First time authors….


   Just thought I would share some tips with you, for those of you who may be writing for the first time, or even if you have been writing a while. First, and foremost AVOID, if at all possible, writing with another person!! You want to be careful of that. When you bring in others on YOUR story, it can be a bigger PITA (pain in the a$$) than you know. People will begin to tell you all sorts of ways that you can “change” this or that, when it’s not necessarily a good change for YOU. It’s usually geared toward the kind of story that THEY would want it to be, in which case, I say, they need to write their OWN. Also, when you get into a “sharing credit” situation, you wouldn’t believe the arguments that can be blown out of proportion, ie; “I wrote 3,112 words, and you only wrote 3,110, so I should get more credit!”. I’m SERIOUS. Try to avoid this if at all possible.

As for help in “spicing up” your writing, most people can do that themselves, they just don’t know it yet, lol! A wonderful writer from Los Angeles, whom I met a few years ago, gave me the best bit of writing advice that I ever got. She said, “A good story is 10% writing, and 90% RE-WRITING”. I never got a better piece of advice on writing in my life. She was so right! Do not “hurry” your story along, simply to get it to the masses ASAP, because if it isn’t good, no one will buy it, and you won’t get a second chance to get it right. It’s like hearing about some new actor in what the media touts as a “blockbuster” film, based on the mere presence of this particular actor being IN it. If you go see the film, and it doesn’t live up to it’s “press”, you will probably never go see another movie starring said actor. Moral here, do it right the FIRST time!
  If you DO collaborate with someone else, and it get to the “compensation” part, I wouldn’t do percentages, because people always, ALWAYS, want, what they perceive to be, “their” fair share, (especially if they see that your sales are better than expected) simply for being “involved” in a particular project. If you want to have someone “proof” the work, then offer them a FLAT amount for doing so (in writing) and when they are done proofing, you are done paying! Same thing with an illustration. If they draw ONE picture, but you draw the rest, they are going to feel entitled to additional monies every time they think you made more money in sales. Again, give them a FLAT FEE, and be DONE. Have them sign a receipt for “$XX, for 1 drawing”, “$XX for 3 drawings”, etc… Never make it contingent on your sales.

I had my cousin’s son, who is an artist, design a cover for the book that I am writing right now. I had seen some of his work, and thought he was very talented. Well, I commissioned him to design “a” cover for me, and I wrote a contract that paid him $100 for one design. I didn’t promise that it WOULD be the cover, or that he would get anything additional if I used that cover. Although the drawing was nice, I decided that it wasn’t quite what I was looking for, and I realized that while he was good at one particular type of art, he might not necessarily be good for what I needed. I sent him a hundred dollar money order for the drawing, and our business was finished. The contracts were all by email, and I ALWAYS send a “blind copy” email to myself, to protect anything I write, and so that no one can change things without my knowing about it. With the blind copy, they don’t realize that I have one too, and as long as they are not trying to do something wrong, there is no reason for them to know, but if they DO, I have proof of WHAT I sent, WHO I sent it to, and WHEN. Protect your work, always!



   When you get to the “spicing it up” part, just take your time. Even if you have to read/write it over and over, to get the right “flow”. 
9 out of the 10 times that you re-read it, you are going to find something that you need to change. Read it as if it isn’t yours, and make it as “steamy”, “juicy”, “mysterious”, “humorous”, or as “dramatic” as you want, or NEED it to be, if YOU were the customer. With the first draft of the book I am writing, my cousin looked at it, and suggested that I go “slower”, because she felt like she was jumping all over the place, without much detail. I took what she said, and when I re-read it myself, I was like…”she was right”. After that, I took my time, and it became so much easier. When you ARE reading it though, don’t “skim” over the words simply because you “know” the story, because that is how you miss “typos”. Read EVERY word, and also, if you change the “tense” of one sentence, you may need to change the tense of the sentences before, and/or after it.


   Well, I didn’t mean to ramble on like this, but I learned all of these things by trial and error. I hope I have helped some of you, and feel free to comment, or ask questions if you like!Take care, and the best of luck to you all!

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If any of you have family, or friends who are in a Nursing home, PLEASE go by once in a while to check on them. Don’t call, just GO!! Some facilities are really good, and some are horror chambers!

Patients may not be getting the correct medicines, or could be getting them in the wrong doses. Also, patients are sometimes left sitting in chairs in the hallways ALL DAY LONG, with hardly anyone giving them a second thought.

There are many patients who turn on their “call” buttons, only to be ignored. They are sometimes left soiled for hours and hours, while the aides who are supposed to be taking care of them, are in the hallways giggling with each other, at the desk on personal phone calls, or just chatting about anything, and everything, EXCEPT the patients.

