked “ecard” in our email now – because it is a virus. Okay, that was all over with years ago, but the ecard site never regained it’s former traffic. Then my webhost imploded. The company I had purchased the ecard creating software from does not return emails sent to support, does not seem interested in a new installation, and for all I know is totally out of business. New software would cost in excess of $50 and I have my doubts that I would ever make that back. And lets just mention, again, that people stole my artwork and bandwidth despite supposed safeguards against both included in the software. The domain name was one of those I lost.
At this point in time, I could rip down every single website and webpage I have up, pay nothing for hosting or domains, and come out ahead on money.
Don’t panic, I’m not going to do that.
What I am going to do is put Color-Your-Own.com up for sale; line art, domain and all. I’m going to look for a free host for Demented-Pixie.com, my “official authors page” at SummerFeyFoovay.com, and, if possible, my last remaining adult domain which I just like, dammit, and some day I’ll rebuild it in some form. The Cauldron, of course, will go to the “winning blog platform” as explained earlier.
I am not entirely sure what the fate of the free public domain clipart at Squidoo will be, but since it earns me all of $5 a month or so I can’t say I much care at this point. Maybe I’ll sell the lenses and let someone else worry about it. Right now the larger images are hosted by me - I may see if I can change those lenses so they are on the lens or at least on Squidoo hosting.
I believe my long-term income will come from my novels, and possibly my illustrations and book covers.
Ten bucks a month may not sound like much to you but to me it will; buy a day or two’s worth of nutritious food for my chronically ill husband, or buy enough gas to get us to his specialist doctor/clinic/hospital in a medical emergency. It will buy about one months worth of cat food for Pearl. It is enough to buy a one month supply of one of the several vitamins or OTC drugs my husband has to have that isn’t covered by insurance. It will do about two loads of laundry at the Laundromat. It might be enough to buy a small amount of advertising for my novels. It could be used for a luxury – such as a few new books for my Kindle, some Facebook credits for games, or music for our iPod Shuffle. I could even gasp SAVE it towards owning our own home or car someday.
Hey – it’s ten bucks.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
That's part of my problem with the Internet lately - like the rest of the world - everything is supposed to fit into a nice, narrow niche that can be expressed in one to three word search terms. Me, my life, my talents and interests, have NEVER fit that paradigm.
Short, punchy, focused blog entries. I'm working on it.
I have been driven to the six blog situation by two major factors.
One - this blog, hosted on my own webspace on a WordPress platform is hit daily by hundreds of SPAM comments. I'm not sure there are any real human beings reading this blog - although I have thousands of listed, registered users who every day tell me "interesting post. You can get a loan/viagra/drugs/sex/etc at my website here". I could purchase software to block them, except that as you may know I am your typical starving artist and cannot spend money for software that could be spent on necessities. So I have been forced to simply turn off commenting.
Two - as I have joined and begun participating in various online communities, particularily writer communities, most people have their own favorite platform where they have a membership (and probably a blog or five) and they will only follow or comment on blogs that are hosted on that platform or website (such as blogger, Wordpress.com, or Livejournal).
I am not happy with this situation for several reasons. The first is my personal convenience. Cross-posting to six different blogs, on different platforms, with different ways of handling code is a royal pain in my ass. In addition, I would prefer to be able to link to and advertise ONE blog url for all of my traffic.
Okay - the exception to that is that it is likely that eventually I will split my online endeavors, as best I can, into two niches - as if I were two people - the art I create, and the writing I create. With a blog and fan page and so on for each of them - more on that in another post.
Another reason I do not like this is that Google, and other search engines, don't like seeing a whole lot of identical or near identical pages. You know, like a blog post repeated on six different blogs. And sometimes, if it happens to be an article or short story, on article sites, Squidoo, Gather and fiction sites as well!
But more than anything else, this is a real pain in my ass.
Allow me to bitch for a minute. I can code. I love to do webdesign and make my own backgrounds and so on. I used to have a lovely php run blog that was FANTASTIC for SEO and threw all of my blogs (when I had 12 of them) up to the top front page of Google in keyword searches for every one of their niches. Sadly, that coding no longer works, and I don't know enough PHP to fix it. In addition, the Internet has moved along and everyone - again - wants you on blogger or LJ or WP.com with them so they can comment without having to log in or do a captcha, etc. Which I understand. Me, too.
