What is your Halloween Creature?

The spooky time is near, and no matter the reason for celebrating….the best known being trick or treating, decorating, and candy stuff (the occasional party I dream in my head of having).  I also know the sacredness of Samhain for my earthy friends, the Dia De Los Muertos the day following with its special rituals and memories/ All saints day.  If I am forgetting anything, please enlighten me as I do not intend to mock.

SETTING THAT ASIDE: I have a question.  A true question for real answers.  With all the followers I have I would think maybe a bit of response to this fun and games would make a little bit of a cute Q & A.

question 1) What is your favorite “spooky” or scary character/thing, real or fictitious.  From Literature past to present, to movies, real things, you make the choice.   I will share mine (although you may know a bit of my prejudice).

question 2) Why have they become your favorite?

Question 3) What is the thing you fears most and why?

So lets begin!!!

Syndicate Spotlight #19: Rise Of A Queen

Reviews are like Ambrosia and this one made me pretty happy. Papi does lots of reading. Check out the review, but more importantly check out what he’s got going on his page.

Papi Talk!… With JS Riddle

Papi Z had some great questions and I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. Check it, and his site, out!

Guest Blogger Sunday: Charles E Yallowitz

Check him out

Guest Blogger Sunday: Charles E Yallowitz

Check him out

Has marketing through social media turned this Gen X’er into a Millennial?

That’s what the survey says!  Honest.  Pew Research Center has a quiz that says:

“Take our 14 item quiz and we’ll tell you how “Millennial” you are, on a scale from 0 to 100, by comparing your answers with those of respondents to a scientific nationwide survey. You can also find out how you stack up against others your age.”

The article that goes along with it is here that says a little, but I’m sure you’ll just scroll down to scratch your head as to why the scores matter and so forth.  You can’t say I didn’t offer though.  It really attempts to explain the importance of things in our lives by generations.

So for funsies I plugged ahead.  We’ll just say that I turned out to be a Millennial.  A very high Millennial.  I’m not about to go about saying that score because I’m not sure how I want to take that answer.  You see, I’m a Gen X’er.  That’s what I’m labelled.  I’m closer to the end of it, so maybe that’s why I’m a little different.  I think it’s great for the attitude that I carry around to NOT act my age.  Sometimes this lady right here can be the youngest most animated person in the room rushing about like superman on speed.  Other times I’m like that old lady in the comic who is crabby and complains about everything especially her aching bones to just sour apple attitude.  So why am I a little off kilter about being called a Millennial?  I’m not hating, I’m really not; I cringe as the assumption on X’ers too.  I wish there was something that was called the OTHER generation.  You know, the ones who use technology, but don’t twitch too bad if you don’t use it (okay I do a little, but I need my coffee first so that could be where the twitch comes from).  I’m also looking forward in life and have a strong empathetic feel for people and humanity is quite important to me.  Pretty funny considering the first chapter of my first published book sticks humans as slaves or cattle, right?

Okay, so maybe I’m babbling and making no sense; it wouldn’t be the first time.  I think I know a little reason why my answer, and “age” happens to be skewed.  Marketing.  Social Media.  Remember all my issues trying to get the formula right about how to get my information, and my book, out to as many people as possible?  I did everything I was told to do and BOOM I had so many things online that exposed me as an author that I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to utilize them.  So I still slave away scratching my head trying to figure it out which means I’m spending a lot more time doing exactly what my scores revealed for me.  I blog, I tweet, I have an author page for Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon that goes with my book Rise of a Queen that is on sale in all Amazon countries that carry Kindle, (a few links: US, UK, CA).  I even have the physical book. I have an about.me page (one of the first things I did that I will more than likely have to update) which I have no clue what to do with unless its something like a virtual business card.  Oh I have a Google+ but guess what?  Its bone dry and I’m figuring that out.  I interact with other bloggers, message boards, actual people, all the things I need to do marketing.  The thing is that most of it is online.  Why?  Because that’s where the people are.  I can’t camp outside bookstores screaming to read my book for a few reasons. The main one is it’s an e-book.  Can you imagine a nice little sign I carry saying buy my book…..but not here you have to go online instead of this nice bookstore I’m in front of.  The second reason is that it’s NOT in bookstores because B&N is a turd and it’s easier to do taxes than to get your physical copy there and the local bookstore is dwindling to an almost fearful drip of death.  There are used bookstores, but hardly any real ones.  You know the kind, it wasn’t too long people frequented themselves scanning the shelves for the newest treasure.  They didn’t go in for books that were on the best seller list; they went in for a book to read that interested them and it didn’t matter when it was written or by whom.  

