Saturday, March 28, 2009

Curiosity, Fascination, and Death

Although I have my own house, I house sit a lot, make that, cat sit. If you saw the house, you would know why, indoor swimming pool, air conditioner, large deck with a view of the Narrows Bridges. And this is what brings me to my reason for blogging today. The bridges.


A knock came at the door the other day. It was a reporter. He asked if he could use my side yard for some footage. He said there was a jumper on the bridge. I gave him permission. What did I do next? I immediately went and got the binoculars and looked out the window.


I said to myself, Megan, why are you watching? Do you really want to see what happens to a body when it jumps off the bridge and hits the water below? I put the binocs down and decided I was morbid. You would have done it too, though, admit it. The question is why. Why do we do it? Why do we slow down when we see a car accident? What is it we want to see?


Personally, I would never want to see someone die so horrifically. It would haunt me forever. I have watched people die from illness and that is bad enough. I've also seen dead people. A lot of them. I was brought up Catholic. To this day I never understand the open casket ritual. So I ask again, why?


Have you heard of the Faces of Death movies? I remember when I was in high school, friends sitting around watching them. Videos of people actually dying. I never watched them, but always wondered why my friends were so into them.



I think it's just in our nature. We can't help ourselves. Curiosity. Our need to know. But is that it? Perhaps it's something embedded within us. Maybe we are fascinated with things that our beyond our control. Or maybe it's a strange escape. It's happening to someone else, we're detached from it, it's not real to us. Real life fiction? Kind of like watching a reality show.


I honestly don't know the answer. These are just ponderings of the mind. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Want to Strangle the Sock Puppets

The internet sock puppets, that is. Okay, that maybe strangling is too harsh a punishment But, come on! Get a life already.


For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a sock puppet, as descibed by Wikipedia is an online identity used for purposes of deception within an online community. In its earliest usage, a sockpuppet was a false identity through which a member of an Internet community speaks with or about himself or herself, pretending to be a different person,[1] like a ventriloquist manipulating a hand puppet.


Here are my specific interactions with sock puppets. First, on the amazon.com ABNA thread, there is an option at the bottom of each post asking the reader if they feel that post contributes to the thread. It seems a couple of sock puppets went through and hit the "no" button on every post of mine as well as a few friends, on every single thread we participated on. This annoyed me a little, but not very much. I didn't get enough "no" votes for it to make a difference, and the result would just have been my post being hidden from those who chose not to read it.

Interaction number two, people who post under a pseudonym and spew nothing but toxins and venom. There were four that I recall on the ABNA threads, and I will call them out, Billy de Vere aka Michael Caulfield, aka Juanita, AIRMID aka about 50 other names, and R.E. Cluse aka Maura something. I don't really care who they really are, what I care about is the fact that just about every post from them was negative. They continually bashed other posters and other threads and wondered why everybody had a problem with them.

My third interaction is ongoing, happening probably as we speak. The anonymous sock puppet is going around and voting "no" on every single review I post for the ABNA contesants. Now this I find greatly annoying. I take the time to read every excerpt thoroughly, each take me about fifteen minutes. I take notes while I'm reading. I compile and organize notes to form a script. I film my review trying to point out the good qualities of the piece. This takes me about 30 minutes. I edit the video, this takes me anywhere from about 30 minutes to an hour. I add titles and effects and turn it into a polished piece. Then I upload to amazon, Facebook, and Youtube, this usuall takes anywhere from 10 too 20 minutes per site. I have been adding not only my blog address, but also the entries web address to get the author more hits to their entry. This is why I am pissed. I put my time and effort into this, and to have someone come and down it, just because they don't like me for some strange reason just doesn't make sense to me. Does it make sense to you?


The bottom line, sock puppets have way too much time on their hands. I mean, I screw around on the internet a little (stop laughing) but even I don't have time to go hit every no button, search for the perfect post to criticize, and spew my toxicity all over the internet. Who would want to?