Right. Remember the Great Squidoo Experiment? Well, this is going to be the Best Blog Trial. It isn't going to be as scientific, because some things will factor in that cannot be reduced to statistics, such as my personal like or dislike for working with the platform. For the next six months I will continute to cross-post. I've set up a special folder in favorites to make sure I get every fucking one of the six done whenever I blog. (groan) I will watch commenting, sharing, SEO, and traffic (as much as I can since some of the platforms don't let me at those stats), as well as get a hang for working with each platform. I will endeavor to post about once a month about my findings if there seems to be any interest among my audience. And in about six months I will pick ONE GODDAMN BLOG. The others will get a nice thank you and a final post with a link to the one I'm going to use.
So rather than experiment, I'm calling it a trial. Because Goddess knows it is going to be an ordeal for me personally until it's over with. I reserve the right to dump one or more along the way because I detest working with the platform so much I know I'll never chose it - but I'm going to try to not do that. Hell, I got used to this WP platform, and I hate it.
Until it is over with, I'll also leave the blurb at the beginning of each post here at what I think of as "the real Foovay's Cauldron"
that has links to all of the other platforms.
You may notice there are only five links in that list, although at the beginning here I mentioned six blogs I cross-post to. One of the blogs is a personal journal on a closed community site that I don't advertise or link to because, well, it's a closed community and I don't cross post there for publicity or SEO but because my friends on that site have proven to be really great friends who are interested in me, and who will visit my websites, purchase my work, and so on. So although its in the cross posting list, it's not really part of the trial and it won't ever be listed on any other blog. *you know who you are*
Let the ordeal begin.
And here is the blog list;
- The "real" Foovays Cauldron on my webspace
- Foovay's Cauldron at Wordpress.com
- Dark Obsessions at Blogger
- The Swamp at LiveJournal.com
- Blog at MySpace.com
You are more than welcome, always to follow me at Facebook, or Twitter. If you have other social networks you prefer I am listed at just about everything you can think of as "foovay" or Summer Foovay, or Summer Fey Foovay (some of THEIR systems won't let me use my middle name in case you are wondering). But of course, you get the 140 character version of my life those places ;)
Summer Fey Foovay
Friday, September 9, 2011
I have a lot of wonderful friends online. Amazing, creative, loving, kind, compassionate, smart friends. Some of them are here to try and make a living, or at least a little extra money. Some are driven creative people who must write or draw or photograph or create in some way and are able to share their creations through the marvel of the Internet.
None of them are my audience. I share my writing to be told over and over various versions of “Wow, this is awesome. You are a great writer. Don’t stop. But – it isn’t really my cup of tea.”
Now the encouragement is deeply appreciated. I need a great deal of positive reinforcement to continue creating and sharing because I started out with a great deal of negative reinforcement in my life, and I very easily become discouraged and depressed. Some of that is from early abuse, some of it is from the continual realities of this world, where I am paid $8 an hour to swab toilets in a motel, and less than a penny an hour to draw or write – if that – and that grudgingly from a consumer base that seems to feel that artists and writers really give away their work for free for the joy of sharing.
I wish we could, by the way, but even creative people need to eat.
I diverge. (Speaking of diverging – I am diverging one last time here to say I intend to diverge a lot less in future blog posts – short, focused, punchy, one subject posts – that’s where I am going)
My current friends, and blog readers, and twitter tweets and Facebook friends, and especially my Squidoo contacts – are not my readers. They are not my audience. (Yes, there are, of course, some exceptions)
I need to make contact with my audience. I need to reach the people who will read my writing and go “Wow. That was my kind of book. I loved that. What else has she written? When is the next one coming out? OMG I better get on her mailing list/feed/fan page/twitter account so I’ll know as soon as she writes something new.”
(I also need to find the customer base for my art – but that’s a whole nother thing – and I’m trying to be more focused in my blog posts – right?)
Before anyone gets butt hurt, I am not about to unfriend anyone anywhere for any reason. Are you kidding? I love you guys, I need you guys, and I wouldn’t want to lose touch with any of you because I also love to see what you are doing and creating. What I hope is that I’ll make even more new friends and fans!
Okay – I am stopping now. I’m focusing. Everything else I want to talk about today is – well – something else. And besides, I need to give the hubby a ride to his half day volunteering so I can keep the car and go do other things.