This brings us back to online.  Oh the ever loving yet hated internet.  Digital is everywhere and sometimes surrounds a person in their sleep.  Plugging things here and there to remind people that yes, you really do exist and that you did something that you wanted to share with them.  It doesn’t put a hole in ones pocket and is quite painless, except that is seems like a full time job.  I’ve attempted backing away but how can I?  It honestly played with my sales at that point.  As we all know I’m not planning on being super rich, heck the reality is that I hope to have enough money to put back into each book I work on.  The tough part when doing all the marketing I have to keep up?  NOT WRITING.  I had spent so much time working on the business end that my creative one seemed to suffer.  I actually am quite thankful I’m not one to sit in front of the computer writing things down first thing.  I feel more comfortable with paper and pen, even more so.  I have to make sure I don’t have a wifi signal or connection to be able to get things done or the endless cycle happens once more.  The joys of being an Indie author I know.  I’m not ashamed to call myself that.  I’m proud.  I honestly look at the traditional publishing world and shake in fear of how much control I wouldn’t have.  In the same breath I mutter how I wish things could be easier on the promoting and marketing end.  I know some authors who spend a lot of time and money (which I do not have much of the latter) to get their work out there.  For most of them they are successful.  They have done this rodeo before.  I had nobody to guide me.  I have no idea about conventions and the like.  They do.  I applaud them.  I want to learn from them, but it takes time……..and technology.  *sigh*

So, back to the original reason I started this post before veering off into a jumbled mess from my brain to the page; I’m labeled younger when I’m older yet the reason for that specifically is sucking the life out of me because of my struggles to keep up and not fall behind.  I’m going to create an OTHER generation category where I feel more comfortable.  Anybody else with me?

Auf Wiedersehen Oktoberfest….until we meet again

I have been blessed with the joys of Oktoberfest through my life in one form or another.  No I’m not 100% German, but I do have some roots there and I believe living in Germany for 3 years kind of counts, right?  

For those who don’t know Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival running from late September to the first weekend in October started in Munich, Germany.  It started out as a celebration for Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to  Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810.  The citizens of Munich were invited in the huge festivities and we’ve been celebrating their wedding ever since.  Funny if you think about it.  This celebration has spanned the globe in one form or fashion and each area has its own take.  I can say that although I never went to Munich’s celebration, Frankfurt did not have one to balk at.  I enjoyed the chaotic mess of lovely music, dancing, food, rides, and of course the people enjoying their flowing bier’s.  If you have not gone to one, give it a try.  This was my first time at the local one I just moved to, and although the food wasn’t quite up to snuff, the dancing and music was fun.  I enjoyed watching one of many storytelling dances with the men in their Liederhosen and women in their dirndls,

Image

listened to the cowbell musicians,

Image

and of course the talents of the lady playing the Alphorn.

Image

Of course with all of the celebrating it brought back some memories of my life in Germany for those few years.  Guess what?  I’m going to share a bit of my history.  I was telling a friend the other day my arrival story and decided it would make a great blog on getting to know a little bit of me. 

  Let me set the mood.  *turns the nostalgia music up, add a little polka tune to it* My first day in Germany September 1989; the 11yr old me stepped off the plane in Frankfurt, used her very first public restroom embarrassingly noting out loud to my father how terrible the toilet paper was and that it was rougher than those brown paper towels, got terrible looks from the airport patrons and met up with our sponsors (usually someone from the same command post as the person in uniform to help families get settled into their new lives on whatever base they live on). after checking into the hotel on base I waved goodbye to my father and grandmother because unlike them I had not a sign of jet lag.  So instead the thoughtful sponsor brought his family and I hopped on my first train ride and headed to Buga, which was a huge flower festival held in Frankfurt.  

Image

 

ANYWAY.  We stepped off the train after I talked everyone’s ears off about everything surrounding me and into this gush of people all over the place.  I had no clue what Buga was until I had gotten there. Well, this girl was hungry.  We were no longer than a few hundred feet in and I saw a food cart with a grill that smelled divine.  The sponsor/s wife saw my young eyes get huge and pulled out a few marks and pfennigs (aka money 🙂 ), all in coins and paid for the delicious German fair food.  In my hand the vendor plunked a plump piece of hot dog (I didn’t know any better) in on hand even begrudgingly putting a tad of ketchup on the wurst, and an aluminum cone filled with the heavenly food that is by far much better than any french fry.  We’re talking the creme de le creme, the Pomme Frittes.  I have yet to create them since they are fried in a specific manner and I do not have the right seasoning. Well, let me tell you that was the best introduction to German food that a person could ask for.  The innocence of a pre-teen and of someone that had traveled over 8 hours to be welcomed with friendly people, good food, and a beautiful park full of flowers.

And with that I say end this blog with a curtsy as I polka off into the sunset….or shall I do the chicken dance.  I’m not certain yet.