Remember the “Love is…” meme from a long time ago?

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Some Memes Never Die

 

I was browsing the Getty Images that are embeddable now, and this one stood out. It tells an interesting story, don’t you think?

Here are the questions it raised for me:
1. Did the photographer catch this au naturel? or was it posed?
2. If it was au naturel, why does the girl have those roses in her pocket? do they have thorns?
3. If it was posed, where did the brilliant inspiration to stick those roses in the pocket come from?

I remembered, too, the “Love is…” meme that the movie “Love Story” started (when Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw decided that Love is Never Having to Say You’re Sorry).

I never thought that was a true statement, mind you. But Ryan O’Neal was so cute back then, in 1970. Is it awful to confess I never watched the movie? Couldn’t possibly miss the meme, though.

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Posted in A Word by Any Defnition

Getty Images Gets Generous to Bloggers

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Thank you, Getty Images, from A Humble Blogger

I’ve been blogging for a long time now. Not consistently, because…I’m like that. Ask my family.

One of the hardest things to do is find a picture to go with a blog. I am not a photographer. Ask my family.

I’ve used Bigstock and Dreamstime, but sometimes I wonder if it makes sense to buy random photos for blogs. For book covers, ads, sure. But just to accompany my blog?

Now, I don’t have to, thanks to Getty Images.

 

If you want to find the free embeddable pictures, scroll all the way down to the bottom, under Services, and click on Embed. You’ll get taken right to the images that are available for embedding.

What I like most about this Embed feature is that it does all the work for me, and the photo gets the proper attribution. As someone who creates for a living, I get the importance of proper attribution, and ease of use.

Doesn’t this picture say it all? The cat, looking at the fish, is much like the blogger, looking at the photo on an image site, and figuring out the logistics necessary to get said photo/fish.

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Posted in Crazy or Genius?

Kobo special 50% off deal for Boxing Day

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1544391_10202319048873883_315218388_nHoliday Greetings!

Very nice Christmas morning, but it will be even better in two days, when I get to see my grandson again, for a whole week. Granny can’t wait to hug that boy and see what he’s been up to since the last time she saw him two months ago. Two months is a long time in a baby’s first year.

Hope everyone is enjoying this end of the year down time in whatever way works best for you — but especially with family and friends.

Don’t Forget to Take Time to Read

If you have been looking for a quirky low-key chicklit romance, than now is your time to get it for 50% off at Kobo. Please note, you have to use the coupon code 50COUPON when you check out to get the 50 % discount.

And if you face a long drive home after the holidays, the Sleigh Bells Ring Audiobook contest extends until the 28th, with daily winners!

Best thing of all (except that Christmas cutie granny will hug soon)? The days are finally getting longer. Hurray!

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Posted in The Ex-Files

Like audiobooks? Get a chance to win one for Christmas!

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TheNextBestBride_2400x2400Making Videos is Addictive

I have audiobooks to give away in Wendy Lindstrom’s Sleigh Bells Ring! Contest. But Wendy is giving away MP3 players, and audiobooks by many authors every day from December 14th through December 28th. I urge everyone who loves audiobooks to enter. Free audiobooks are a great bargain this time of year, when many of us are traveling for long stretches, or just looking to escape the hectic world for a more controlled fictional one.

Join in, and win one of the daily prizes.

The Giveaway Video My Son and I Made

Make your holiday a little more fun.

Why an audiobook instead of a book?

I’m an avid reader. I read much faster than I listen. However, there are times when I cannot read, but I still want to immerse myself in a story.

For example, here’s when listening to an audiobook makes MY life more fun:

  • long car drives (especially around the holidays, when we travel upwards of 15 hours to go see family — one way!)
  • cooking (especially around the holidays when I’m making a ton of Christmas cookies)
  • cleaning (ugh, anything that makes this chore fun is a plus)
  • walking (I’m trying to get healthier and walk an hour to two hours a day)
  • exercise (in the winter I use the elliptical on snowy days)

Try it! You may like it!

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Posted in Crazy or Genius?, My, How This Business Has Changed

How To Make A YouTube Video in Under an Hour

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YouTube, the Intimidating Frontier

I have wanted to do a YouTube video for a long time. But I was intimidated by the idea. Would I need to wear makeup? I rarely do makeup. Could I be clever enough? Brief enough? Visual enough?

I have discarded ideas for YouTube videos as diverse as book trailers, cooking demos, and writing instruction (exactly how do you break a scene down and see how it works well…or doesn’t?). I have half-written scripts. I even did a video for a Kickstarter of mine. But never a YouTube video.

Until today. In under an hour.

The Video

Yes, Really, Under an Hour

Here’s all you need to do the same:

  1. An idea (mine was to share the “Don’t Text and Drive” promotion that was already ongoing)
  2. Graphics (our infographics, a screenshot from our contest page, easy peasy)
  3. Audio script (better to know what you’re planning to say than to sound hesitant with a live mic)
  4. Special effect audio files (car crash, creative common score)
  5. A program to edit everything into a work of beauty (we have Final Cut, but iMovie is good, too)
  6. A YouTube channel

I suppose I should confess my secret ingredient: my youngest is a videographer and he was home today. But this project truly went from soup to nuts in under an hour.

I can’t wait to decide on my next YouTube project. Hmmmm.

P.S. Please take the poll in the sidebar about whether you’ve ever texted while you drove.

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Posted in Crazy or Genius?, My, How This Business Has Changed

Great Ideas Come from the Heart

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Ten authors. Thirty plus audiobooks. One contest.

Ten authors. Thirty plus audiobooks. One week. One contest.

Good Ideas, vs Great Ideas

I often think I have great ideas. Ask anyone who has known me longer than a few hours. They can tell you that I frequently start a sentence with, “I just had a great idea!”