See – some of you are interested in that, and some of you couldn’t care less. In my next post, I hope to make everyone’s life a little easier or at least, more focused.
Focus, focus, focus…
Friday, September 2, 2011
THE PLAN - barring interruptions from cowboys and indians for more beer and hot sex - is to chain myself to this computer and WRITE.
The results? Well, Bloodline was a 3 day novel (over Labor Day 2 years ago) although it wasn't QUITE finished. This year I'm actually planning to (finally) finish Silent and then tackle one more WIP - Bloodbath? We shall see....
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Fire and Ice – the Psychopath
The thought that leapt to my mind when I first saw this image was what a perfect representation it is of a psychopath. So many of them project this icy outer image of perfection – the nice guy next door who plays the clown for children’s parties, the dream husband (rich, handsome, charming), the quiet genius pursuing a law degree. Inside a fire is burning that no one can see and that the psychopath is careful to hide at all costs. Now and then it explodes in a murderous fireball and someone loses. Life, money, security, self confidence, all that and so much more the psychopath will strip from you in a moment of unbridled fury and then walk quietly away once again safely hidden behind their wall of ice. The neighbors are shocked when the bodies begin to surface in the yard next door.
Of all the killers in the Hunters of Men series – some of which you may have met, some of whom you have yet to meet – the one this image is most salient to is Edgar A. Dixon. As sinister as he is with his height, intelligence, and ruthless rule of the family fortune as well as the family mission he still comes off as cold. So cold, that early in the book, Bloodline, Lily is shocked when Betty (the family’s genealogist) tells her that Edgar not only has children – he has in fact 8 children (3 adopted) – and he has 6 grandchildren. They get a good laugh imagining him as “grandpa”. Not bloody likely. His grandchildren are undoubtedly taught to call him Grandfather, and to begin or end any sentence directed at him with Sir.
Martin Hunter, too, comes off as cold but more in the mold of being aloof yet charming (when he wants to be). He is next in line to be family patriarch – and is not above rushing the succession. His passion is raising the next generation of killers, and the secret burning obsession we’ve barely glimpsed as yet is a nascent desire for Lily, that will soon grow into a dangerous need to possess her for his own.
But that’s for the next book.
You can see the original of Fire and Ice here This post is a response to the blog prompt for this blog hop:
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Working with Ms. A de Sant was a real pleasure and we are planning more collaborations in the future.
Summer Fey Foovay
The Giggling Truckers Wife: The Storms of Life : A New Website!: Not only have storms been brewing on the coast with Hurricane Irene , they have also been brewing for quite a while with Website Bus...
Kudos to The Trucker's Wife for weathering the storm and carrying on.
I have been a little under the weather myself for a few days. I hope to get a bit of work and catching up done today so look for more blogging!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Now back to drawing greyhounds...
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I was really surprised and even shocked to spot what I felt like were four major, obvious, glaring errors in a book today. All of them within a hundred pages altogether. This is a book by a very well known mystery writer whom I will not name. I am a big fan of hers, and normally when I get my hands on one of her books I drop everything else I might be reading and read it through. Right up front, in this book, she thanks her great team of editors, readers, agent, publisher – and she has all the resources and power of a big publishing house that (I should hope) gives her all the support she may need. After all, the first two pages of the book are taken up with a list of the thirty books (and counting) she has published through them.
So what the heck happened here?
Before I jumped to conclusions, I wanted to be sure of the facts. So I sat down at my little computer and checked those facts so far as I was able. The first three are indisputably mistakes – and I knew this within the 25 minutes it took for dinner to cook. Does this rich and famous author not have the Internet? Or has she somewhere down the line gotten lazy, or no longer cares. Maybe she thinks that because of her fame, she will be forgiven, or she figures her lapses will be ignored by her readers because of the other good points of her writing. Maybe she thinks that with thirty good books it doesn’t matter if she cranks out a dud now and then. None of the facts are particularly obscure – I knew them off the top of my head. Some of them aren’t common knowledge necessarily, but you would think someone in the business of writing mysteries would have at least a passing knowledge of certain police and court procedures.
