Whinging Wednesday

Welcome to my 'Whinging Wednesday' posts. The first one is the original whinge post appearing in its entirety. The subsequent (weekly-ish) whinges are linked below with short descriptions of each one. Just click on the heading of the one you wish to read and it will take you to the individual post.
Whinge Wednesday - Making it Difficult to Leave Comments

Many of my good friends and blogging colleagues dutifully display a fantastic weekly entry on their blogs called, ‘Wordless Wednesday.’ They showcase exquisite designs and photography. These items evoke such profound emotions, words themselves would cheapen them.


Me on the other hand, with no particular flair for photography, and not the slightest inclination to exhume my glory days of knitting and cross-stitching, have decided to host a ‘Whinging Wednesday instead.’


Wednesday, personified is a wrinkled, wrathful, wretched wife uncomfortably sandwiched between workaholic husbands and wayward, children. It’s the perfect day for a whinge!


So what am I cross about today? You must have encountered blogs that do the following:
  • You leave a comment and the page refreshes. You think your comment has been saved so you get ready to move on your jolly way.
  • However, because you’re careful, you check just to make sure.
  • Nothing happens for a second, then this message pops onto your screen, ‘Your request could not be processed. Please try again.’
  • You click ‘post your comment’ again. Surely this time it’s going to take (how difficult can it be, right?).
  • The page takes a bit longer to refresh the second time but then comes up with your comment still not posted, asking you for a word verification. What?
  • You type that in, trying not to bang too hard on your already worn computer keys. You ‘post comment’ for a third time before it finally takes. Am I the only person who this gets to?
What is your whinge this Wednesday? Let it all out so we could fume together.

And here are the other whinge posts:

Hard Copy Only 

I often wonder how it benefits writers for Literary Agents to request hard-copy manuscripts only. We toil at the computer from morning until night time. We neglect our families and hair appointments so that we could finish that all-important chapter (all the chapters are important, right?). We stalk Agents’ sites and listings so that we could pick the perfect one for our genre. We find one after hours of searching, only to read, ‘Sorry e-mail submissions not accepted.’


Your And You're

We all have our nemesis where the English language is concerned. For me, it’s words that end in ‘tor’ or ‘ter.’ I know, I know, for you it’s easy and you can't understand why I can’t spell. Well, on the flip side, many people (and writers) don’t know the difference between your and you’re, while I think it’s a piece of bake (or is that cake?). As we all know, ‘your’ is a possessive pronoun which denotes ownership.


Shopping Trolleys in Supermarkets

They park their trolleys in the middle of the aisle, oblivious to the rest of all the other shoppers in the store. You stand behind them, really close, so that you’re almost breathing down their necks, hoping that by some miracle, they’ll notice that you want to go by.



Joining Blogs To Leave Comments
 
More and more I’m encountering blogs that ask you to join or sign in before you’re allowed to make a comment on their post. Now, I’m not the most learned blogger out there, but surely this does more harm than good.
 
Swearing On The Internet 
 
I’ve been thinking about this for a while because I know this particular whinge will upset some people. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I can’t share my strong feelings on my own blog, where else can I do so?


Reality TV; And The Winner Is... 

I’m not a fan of reality TV, but I do watch the X-Factor and I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. For my American friends, American Idol is the American version of the X-Factor. I’m a Celebrity... sees forgotten (in most cases) celebrities who’re staging a come-back of sorts, dumped into the Australian jungle. They’re required to complete stomach churning tasks like chewing on kangaroo testicles to ‘win’ food for the group. They get whittled down one by one until the last man/woman left standing is crowned king or queen of the jungle.


Mobile Phone Nuisance



My husband often travels to work by train because his office is in a city which is two and a half hours away. His favourite complaint is about noisy people in 'quiet' carriages. They actively ignore carriages where everyone is chatting and playing with their phones, to sit in  the designated 'quiet' carriages to indulge in loud activities. One would think that if you plan on being noisy, the last place you'll choose to sit is in an area other than the quiet zone.