Not that the ideas are always that great, of course. But I do love that burst of excitement that comes with an idea that seems a real winner. Having had a few great ideas that panned out in my life, I can definitely say they are fun…in the same way roller coasters are fun, even when your heart dips into your stomach and you wonder if you’ll survive the trip this time.

Telling a great idea from a good idea isn’t always easy, but the great ones tend to stick with you. If they don’t work at first, they come around and sneak up on you another way, until everything comes together and magic happens.

I can also say that my greatest ideas always come from the heart. Like this newest idea I had to promote audiobooks, which, along with 9 other authors, I’m unveiling today.

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Posted in Crazy or Genius?, My, How This Business Has Changed, My, How This Business Has Not Changed

An End is Just One Step to a New Beginning

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a picture of a sign that says Welcome The Author's World NINC 2013

What I saw when I got off the plane in Myrtle Beach!

Sometimes It’s a Book That Ends, Sometimes It’s a Conference

The 2013 NINC (Novelists Inc) conference ended October 27th. I left the beach on the 28th. That’s two weeks ago and I’m just now ready to blog about it.

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Posted in My, How This Business Has Changed, My, How This Business Has Not Changed

An Audiobook Narrator Talks Accents and Character Voices

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ArielleandOscar

Recently, I had a conversation with the narrator of two Once Upon a Wedding audiobooks (The Impetuous Bride and The Next Best Bride). She’d begun with The Next Best Bride, which has a female British narrator and all British characters. I really liked her narration (as do readers, judging by the brisk sales). However, The Impetuous Bride offered much more of a challenge, because the very British Rosaline Fenster has her romantic adventure along the wagon trail to California accompanied by a runaway slave, an American child, and with a very American male in the person of Rob Lewis.

Arielle did a beautiful job. As I listened, I began to wonder: just how does an audiobook narrator keep all those character voices and accents straight? And then I quickly snapped Arielle up for The Twelfth Night Bride (where Kate, the youngest Fenster sister, follows her wayward husband to Ireland).

Arielle Lipshaw Speaks in Many Voices

You asked how I keep both accents straight during a book like this. The answer is – it’s not easy! This book is definitely the most challenging I’ve done as far as keeping character voices and accents straight. It included narration (my own voice but using a British accent), Ros (female, British), Rob (male, American, western), Gwyneth (child, American), Moses (male, American, southern), Ophelia (female, American, southern) and a bunch more! There were definitely many, many times when I found myself forgetting to switch back into a British accent after reading some of Rob’s dialogue, or started reading one of Ros’s lines as a man rather than a woman.

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Posted in My, How This Business Has Changed

I Never Thought I’d See You Again is available for preorder

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INeverThoughtMy Newest Story is Soon to Be Released!

I am very excited to announce that a new short story of mine, “Solomon’s Paradox” is about to see the world in the newest anthology from Novelists Inc. I Never Thought I’d See You Again.

Here’s the blurb:

I never thought I’d see you again.

What comes to your mind when you see that phrase? A reunion with a former lover? A shocking encounter with a dark face from your past? A dearly held memory come to life . . . or one you’ve tried desperately to purge from your mind?

In this extraordinary collection of original fiction, sixteen great storytellers spin the tales that filled their imaginations when considering that sentence:

New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan brings us the reunion of father and daughter under deadly circumstances.
USA Today bestselling author Janet Tronstad weaves a tale of lost love on a Christmas Eve during the Great Depression.
New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Day traverses realities to pull together generations.
USA Today bestselling author Kathryn Shay returns to her Hidden Cove series to tell of a father returning to his son’s life . . . and turning that life upside down.

Romance, suspense, and magic, secrets unearthed, mysteries revealed, and promises finally kept – all of this and much, much more comes to you in this unforgettable anthology that is every bit as evocative as the title that served as its inspiration.

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Posted in About a Book, Pardon My Gossip

Writing a Picture Book Is Fun

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Playing with Word and Pictures

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Caleb the Sleepy (his due date was the 29th of April, so he was entitled to a few more lazy days).

Okay. The whole Boston thing has me bummed. I’m turning off the news and turning to something fun: writing Caleb’s book.

I’ve been struggling with the way to start. Going from a novel that allows you 250 words to a page (and lots of pages) to a baby book, where I must rely on pictures and very few words to carry the story is a challenge. But I’m enjoying it.

I took a lot of pictures when I visited his mom pre-Caleb’s arrival, and I’m playing with Photoshop to make them work in the story.

Yesterday, in the car, I came up with the first few lines (probably the first few pages, considering this is a baby book and pictures matter most):

Caleb came home with his mommy and daddy on a windy day in March.

Caleb slept a lot at first, because he was born early. Sleepy Caleb.

He has the same "Fascinating!" look in his eye that his mom had at his age.

He has the same “Fascinating!” look in his eye that his mom had at his age.

One day, Caleb stopped sleeping and started looking around.

The first thing he saw was Maya. Hi Maya!

Okay, that’s it so far. Granddad says that the first thing Caleb should see is his parents. I, personally, think a dog is more interesting to an infant that his parents. But I have taken his comments under advisement.

Writing a picture book is a lot of work. There’s a famous quote from an author apologizing for not writing a shorter letter, but he was in a hurry. I feel a bit as if I’m writing the Twitter version of a novel. Except…pictures. Lots of pictures.

Sifting through the tons of pictures of this sweet little boy makes it all worthwhile. I can*not* wait to get out to visit him next month.

Maybe I should consider getting a suitcase big enough to sneak him back with me?

Hmmm.

No. He’d miss Maya for sure.

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Posted in My, How This Business Has Changed, My, How This Business Has Not Changed, Uncategorized
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