Now for the last fact – I discovered that it is true. But I’m still pissed about it. Because it is a cop out on the line of “then she woke up and found it was all a dream”. IF this premise is to be used – then it would really be a great thing to go deeply into, the causes, the little bit we know about it, the psychology of it (well, duh, you know I’m into all that abnormal psychology stuff), but instead it is being used as a band-aid for a situation that the author is too lazy to bother truly exploring.
I was already disappointed with the book. Every chapter has at least one of the most boring, stock platitudes written into the mind or speech of at least one character. Let no chapter escape a cliché. Or two. Or three. And this isn’t characterization – it isn’t one person who steadily plops these out so you can see “Oh, this is someone who memorizes sayings instead of actually thinking”. It’s everyone in this book. I’ve cringed several times and I’m barely half way through. Didn’t I read a blog post recently about not using clichés and platitudes? Something us unedjukated unedited self-published authors got to watch out for?
And if that wasn’t enough, the heroine is a complete fucking idiot. Now, heroines do dumb stuff. Of course they do. If they didn’t do dumb stuff and get themselves into ridiculous situations what on earth would us authors write about? But this broad is dumb on the level of horror film blonds – “I hear a noise. I should run outside naked and barefoot and investigate all alone” CHOMP Sadly, there seems to be no hope that something will eat or at least kill this idiot heroine. I am beginning to wish something or someone would.
The only explanation I can come up with is the author is tired of the genre, had a contract to fulfill, and a deadline looming. Because seriously, this book is not worthy of her. Not only am I not able (or interested enough) to finish it, it makes me wonder if I should bother picking up any of her newer books as they come out.
I am glad I am a self-published author. My last personal deadline passed over two weeks ago – and I let it go because I had some major personal life issues that required my attention. I don’t have a contract, and if (and when) I get tired of a genre I can switch, and switch again, and switch back. No one tells me what to write.
The downside is, of course, that I have no team of editors, fact checkers, illustrators, publicists, first readers and so on behind me to catch my factual errors. I have a couple of first readers who are really good at it (thank you, both of you, you know who you are), and yes indeed, I am very thankful for them. If I have any doubts about a fact, I check it myself to the best of my ability. I’m such a perfectionist about it that it is really the reason behind why I don’t write historical fiction – too afraid I’ll make a big effin’ mistake and die of embarrassment over it.
If you ever find a fact that is incorrect in one of my books or stories – please let me know. I WANT to know, and I promise I will either show you my source that said it was correct, OR I’ll go back and change it and I will never, ever make that same mistake again. I would not want to lose a reader the way this author – a former favorite of mine – is about to lose one.
Monday, August 8, 2011
He's ahead of me.
I did get a new blog article up over at Demented-Pixie.com about the names we call fey folk - fairies, nixies, pixies, sprites, nymphs, and so on and I have it in mind that I'm actually going to get all of these Squidoo lenses about fairies updated today:
- Fun Funky Shoelaces
- Fairy Coloring Books
- Fairy Coloring Pages
- Gothic Coloring Books and Coloring Pages
- Free Public Domain Fairy Clipart
- How to Add Fairy Wings to your Photo
- Rainbows in Art
- Fairy Rings
- Fun Funky Socks for Fashion Rebels
- I Believe (in Fairies)
- Fairy Tales
- Summer Foovay - Author
- Irish Fairy Tales
- Classic Tales No Goth can be without - free on Kindle
- Fairy Tales on Kindle for Free
- Goth, Punk or Pixie
- La Belle Dame Sans Merci
- Dragon Lore
- Foovay's Fairies
Try and get those fairy lenses the kick in the pants the coloring page and coloring book lenses got from The Great Experiment.
Odd that I am so fascinated with the fey folk and I don't write about them - other than the occasional short story. Perhaps I need to remedy that... I do have a WIP story germ for an updated dark and gritty Snow White. (You should have known)
I did get my studio rearranged a bit after the hubby finished building and installing the new bookcase. I unpacked and set up my sewing machine and have high hopes that once I get those fairy articles updated, I'll get some curtains whipped up for the bedroom.
I should have known - since I did a tarot reading last weekend about my work and it said there would be a pause before I got started on the things I was asking about. I remember thinking "Not if I can help it" - and then here came all sorts of things I really couldn't help. This morning I got up full of anticipation of Getting Things Done.