These are pathetic, bitter, more than likely ugly people (both physically and emotionally), and it saddens me that someone hates people enough to try to make their lives a little more miserable. And please do not get them confused with sock monkeys, for the latter are cute, loveable, squishy creatures, with nice long arms for hugging rejected writers.

Grow up sock puppet. We see through you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What happens when seven writer's (okay, one is just a picture on a slip of paper, but she was there in spirit) get together for coffee? Watch and find out.

video


We had such a great time, such an eclectic cast of characters we are.

I am afraid of Jarucia. Seriously. Her knowledge and confidence make me feel about 2 inches tall. She's not all brains and power though, she's funny, insightful, and inspiring. AND she's the only one of us who made the top 500 in the ABNA contest. Check out her entry here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UG3CFI.

I've never really talked to Mac before, aside from the Seattle ABNA thread. He's a great guy, very informative and helpful. Brought information on the PNW conference. He even had a business card. I need a business card. He's got it going on. Shouldn't be long before we see his name in print.

Amy K. I actually had to ask her last name because that's all I know her by. Her last year's entry Knock Off's and Snake Bites was one of my favorites. She's a sweet gal and a talented writer. AND we both turn forty this year. I hope she was okay with me saying that. My only problem with Amy is that she is not on Facebook yet, or if she is, she hasn't friended me. You need to get on that Amy, seriously.

Brent Billy Curtis, B. Billy to some, BBC to others, very charming. And so laid back. This guy was one of my favorite writer's from last year's contest. He brought his wife Katie, a lovely sweet woman. She reminds me of an actress, though I cannot place which one. And little Willow. She is so incredibly adorable it makes me want to have more kids. No, that's a lie, but she is a cutie, and warmed up to all us scary writers quickly. Check out Brent here http://bbillyblog.blogspot.com/ and here http://bbillycurtis.com/

The man, the myth, the legend: Don Harkcom. Many have wondered about the sometimes non-pc, sometimes sexist, sometimes completely inappropriate DA. I'm here to tell you he is about the nicest, kindest teddy bear of a guy you will ever meet. And he's the bomb at Mafia Wars. Maybe some day, I'll print his picture, but for now, you'll just have to keep guessing.

So, what did we talk about? Everything, writing, ABNA, the weather, football, soccer, making movies. It didn't even matter. We had a great time. We are planning on meeting again in May, and I'm hoping more will join us. And if our mutual friend Bret Wright visits, I'm having a rager.

That's all I have. Catch you next time. Thanks for reading.





Kisses!





Megan

Friday, March 20, 2009

Stuff

How does it accumulate? Thirteen years ago I moved into this 2600 square foot house from 775 square feet. I could barely furnish the place. Now, as my daughters are getting older, and have been wanting their own rooms for two years, I find myself struggling to find clear space. My 4 + bedroom house has become a two bedroom, one office, two junkroom house. What is all this stuff and where did it come from?




Well, much of it is my bad, or moreso, my laziness, procrastination, and lack of time. One of these junk rooms should actually be called the shove-things-in-here-until-you-have-time-to-put-it-away-room. Do you have one of those? Only problem is, I never find the time to put away the things I shove in there. Accumulation devestation. When I cleared it out I found, unfiled bills and paperwork, children's art work, Halloween decorations, a box of manuscripts, toys, candy, books, pictures, I could go on and on, but that would bore you to tears, if you're not already.



Next step, box it up, take all of it to the basement.



Now, the basement is our living area and Seahawks shrine, tv, foosball table, games, all the fun stuff. Now it is cluttered with boxes from ceiling to floor, wall to wall. There is actually still a Christmas tree down there that got stuck behind a drum set, king sized bed, and all the aforementioned boxes. I can barely get to junk room number two through the gauntlet of stuff. Now, junk room number two isn't exactly full of junk. It holds canned goods, party supplies, art supplies, bins of our childrens art work, my husbands Star Trek collection, and every computer we've ever owned since 1994 (okay, maybe there is some junk in there). It's as organized as I can get it.



