Non Internet Procrastinating

Photo by Brittany Anderson, my lovely niece.

As I promised this won’t mention He Whom Shall Not Be Mentioned (boo. Can’t wait for Prometheus on 6/8). And I don’t mean Voldemort.

2. Using Your Basic Computer to Put Off Doing What You Love Doing.

a. Games. Ones you don’t need the internet for. I used to play Spider Solitaire a lot. Lately it’s been Majong Tiles. I almost snabbed my mom’s Hoyle games disc when we had her yardsale here last fall, but I knew the Gravity Tiles on that would be my undoing.

b. Cleaning up the desktop. This is actually useful. I moved all the photos of He Whom Shall Not Be Mentioned to the trash. Painful!! I trashed other lesser things, as well. Created new folders for homeless documents and even put some folders in folders. Now it’s easier to find folders and to see the lovely photo of a Maine beach that my niece took and posted on Facebook.
c. This is really cool. I shortened the bookmark titles on the bookmark bar. These are places I go to often like Goodreads, my website, this blog, Netflix, my bank. All I have to do is click on the bookmark…I put them there by dragging them from the address box, but some were long. To shorten, I went to the website so I could copy the URL. Then, I right clicked, chose new book mark, pasted the URL and added a shorter name, like Nano for National Novel Writing Month. The cute little icons came back when I restarted Firefox. I’m able to get many more on that way. You would need the internet for that, but it’s not like you’re messing around on it.

d. Pin icons to your task bar to take them off your desk top and make them easier to find.

e. Organize photos and music.

f. Edit photos and videos.

g. Change your desktop background using your own photo.

h. Learn how to use a program that’s sitting on your desktop that you don’t use because you never took the time to learn.

i. Write something that’s not your WIP (Work In Progress. That;s writer insider lingo.)

This is a shorter list, but not sweeter because it’s missing You Know Who.

Needed: Procrastination Techniques

I’m looking for new ways to put off writing. I love writing but lately, since I published my first book, my mind has been wanting to take more time off. It’s like I was so focused on accomplishing that goal and once I did, I have failed to develop another all-consuming mental activity. Or, I haven’t renewed a prescription with the beneficial side-effect of the ability to focus better. Yes, there is such a pill!

I have started a list of different categories. Some of these activities are hated by me, but for some unknown reason, at times I find them preferable to doing that which I enjoy most.

Today’s technique will be the easiest. I’ll save the harder ones for later. Feel free to adopt any of these as your own to put off what ever you like to do.

Technique 1: Employing the Computer to Procrastinate

This might be every writer’s favorite, except for those who write by hand. I know several who do. I make lists by hand, and doodles. Not much else. This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope to have more to add in the future.

1. The Internet provides numerous ways to fritter away your life. I won’t include online games here because I don’t play.

a. Facebook–Of course. Do I have any new notifications on my personal page? My authors page? How about posting a status update. “My cat just yakked up a hairball.” No, not really. He’s snoozing with my husband.

b. Twitter–Tweet something writerly so people following me because I write will think I am productive and talented and so the filmmakers (how did I get filmmakers following me? Oh right–I mentioned I’m writing a screenplay) might think I’ll have a novel to adapt. One can hope.

c. Click on links on FB and Twitter. Lots of writing stuff, movie stuff, lots of stuff stuff.

d. Look for pictures of Michael Fassbender.

e. Check Kindle to see if I sold any books recently. Same for Smashwords and CreateSpace.

f. On Amazon, read excerpts of Fifty Shades of Grey (okay, I did that once–for a long time. I think they took out the most juicy stuff, which is really all right with me.)
g. Check Gmail to see if I have any new Twitter followers.

h. YouTube–start off with something of value then digress in any direction I choose–usually comedy and parody.

i. look for and download free e-books.

j. Check Goodreads to see how many more people signed up for my book giveaway.

k.Sign up for newsletters.

l. Look for a job.

m. Look for more pictures of Michael Fassbender.

n. Check regular email. This is a double one because then I can read the stories on the Yahoo feed. None so far have mentioned Michael.

o. Then there’s always good old fashioned research.