The first thing I did was send my beloved and now retired husband to the store *evil cackle* with a list of things to buy so HE can get some honey-dos done. *more evil cackling* In my defense, most of those honey-dos are things I need him to do so I can do things on my project list.
I have a list of blog entries to write, Squidoo to-dos, much email and FB and Tweets to catch up on, some sewing and house work, and oh yeah, I really would like to get some writing done on two - count 'em - two novels that I mentally finished (one) and began (the other) while moving and driving and all those other things I was doing last week besides sitting at my computer.
So while I am buzzing around here doing things that will be nearly invisible from your side of the Internet, I'd like to direct you to The Guest Writer Blog, where I am today's guest writer. I think this blog is a great idea on several levels, and all my writer and blogging friends ought to pick a really outstanding entry of their own to send in. Hint hint hint.
Why, no, I am not sending you somewhere else so I can get things done today. Really. But if you should bump into my husband - remind him he has a budget to stay within. ;)
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
And if you think bisexuals, "swinging" or open or poly marriages can't possibly last - I've got news for you.
This anniversary is extra special because for a while there last year I had my doubts that we would have one. I thought I might be a widow this year. Instead, thank the Goddess and all the Powers that Be and people who helped, hubby is here and healthier in many ways than he has been in years.
Life is good.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
It is impossible to under estimate the power of words. And yet we toss them around all day every day in print, on the Internet, in conversation, in self speech (that ongoing dialogue in your head) with hardly a thought about what we are saying.
Some of us have learned, through abuse, or through prayer or magic, through affirmations, or through the magic of children or pets, how powerful and important words really are – and we are more careful of what we say or write.
The power of words over our minds is both the blessing and the curse of being human.The power of words is why prayer works. The power of words is why affirmations work. The power of words is why spells work. The power of words is what abusers use to manipulate and abuse their victims. In the last couple of years, I have even seen social workers use the power of words to shame an applicant into accepting refusal of their justifiable claim.
If someone is told often enough that they are a failure, low class, stupid, ugly, no good, useless, worthless, of low morals, and likely to be criminal – those words become true. They become those things.
It is possible to chose not to let those words have power over your thoughts, but I can tell you from experience that it is extremely difficult to overcome that dialogue – especially if it was thrown at you by the people you would normally think of as those who should know and love you, like your parents and family, or people who should be mentors, like teachers and counselors. Your mind – a child’s mind – will internalize those words and every time a situation comes up in your life where you fail your mind will run that old tape of all those negative words that you believe to be true. Your mother said you were stupid, ugly, a failure - so of course you failed. It takes an immense and ever lasting ongoing effort of will to change that internal dialogue. Many people never overcome it – and so we have people raised by abusers who become failures, criminals, or addicts using drugs or alcohol to try and escape that infernal internal dialogue.
Some of us get lucky. We meet a person who does a double take when we spew those words about ourselves, and then tells us that is crazy. That we ARE beautiful, smart, and capable. Maybe it isn’t a person we meet, but a book we read such as Affirmations by Stuart Wilde, or Louise Hay’s books about changing your life. It could even be a DVD or movie like The Secret. You can laugh, but I point to The Rocky Horror Picture Show as the movie that changed my life. The repeated chorus of “Don’t Dream It, Be It” gave me the courage to look at my life, look at all of my “hopeless” dreams, and make the changes to take that from dream it to be it.
In my case, it was all of the above. It was The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was a lover who one day said to me, “Baby, I don’t know who has been treating you – but they haven’t been treating you right.” It was an employer who became a friend who told me to help myself to her bookcase full of feminist and pagan literature.
You never know when the words that change someone’s life might come out of your mouth – or be written down in your article, blog, or story. If you want to change your own life – change your words, your thoughts will follow, and your life will change.
Don’t dream it, be it.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
One evening he asked if there was ever a time when I would have been a submissive, rather than the dominant female that I am now. I believe at the time I told him “possibly”. But the question sank into that seething cauldron I call my brain and stewed for a few days.
Cutting Away the Pain crawled out of that stew in the middle of the night, full blown and ready to be written down. It’s sort of a “what if” biography. Both the submissive and the dominant in the story share a lot with me, personally. It’s almost as if the dominant I am now had been able to go back and “save me” when I was young and submissive and given me a nurturing environment to explore my desires and sexuality.