OMG, LOL, ROTFLMAO


I've reached a point in my social networking life where my brain involuntarily sets fire to my eyes when I see OMG and LOL. 
Does anyone write messages these days without including one or the other? At first when they arrived on the web scene (when I still had to figure out what they meant) they were sort of cute and entertaining. Months later I was still ignorantly, blissfully convinced LOL meant 'lots of love.' After all, nothing about what was said preceding the LOLs was remotely funny. It's no wonder I didn't catch on. 



Shoes That Tone Your Bottom



Don't know if you've been given the news yet, but the market is awash with shoes that plump your bottom. Yay! No need for that planned surgery any more. I know this sounds a bit crazy, but you've got to hear me out.



What's Up With That Horatio Caine



In case you don't know who he is, (lucky you!) he's the head of the CSI Miami team, played by David Caruso. His series of actions in each painful episode is extensively and redundantly choreographed: a foolish pose, a sideways glance for no particular reason (but to show what he must think is his 'good' side), and then a deliberate slow removal of those daft dark glasses he puts on just to take off. 

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My Follow Friday

Following in the giant footsteps of Twitter, each week (more or less) I have my own Follow Friday, blog style. I nominate a writing blog I've just started following or have followed for some time. I give a short description of the site and explain why I follow it and how it could be helpful to you. Simples! Below, you will find the original FF post in its entirety. At the bottom of the page, I've added links and short descriptions to each of the subsequent post. Enjoy!

                                                  
Follow Friday - The Man Who Painted Agnieska's Shoes

Twitter has its own follow Friday (ff). You nominate someone you think others should follow and give a reason why. Lately, people have been merely recommending friends or sucking up to the ‘celebrity twits’ (sorry if that sounds a bit rude), so I decided to start my own ff here. Perhaps I just wanted an excuse to copy ff, or maybe the reason I gave is genuine. Either way, welcome to A Blogger’s Books ff. I hope you like it here.


I follow The Man Who Painted Agnieska's Shoes not only because the writer, Dan is a fantastic author. He’s done an amazing amount of work in indie publishing and is extremely active in helping other writers to acquire the skill to face the publishing industry on their own.


Dan is a co-founder of the writer’s co-operative Year Zero and has organised a Free-e-day Festival to be held on the first of December, 2009. Artists of various genres are going to give away their work for free.


Dan’s blog offers help and advice for struggling authors, book reviews and guest blogs from established and new writers. Follow Dan’s blog if you’re a writer. Happy Follow Friday!

And now, here are my other Follow Fridays: Just click on the underlined headings to go to the original posts to continue reading the ones you want.

Social Blogging Tracker 

I follow Social Blogging Tracker because this blog has been very helpful to me personally. For any new blogger/writer seeking to make it in the social networking arena, this site is one worthy of your subscription. Tips and advice on promoting yourself and your site, and 'how-to' tutorials on using social media sites are aplenty.

A Reader's Respite

A Reader's Respite is different from most of the blogs I follow. For me, as a writer, it’s really a blog of rest because it caters for readers. There, a writer can breathe easy. After all, the more we read the better we write, right?

Author Jody Hedlund

As the name suggests, this is an author’s blog. Unlike many blogs managed by authors, (the temptation is to rattle on about your own work) it gives general information about the entire writing process. It also provides vital tips and advice to anyone involved in the industry. The blog engagingly tells of the remarkable journey through acquisition onto the rewriting stages of a manuscript.


Nathan Bransford

I follow this blog and included it on my 'Best Blogs About Writing And Publishing' section because it showcases vital reading material for writers, agents and publishers alike. If you’re a writer starting out in the business, this is a page you must bookmark.


Write And Earn A Living

I follow Write and Earn A Living because I know that the blogger gives workable advice that she has already tested and proved. This writer earns money from publishing material on several online sites, and has done so for years. She shares the information she’s learned the hard way, by creating tutorials specifically aimed at people seeking to make money writing online.

James Moran

I follow The Pen Is Mightier Than The Spork mainly for personal reasons. As some of my readers know, I work in TV and have done quite a lot of work on Dr Who and Torchwood. This blog’s owner, James Moran, has written some of the very work I’ve done. Isn’t that amazing? Well, now you know why I have to follow this blog.