Wait-I have a new FB notification. Okay. Nothing exciting.

p. Watch movie trailers. Watch those with Michael several times.

q. Go to Huffpost women and read the sex articles.

r. Look for new movies to add to queue on Netflix (wish they had more Michael movies).

s. Write a blog post.

t. Go to Script Frenzy site and play with plot maker.

u. Tweak author website.

v. Look at blog stats to see if anyone read my last post.

w. Check bank account and clear away cobwebs to see if there is a positive balance.

x. check to see if I sold any more books than the last time I checked. Check to see how much I have to sell before I get a royalty payment

y. Go check the substitute teacher’s chatboard I used to frequent.

z. Look for another pic of Michael.

Next post will be how to use your computer without the internet to procrastinate.

How do you procrastinate online? Share, please!

(I promise NOT to mention Michael Fassbender once in the next blog post)

I’m an Indie Author!

We do it for love before we do it for money.

I decided to call myself and indie author instead of self-published. Indie puts one in the same circles as indie filmmakers and musicians. Those folks are viewed as adventurous and risk-takers, and buckers of the system. They have the aura of mystique and are held in awe by anyone who ever wished they could break out of the mold.We all put our vision into the medium we love or can use the best, then spend a lot of our own time and our own money to get it out into the world.

Some of us go to school to learn to do what we love, others learn as we go. We learn the rules and break them when it makes sense to us. We talk to others who do the same thing. We form friendships and networks in real life and on the internet. We share experiences and tips and resources and encouragement.

Fans of indie artists want to be ones who “knew him when he published his first book online,” or, “saw their show at a little pub years before they signed with that big record label.” (I don’t even know what big record labels there are anymore!) Or, “I saw her first film at the local film festival and stayed for the question and answer part.”

Sometimes fans of indies want their discoveries to stay indie, to not sell out to the labels and studios and publishers. I imagine most indies want to get noticed by some big entity so we can do what we love full time and have someone else manage the business end while we do the creative part. And I suppose a lot of us hope someday we can have the money that goes with being on the top of the heap.

Most of us know that probably won’t happen. That we’ll labor in obscurity, doing what we love. But some people get noticed and get that lucky break or know how to put themselves in front to the right people at the right time and place. They work hard and have everything in place and are ready.

I’ve never been happy doing things the same way as most people. Maybe that’s just because I never really figured out how! I’m proud to be indie and proud of my friends who are.

Now, back to work to get ready for that lucky break…

Writing Is Making Choices

I’m once again revising my first novel, Another Place on the Planet. On the advice of my editor, I am deleting several scenes which will help in several ways. One of the scenes is a rape which I threw in as a plot device. It took on a life of it’s own. And now I know my handling of it didn’t do justice to the violence and terror women suffer when raped. I’ve never been raped so I could only imagine. I didn’t imagine enough. I’ve never done a lot of things my main character, Lily, does and experiences.

The internet is a labyrinth. We all click on a link and hours later found ourselves topics and cyber miles from where we began. I have to admit I have learned a lot that way, as well as squandered precious hours when I could have been more productive. Tonight I clicked on a link to a screenwriting blog I follow and watched the video there that took me to YouTube where I watched a short film called  Train. Just out of curiosity.

That led to a click on this short film. I found it very graphic and disturbing. But it did me the favor of confirming the writing choice I need to make. I hadn’t seen it before but there are several similarities to the scene I wrote. Three men violating one woman. Dark, lonely place. Urinating on the victim. My imagination scares me sometimes. The men in my scene are teens and less invested in the activity than the ones in the video, so it doesn’t go as badly for Lily. That kind of trauma and the ensuing legal complications need an entire book.

How men treat women is a minor theme in Another Place on the Planet. I pray for the day when men treat all women as they would their mother or daughter or sister, and men who can’t even do that are no more.


1 Timothy 5:1-2 (The Message)

 Don’t be harsh or impatient with an older man. Talk to him as you would your own father, and to the younger men as your brothers. Reverently honor an older woman as you would your mother, and the younger women as sisters.