Do you ever look back at your life and wonder – “what if” – at a particular point something very different had happened, what sort of a major turning point it would have been and how it might have made such a major difference in who you became?
I bet that would make a great story. Maybe you ought to let it stew in your brain for a few days – then share it with the world.
You can purchase Cutting Away the Pain for Kindle for 99 cents
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Tomorrow, it is back to "real" writing and promoting books - I have a great announcement so be here!
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
When I finally sat down to my email this evening I was totally stunned.
First, to be informed that I am now officially a Zazzle ProSeller! I squeaked so loud my husband came trotting into the studio, expecting to see me being chased around the room by one of our monster roaches (they freak me out) - instead I was doing the Happy Dance.
A few minutes later I was so Gobsmacked by This Award;
To read the full review go
to: Education Site Review
for Color-Your-Own.com and the review that came with it at My Boarding School.com Blog that I could only sit here with my jaw on the floor. The blogger makes me sound like I have a double PhD in education and art, and sent a very kind and complimentary email as well.
I have no words for how I feel right now. (Hubby laughed and said "some writer you are")
Thank you to everyone - everyone who reads my blogs, uses my products, uses the coloring pages - it is you I create for and it is you who deserves the credit for these awards. Without you, no one would know me.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
In one of my favorite daydreams I am the hostess of a feast. All my dearly beloved friends and lovers are there at the table to meet each other and enjoy their company and mine. The table groans with delicious dishes and there’s a full bar against the wall where I mix everyone’s favorite drinks. It’s my fantasy, so people I’ve lost contact with are still there. Everyone gets along, too, even people I know probably couldn’t stand each other in real life.
In this world, there are empty chairs at the table. Diane, killed by a hit and run driver as she walked home from work. He apparently did stop long enough to jump out and steal her purse full of cash, so we have always thought it was someone who knew who she was – a dancer – if not a personal friend. Madonna, beaten to death by her husband outside her hotel room – she was trying to leave him – beside a busy street. No one stopped or even called the police. Vegas – stabbed over 20 times in the back by her mentally ill male roommate who claimed it was self-defense. He was six-one, she was under five feet tall and weaponless, walking out the door. Becky – who killed herself in despair after her boyfriend left her, knowing she could not go home to her extreme Christian family who had disowned her for dating a black man and becoming a dancer. Rachel – who also killed herself after years with an abusive man. My husband’s stepfather’s chair is empty. He died of an infection, after Medicare decided he didn’t need the shots his doctor prescribed that would help prevent infection during chemotherapy.
Maybe someday, in Summerland, I can hold this feast and all these empty chairs will be filled. The empty chairs then will be for the friends who are still here in this life, living and loving, laughing and learning, and we can all peek into their lives and smile – knowing the time will come when they will join the feast full of memories and stories to share.
Monday, July 11, 2011
I read and enjoy werewolf and vampire romances disguised as thrillers or mysteries with spunky little heroines who are as distressed by a broken fingernail or fashion faux pas as they are by an evil vampire attacking. They’re fun. They are what I refer to as “fluff bunny fare”.
But they are not what I write. And they are not even most of what I read. I prefer the dark, gritty, realism of true crime, dark thrillers, books where the monsters are really monsters, not cuddly, or sexy but deadly and yes, out to eat you My Pretty.
I know there are plenty of real monsters in the real world – and they are outwardly perfectly human. The guy next door who gives teen boys their first job and plays the clown for children’s birthday parties. The mother who is a society climber and charity worker outside, and the facilitator who actively allows her husband to rape their daughter daily and who tells her daughter it is her fault and no one will believe her if she tells.
My heroes and heroines are damaged, troubled, survivors who are frightened by the real monsters they face today, as well as the monsters who did their best to break them in the past. They have their doubts. They know that it would be so much easier to be a monster. To give in to their darkest desires. To fall into the abyss of evil. When my heroine looks in the mirror or hears something familiar come out of her mouth and thinks “I am becoming my mother” it is with a depth of horror someone from a nice, if a bit neurotic, family can hardly imagine.
The triumph of the human spirit and compassion and love in everyday people who have proven strong enough to survive the worst the human monsters have to dish out is the victory that makes me proud. The faith, the sure knowledge that in the real world we can face the monsters and win. Whether they are within, or without. That is what gives me hope for this world. That is my feel good literature.