How Publishing Really Works

I Follow 'How Publishing Really Works' because of the wealth of writing tips and publishing advice the blog stockpiles. Not only are there definitive articles like ‘How to find a good literary agent’ or ‘How to test a copy editor.’ There are also vital grammar lessons for those in the writing world and beyond.


This site may not be a very ‘personal’ blog or what is construed as a ‘friendly space,’ but it’s the result of a lot of hard work by talented and professional people (there are posts by a few guest writers as well).


Lulu Blog


Lulu is an online printing/publishing company that publishes novels, calendars, cook-books, picture albums and a number of other print paraphernalia. If you wanted one copy of a personal calendar professionally printed as a gift for someone else, or you required 200 copies of your carefully edited novel, Lulu will print and supply these for you. The print on demand service means that anything from hard copy novels to picture books can be printed at a relatively affordable price.


A Book Inside, How to Write and Publish A Book



I follow ‘A Book Inside - How To Write And Publish A Book' because it’s crammed full of tips and expert advice for writers. There are tutorials on writing fiction and non-fiction; finding a publisher; or marketing your book in a way that’s right for you. 


Viperchill


I follow ViperChill for the thrill it injects into my blogging experience. There’s a two-fold aspect to this site: it uniquely targets the marketing and promoting needs of both bloggers and writers. I’ve come across a sea of Internet marketing blogs so filled with jargon, only a small amount of niche followers could decode the seemingly secret messages. 


Authors Promoting Authors



As writers we're aware of how difficult it is to get your foot on the first rung of the literary ladder. This impossible 'feat' never happens for most potential writers. For the few who've made that first step, it wasn't without the help of colleagues and well-wishers who helped to promote them and their craft. 
I follow Authors Promoting Authors because this is a blog set up to specifically support and promote other writers. 



The Write Worship



I came across The Write Worship some time ago by accident. The striking thing that first impressed me about this blog was the charming and peaceful way in which the writer conveys her thoughts. I follow theblog, not only because it beautifully outlines the path to being published, but because of the way the author demonstrates her talent in weaving the most beautiful phrases and sentences.


Dragos Roua - Brilliantly Better



This is the first time I'm featuring a non-writing blog on my follow Friday. However, it has more than earned its place here because it showcases some seriously useful blogging tutorials even though the focus is on self-improvement and personal development. 
I've listed Dragos Roua - Brilliantly Better on my relationship blog list because the posts are similar to my particular niche there. 
Dragos Roua is not just for writers, even though we can benefit tremendously from his informative articles (have a look at his 'top posts' list, accessible from the header panel on the home page). 



Year Zero Writers



I follow Year Zero Writers because there is simply no other site on the Internet where one could read such fascinating, rich, professional, free and well-written pieces. Year Zero showcases work from some of the most talented, contemporary writers around (and I'm not just saying this because I'm part of Year Zero). 


What are some of your Follow Fridays? Which blogs do you follow and why? Please share some of them with us so we too can benefit. 

Manuscripts: Hard Copy Only

I often wonder how it benefits writers for Literary Agents to request hard-copy manuscripts only. We toil at the computer from morning until night time. We neglect our families and hair appointments so that we could finish that all-important chapter (all the chapters are important, right?). We stalk Agents’ sites and listings so that we could pick the perfect one for our genre. We find one after hours of searching, only to read, ‘Sorry e-mail submissions of manuscripts not accepted.’

Bummer!


Manuscripts submissions

Okay, I know there are two sides to this story. Happily (it depends how you look at it. Work with me here), I don’t know the other side. What I do know is that this puts pressure on our already skint resources. If you haven't heard the word ‘skint’ before, look at a writer's larder and you'll see what I mean.

We have to print several copies of our manuscripts and stamp each one not once, but twice so they could be easily returned. (I don't want them returned!) In fact, some agents insist you’re not a proper writer if you 'don’t take the time' to include an SASE in your submission package. Notice it’s now a ‘package,’ not just a ‘letter.’