So many times the patient’s laundry “accidentally” gets lost, (especially the nicer things) and they never seem to get it back. That is a feat in itself, since they are supposed to TAG the clothes IMMEDIATELY. Smh…

On the other hand, there are also GREAT facilities, with great staff, where everyone does their job, and the patients are well taken care of. Thank you to those PROFESSIONALS. You could probably teach the rest of them something.

So take a couple of hours to pay a visit to someone who it would mean the world to, and possibly even give them the will to keep going. For some, that is all they need not to give up!

If you can wait in a line overnight for shoes, computers, and concert tickets, then you can SURELY spare a couple of hours to take a loved one a meal, some flowers, a card, or just sit and visit, so that they know that someone cares.

Give it a try!

If any of you h…

My ideas to help the State of Michigan! (However unrealistic they may be!)

I originally tried to post this on mlive, because they were asking citizens for ideas to try and help our State’s economy. It didn’t post correctly there, so I figured I would post it here to get it off my chest, lol! Here it is:

One thing that might help, would be to set up specific areas in stores, to showcase Michigan made/grown products. Then at least those of us who want to support local businesses, would know for sure, which items would help Michigan’s economy, without trying to guess at it.

It might (I said, MIGHT) also restore our faith in Government, if our Officials would live off of what the average citizen is making annually,($20-30,000) WITHOUT having access to their current finances for ONE YEAR. Maybe, then, they will realize what it is REALLY like to live as a Michigander. When they find that they are unable to afford health insurance, car insurance, gas, food, rent/mortgage, utilities, well then, they will know what WE feel like every month.

If they DO manage to make it work, GREAT, then they won’t NEED those huge salaries, and the money that the Gov’t saves in salaries, can go for other things that the people of this state need, ie; more teachers, police officers, firefighters, and child care/community health centers for the poor.

Another idea to save money would be to cut off mothers who recieve public assistance, if they continue to have children AFTER they know that they cannot care for them financially on their own. If you are on assistance, that’s understandable, because everyone needs a helping hand ONCE IN A WHILE, but to have MORE babies when YOU can’t take care of the ones you HAVE, is RIDICULOUS, and IRRESPONSIBLE.

It kills me that DHS will pay for more and more children if you keep having them, but it won’t pay for the termination of a pregnancy. I don’t advocate abortions at all, but why would the Gov’t pay THOUSANDS for a child who is likely going to be on the welfare rolls for at least 18 years, but not pay a few HUNDRED for a termination when it might help ease the rolls. To keep from paying for countless abortions, (and they shouldn’t) then limit them to one, and if the woman gets pregnant again, then she will be cut off, PERIOD!

They could also cut down on Inaugurations. (ALL OF THEM!) Ok, you have been voted into Office, so invite your family, close friends, have some soup and salad, and show a highlight of it on the 6:00 news. It is not necessary to have, roads closed, a security force, limos, dinner, dancing, music, flowers, entertainers, speeches, etc… If our economy could afford it, sure, but it CAN’T, and a party like that, is DEFINITELY NOT a NECCESSITY.

Wake up Michigan.

Ok, I guess I’m done,

…for now.

To all the young-uns! It felt good, didn’t it?…

But did you ever stop to think that during all that “feeling good”, that you neglected to use a condom? That you hadn’t been taking your Birth Control pills correctly? Now that “feel good” has come back and put you, and your family, in the position of taking on the responsibility of something that you could have prevented in the first place, with just a little thought, or consideration for the consequences. And now, because it “felt good”, you are expecting a baby.

 

Do you have a job? Your own place? A car, or other mode of transportation? Can you buy diapers for your child? Milk? A crib? Are you able to buy blankets, bottles, undershirts, a diaper bag, car seat, socks, pajamas, medicine, pacifier, teething ring, toys? After that, can you afford school supplies, school clothes, vaccinations, dr. visits, summer clothes, winter coat, boots, the school trip, school pictures, money for the bake sale, money for the class snack that you have to bring once a month? And beyond that, will you be able to pay for senior pictures, the senior trip, graduation, and college? Probably not, because you were only thinking of YOURSELF, and what YOU wanted.

 

How nice it was of you, and your significant other, (or was it just your “fly by night” date?) to put the burden of YOUR whole new family on your parents. Since YOU are unable to do it, who do you think the responsiblity falls to? These items don’t fall out of the sky! SOMEONE has to purchase them–it’s not either of you, so who then? Once again, probably your parents. Wow, what fun that must be for them! To go out and have to buy all of the things they had to buy 20 years ago to take care of you, and now they get to do it all again, for YOUR child, because you were too selfish, arrogant, proud, ignorant (take your pick!) to use protection, when there is so much of it around.

 

You are SUCH an adult, huh? You can run around MAKING babies, but don’t have the wherewithal to take care of one. You’re the bad ass who can scream in your parent’s face about how grown you are, but when your child needs something, who is the first person you call? Yo MAMA, or yo DADDY, and in some cases your Grandmama!! 