Okay so now everything is in the basement, the new computer room is up in the old junk room and we're good. We have time. Things are moving slowly, but moving just the same. Rusty and I are forced to sleep in our king sized bedroom in the living room for a week, but it's all good, right? Everything's coming together. Yeah, sure. Message from my step son Jesse. Great kid. Moving back up to Tacoma from Cali in April.



"Hey Dad, do you think Corrie and I (Corrie being his girlfriend) can crash at your place until we find an apartment?"



"Sure, son." And I am really okay with this. I love Jesse and Corrie and I'm so glad they're coming back to the area. One problem. You know that basement? The one with all the boxes, and junk, and stuff? Yeah, that's the one. That's where the hide-a-bed is.



So, for the last few days, I have been moving furniture, boxes, stuff, and junk from rec room, to the back, semi-organized storage room. It's full. However, the basement is almost livable again. Almost. Which is a good thing, for Jesse and Corrie anyway.

I am ready to not even go through the boxes and just throw them in a dumpster. But, you never know what treasures you'll find after five years of boxitude. It might be just like Christmas.


The point of the blog? A lesson perhaps. Time is short. I have learned if I want to enjoy every minute I have left, I need either to avoid stuff altogether, or force myself to keep it organized, which for me, could be a whole new blog entry.


Thanks for reading.


Kisses.


Megan


p.s. if you like spoken word hip-hop and don't mind foul language my step son is great. check out his youtube site. http://www.youtube.com/user/godsfornication

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book Review of Bret Wright's Nasty

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest is happening right now. Lots of good excerpts to read. This is my friend Bret's. It's a great mystery with lots of action and suspense. Check out my video review, and maybe go review it yourself. http://www.amazon.com/Nasty-Amazon-Breakthrough-Novel-Award/dp/B001UG3AXW


video

Introducing...Me!

Mood: Tired
Current Read: Nasty (by my friend Bret Wright, Review to come soon)
Listening to: The sound of my keyboard clacking underneath my fingers
Current Write: Rough Waters

Welcome to my first blog. My name is Megan, and I'm a writer. It sounds like I'm introducing myself at and AA meeting, doesn't it? Sometimes I feel like there should be a 12 step program for writers. You know, just to keep us going, get us through, stop us from giving up our dreams.

Step One: Admit that you have talent, and that talent should be shared with others.
Step Two: Whenever you question your sanity, you should probably be writing.
Step Three: Make the decision to write every day no matter what.
Step Four: Search within yourself for your story.
Step Five: Don't be afraid to tell people you are a writer.
Step Six: Be entirely ready to face rejection.
Step Seven: Realize you have shortcomings and you will probably need to edit and edit and edit again.
Step Eight: Make a list of your goals, and try to see them through.
Step Nine: Realize that not everyone will like your work.
Step Ten: Take critiques with an open mind.
Step Eleven: Realize that it may take many no's to get one yes.
Step Twelve: Never give up.

What do you think? Does that work?


Okay, aside from being a writing addict, I'm also a social networking addict. I have a profile at Amazon.com, Myspace, Facebook, Jacketflap, and I'm sure other sites that escape me right now. It only seemed the natural order of things to start a blog. So, here I am.

As far as writing projects go, I have started a Middle Grade series, the first book being titled, Dena Powers: Superhero? I have three finished, yet unedited books completed in the series, and have up until this point been actively trying to get the first book published.

I also have a work of adult fiction complete, titled, What Gets You In. What happens after we die? It's not really a religious piece. The story is about thirteen people and their journey into the afterlife.

My newest finished manuscript is called Mending Fences. The protagonist, Austin, sets out on a journey to restore the lives that have broken around him. Why? Well, you will have to read the book when it comes out to find out.

My other hobby is video. I have a video series called Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer. They can be found on youtube, here http://www.youtube.com/user/itlnbos and also on my Facebook profile. I'll be posting them here in the near future.

I guess that's all for now. Thanks for reading me. Hope you come back often.

Ciao!

Megan

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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