After all the writing – on a computer with a broken ‘E’ key; editing – in the cold, because the heating bills haven’t been paid; printing – off a cousin’s office printer when her boss stepped out for a ‘meeting’ from which he returned with lipstick on his collar; post office visits – in the old banger with the duct-taped side window; posting – with money borrowed from the weekly shopping budget; we’re expected to wait for nine months for a reply about the 'hard-copy only manuscript'.

Some of this is exaggeration. Okay, most of the last paragraph is exaggerated (apart from waiting for nine months for a reply). But you see where I’m coming from. I asked in one of my early posts on my older blog, 'Do I Need A Literary Agent?' Can you blame me? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this very thing.

I don't dislike Literary Agents. Honest.


Have you tried submitting your manuscript? How do you manage to post it each time without wincing. Have you got any advice for us writers on how to get around the 'hard-copy only' manuscripts' submission? Please help us all out by leaving a comment below. 


If you're an online writer here's a page of writing opportunities to help you earn a bit extra.


Available Books

These are my available books on Kindle. Below are the longer versions of the introductions and details. If you just want a quick visit, I suggest clicking on the links. Hard copies and other e-formats are available. Just see below for details.  
Longer versions, hard copies and additional books. Note: Sunday's Child is my inspirational memoir. You can read excerpts and see a description of it here


       

Easy Marketing for Articles and Blogs


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Artists like us continually plummet to bottom of the literary food chain due to the present economic situation. People are striving to maintain the ‘necessary’ things in life. Bills are expanding, while food shopping lists are contracting. The finer things in life – the very things we want to share - are abandoned at the wayside.

Yet, we write and create. We would stop if we could and perhaps spend more time at that ‘proper job’ we’ve heard about all our lives. There comes a time though, when we have so much of our creations lying around that we simply must get rid of some of them or go mad. How do we supply something that no one wants to buy?

This article by Louie Jerome discusses how to start marketing our ‘product’ and some ways in which we can build up a demand for the service we provide. Being a writer has now evolved into much more than creating.


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Naughty Characters

Naughty characters by nature, aren't loved by the majority.

However, a large part of writing a great book is about having the skill to create engaging, memorable characters. Honourable characters lend hope and restore faith in human nature. Wicked ones spell doom but also create a balance to the story, instilling that all-important ‘conflict’ to the plot.

The funny guys hang around the periphery to inject a bit of fun, freedom and laughter. These are all straight- forward traits and are somewhat easy to create and handle throughout the book/film. A more difficult job is to craft characters like Will and Grace’s ‘Jack,’ who’re naughty yet loveable. I admire writers who can perfectly sum up and maintain this balance with their naughty characters and 'good' ones. They’ve enchanted us with these naughty characters from the days of Tom and Jerry (when that wicked little mouse got away with the most criminal of RSPCA’s violations), to today’s Greg House. Here is an article to demonstrate this trend.

What do you think of naughty characters? Do you think this article sum them up well?

How To Write An Article Online

This group of articles is called, ‘How to Write An Article Online’. They’re divided into five parts, each addressing different aspects of the online article market. This series is meant for new and improving writers looking for direction on how to break into writing articles for blogs, online magazines or pay-for-post sites. The pieces in the series address the value of adding friends to your network;  the art of sharp writing which attracts readers and keeps them hooked on your work; issues of getting the right content to the right people; and how to keep topped-up on a good supply of ideas for your articles. 

Article-writing skill and technique are examined, and several ways in which we can become the sought-after web writer that everyone wants to read. This is the definitive writing series for anyone serious about building a career in online writing. The articles are all intensive, so get your bookmarking or subscribing finger out. You won't be able to read them all in one go. :-)

About Me


Anne Lyken-Garner is a published authorfreelance writer, blogger and editor. She writes for, and manages 4 blogs and edited The Writers Bureau online student magazine for 2 years. She specialises in writingrelationships and confidence building. See the contact or hire page to find out how Anne can help your blogging and freelance writing business. 
Her other passions include DIY and home improvement. Apart from writing, working in TV and raising her kids, Anne spends a lot of her time honing her home improvement skills. She and her husband have bought houses both in Ireland and in the UK, which she has renovated and re-decorated while at home writing, and sold on for a profit.