 

Why do you young people not think of these things? Why do you not care enough to take ONE SMALL precaution to PREVENT this? Whatever happened to sex being the LAST step in a relationship, as opposed the the now seemingly FIRST step in one? Sex used to be SPECIAL between a man and a woman, and people waited until they were married, or at least COMMITTED, before they embarked on this part of the relationship. Now, all you hear after 4 kids, and 3 “babymommas”, is, “Marriage? Oh, I ain’t READY fa datt”. OH…so you’re not READY??? …but you were ready to get ‘busy’, or “jump off” because he or she “looked good”. Boy…..good reason to put your family through picking up the pieces or your ‘feel good” time, huh?

 

If you are one of the few that IS prepared, and are a REAL adult, then more power to you! But if you can’t take care of any of this, because you are unemployed, uneducated, living in your parents’ house, asking them for money, needing someone to give you a ride all the time, etc… then YOU ARE NOT READY, so keep your zipper UP, and that nickel between your KNEES!

 

Your parents are in their 40’s, 50’s, or even their 60’s in some cases, have raised their own children, and worked hard to do so, but now they have to do it all again, just because it ‘felt good” and you had to get your ‘freak’ on. Wow.

 

Tell me now….does it still feel good?

If you want quality employees, PAY a QUALITY WAGE!!

I am so sick of the job market these days!

 

  I am a fine dining hostess, and an exceptional one, but restaurants don’t want to PAY anything, anymore! They want you to be professional, articulate, well groomed, personable, handle difficult guests, stressful situations, help bus and set tables when needed, type up specials, make reservations, answer phones, serve water, coffee, and tea, manage a wait list on busy nights, and tons of other duties, ALL with a smile on your face! Well, I CAN, and WILL, do ALL of that, but not for minimum wage!! You get what you pay for! That is one of the reasons that you have such a high turnover of employees. If you want quality EMPLOYEES, then you have to be willing to pay quality WAGES!!
   If by chance you are unable to pay a decent wage, at least offer BENEFITS! It might be worth it to an employee to work for minimum wage, if they can get health benefits along with it. But to pay low, AND no benefits? People just don’t want to do that any more. 

  The same goes for OTHER positions in the restaurant industry. They want Chefs with a TON of experience, want them to invent recipes to help build business, follow the restaurant’s current recipes to the letter, order, and accept delivery of food, stay on budget, AND put out quality meals, but want to pay them only $8-$9 and hour! Do you really think that people with the experience you require, are willing to work for that kind of money? I mean, I know it’s rough out there, but people are not going to sell their souls any more just to have job that pays barely enough to survive.

 Come on employers, pay out some REAL money if you want employees that will STAY, as well as give the service that you have come to expect. It’s only fair!Image

CHOOSE to be educated, don’t just make it an “option” in your life!

   Why Lord, oh WHY….do people INSIST on saying “Mines” where there is no such word?? If you mean that it belongs to you, then say “MINE”!! There is no “S” on the end!! You wouldn’t say “Rices” would you? Even though there is more than one grain, you STILL say “Rice”. It’s the same thing with “Mine”. 

    As long as we’re at it, “A lot” is TWO words, not ONE. The word “definitely” does not have an “a” in it, and FOR GOD’S SAKE, please figure out the difference between through/threw, to/too/two, your/you’re, passed/past, woman/women, men/man, quiet/quite, tired/tried, advice/advise, here/hear, there/their/they’re, worse/worst, and loss/lost!! 

    Next, the words “truly”, “lying”, and “dying” do not include the letter “e”, (ie; “dyeing”, “truely”, “lyeing”) except in the singular. The words “payed” and “tryed” do not exist. They are spelled, “Paid”, and “tried”.
Also, make sure that when you are writing, and a question is asked, PUT A QUESTION MARK AT THE END! I cannot TELL you how many times I have been reading, and gotten to the end of what I thought was a statement, only to find out that the person was actually asking a question–SHEESH!! It changes the whole meaning of what you are reading.

    A better life always begins with a better education, and if you are not educated PROPERLY, people will not take you seriously in the business world. When you wonder why you didn’t get a job, maybe it’s because half of the words you spelled, were incorrect. Maybe you didn’t use proper punctuation, (periods, commas, and capitalization where it SHOULD be, paragraphs when the thought changes, etc…) or it could be that you are leaning back in the chair with your hand down your pants, and saying “See what I’m saying…” every 5 minutes…

   The other thing that drives me crazy, is when people do not proofread their work before publishing it. PLEASE, PLEASE, PROOFREAD your work! I realize that even the BEST authors are guilty of a typo on occasion, but much of that can be avoided if you just READ what you write, BEFORE you post it somewhere!! The best way to do this, is to write it, save it as a draft, then come back later, and read it as if you have not seen it before. If it doesn’t flow smoothly, or the thoughts are not conveyed correctly, make your changes THEN. 

    I could go on and on, (I guess I have, but it seemed necessary at this point) but hopefully you have gotten the message by now. If you HAVEN’T, sadly, there might not be any hope for you. 

    Now, instead of getting mad about an article like this, what you SHOULD do, is say “thank you” that someone cared enough to say it out loud. All that is left now, is for you to DO something ABOUT it!

   Instead of cussing people out on FB as a second language, worrying about what you’re going to wear to “the club”, or getting you hair and nails done every week, work more on the IMPORTANT areas of yourself. 

 Ok, off my soapbox now, but this needed to be said. I usually just touch lightly on this subject because usually “stat” boxes only allowed so many characters, but I HERE, I can get it ALL OUT, lol! 

 Good luck to all who want to be better. To those of you who don’t, oh well….it’s not like you weren’t told…

Take care all, xoxo Gramma D 🙂Image

Used, abused, the warning signs, and why it’s NEVER ok!

I know we all have a girlfriend, (or guy friend) whose S/O will not let them out of their sight. Tells them what to do, where to go, reads their text messages and emails, listens while they are on the phone, and makes sure to be in the room whenever you, or anyone else visits.

I feel so sad for the people who find themselves in these situations. Usually they are already  in it very deeply before they realize the person is possessive or abusive, and sometimes they are just too afraid to leave. Often times the abuser has threatened you, as well as your family, and/or friends, with harm, (and you know they’ll DO it, because they have a track record of being violent) so there just seems to be no way out.

The biggest thing to remember is, if you take stand with a guy (or girl) the FIRST time they start acting strange (pushy, insistant, or angry for no reason) CHECK THEM, FIRMLY, and IMMEDIATELY!! They will either back up, and know you don’t play that, or they will move on—which is best for YOU! If you let it slide the first time, they will take it from YOU that you are weak, or EASY TO CONTROL, then it REALLY begins!

They start with “I’m sorry baby, I’m not really like that” — BULLSH!T!!! They ARE like that, and know that talking sweet, and saying that they didn’t mean it, will reel you in. DON’T BE THAT STUPID!!

Don’t let them talk you into getting a cell phone “that you can only use just for them”, (and make you think it is YOUR idea). Don’t accept a major gift early on in the relationship, and for God’s sake, DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY MONEY!!!!! (I mean a 10 or 20 here and there for gas, or because they are a few pennies short for something might be ok), but when they NEVER have any money, can’t ever pay for dinner, a movie, ALWAYS needs a “ride”, or money for “lunch”, child support, their cell bill, car payment, insurance, rent, etc… RUN, don’t walk, to the nearest EXIT!!!

If if gets to the point of physical violence, and you have to call the police, FOLLOW THROUGH!!! Don’t be the idiot who lets them “sweet” talk you into “dropping the charges”, because that just lets them know that they can do whatever they want to you, and you will never do anything about it. They will treat you worse each time after that. Hence the saying – “Do it ONCE, shame on YOU. Do it TWICE, shame on ME!”

If you meet a guy in a club, and he INSISTS on “coming over” that night, even after you have said NO, or he ‘decides’ that he will “take you to breakfast” first thing in the morning since he can’t come over, (because he is just SOOOOO ‘head over heels’ after ONE meeting), CUT HIM LOOSE! Don’t even give him your number, and for GOD’s sake, don’t tell him where you work! (Same thing if it’s a pushy lady, fellas…)

If you like the person, and think that there may be something there, then set up a date for several days later. Maybe meet them at the coffee shop on Thursday, and then, if you think things are going well, give them your email address, and tell them that you want to take it slowly. Any person that wants a HEALTHY relationship will think that that it just fine! They won’t push for more, and if they DO, that just shows that they are selfish, thinking of themselves only, and used to getting their own way, without caring how YOU feel about ANYTHING! If that happens, you will be oh so happy that you didn’t let them come to your home, give them your number, or tell them where you work.

When they want to introduce you to their children right away, and try to put you in a ‘parental’ role with children that you’ve just met, or want to start spending taking “family” trips a week after meeting you, it’s probably because they are trying to force you into the relationship that best suits THEM, not you. When you agree to something like that too soon, then they have found their “mark”. so stand firm if it is something that you feel funny about, or uncomfortable with.

Don’t let this happen to you. Be smart, not desperate. Fall in love, not lust. Make sure that if you are looking for a long term, or forever partner in life, that you WAIT until you know that the person has ALL (or at least MOST) of the characteristics that you want in a mate.

I could go on, but I wont. I think you get the idea.

I’m not an expert, just a person who has been through a lot in my life, and hopes to help others who haven’t.

Take care all, and Happy Blogging!

Xoxo, Gramma D 🙂