Additional information: Anne also works as a television supporting artist with shows like Torchwood, Mistresses (UK's Desperate Housewives), Skins (with Slumdog Millionaire’s, Dev Patel), Casualty, Being Human etc. And maybe if you look carefully you'll see her as one of the Time Lords in Dr Who
In the past Anne has been a Stage Actress and played at the National Cultural Centre – the national playhouse in the capital city, Georgetown. She's also been (and still is) a model, and was even a missionary in her home country of Guyana in South America, and has also had her own call-in radio show. 

These diverse experiences and abilities help her to write better - at least that’s what she keeps telling herself.



You can make contact with Anne:

MY BLOGS

Blog 1 - A Blogger's Books

A Blogger's Books: A solid vault of tricks, useful links, essays and free tips for writers and bloggers. Find places to submit your work in a flash. Learn directions to helpful websites that cater for new writers and bloggers. Dig up tutorials and inventive series on how to create your own books, ebooks, or write online.Get recommendations of resourceful writing blogs with a weekly Follow Friday – blog style. If you’re a new online writer or blogger, grab some simple and straightforward writing tips to make your work better. For literary agents, there are five of my books here to keep you occupied.


Blog 2 - The Relationship Supermarket
A motivational, healthy-living based site that stocks free tips for all your relationship needs. Assorted articles are hand-picked and packed full of dating tips and relationship advice based on friendship and on love. Marriage and parenting advice are also stockpiled. And if you’re a Christian looking for bible based articles, here’s where you’ll find them too. The Relationship Supermarket.com is your one stop shop for all your relationship needs.


Blog 3 - DIY Projects 
Most of the articles here are step-by-step tutorials to help you care for your home, and do some of those nagging DIY jobs yourself.
This blog was started when we bought an old, neglected house. While doing the long list of home improvement jobs we realised how much we did know about DIY, and how much more we had to learn.
Other (upcoming) articles will show you ourjourney to convert our purchase into a beautiful home for ourselves and children. Feel free to voice your opinion or questions.

Blog 4 - Sunday's Child Lives At Annie's House
A description of and excerpts from the memoir 'Sunday's Child,' (a true story, written in the voice of a little girl) and other stuff about books, writing, magazines, blogging and the news. 

The material on this blog is specifically designed for teenagers and younger kids. The aim is to help them read and translate Shakespeare scenes into their own, modern take on the English language. This is a perfect tool to help them write their Shakespeare synopsis on a particular play or character quickly and easily. This modern ‘translation’ will also help with any type of school work pertaining to the plays of the mighty Shakespeare, and his dramatic and comedic scenes we all love.

I'm a co-founder of this writer's co-operative. This is our site from which you can download first-class writing and stories for free.  Year Zero WritersYear Zero is not an industry. Year Zero is not a group of writers. Year Zero is not a set of beliefs. Year Zero is an approach to culture.Year Zero books are now available in print and e-Book format.  My Weekly Column

I create articles on several different topics. I let my fingers do the talking about whatever moves me. This site enables me to express short bursts of energetic writing.

I'm a contributor here Fabulously40.  This is a website for women in their 40s and beyond. It's a place to read powerful material and be informed, but it's also a welcoming place to hang out and chill with women of like minds. 

Get my published books. Click on My Storefront

How To Spend Less
The author has spent four years of active research uncovering well-kept secrets which will help the average family spend less on food shopping, household bills, entertainment, large purchases and arbitrary outgoings. She's acid-proofed all the examples given in this book so you don't have to do any of the hard work.


How To Really Lose Weight Without Dieting

‘How to Really Lose Weight Without Dieting’ is a workable solution to banish nagging weight issues and keep them gone for good. It’s a powerful, new guide which hands over responsibility to the readers by inspiring them to take on individually targeted lifestyle changes, and gives them the option to move at their own pace.
I've just signed a contract to publish this book later this year.


And on Amazon:

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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