FINDING YOUR RSS ADDRESS: Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

To clarify, I’m talking about this dog:  dawn6 (4)

…not this one:016-copy

AND I’m talking about finally learning what RSS is and how to find mine.

I admit that when I was taking Blogging 101 earlier in this year, I aimed to learn only the basics, what I needed to jumpstart my existing blog and make it more appealing. But a lot of water has flowed under that bridge since then. More than once (okay, LOTS more than once) I was somewhere on some site in cyberspace that wanted my RSS address, so that my blog site could be linked to some other site. I made some attempts to figure out what the heck that was and where mine was, but it always eluded me. It seemed to be a big secret that only REAL computer people were allowed to know.

So fast forward to this morning, when I was updating my Amazon Author Page (amazon.com/author/dawnlajeunesse ) and I discovered that I could link that page to my blog…IF…I entered my blog RSS address. Ugh. In a rare moment of high motivation to create this link, I went hunting.

Turns out, there are lots of articles out there that tell you not only WHAT the RSS is, but how to find the address you need to create the link. I used one by A Weber Communications posted June 21, 2016. It was easy to follow, and I found my RSS address immediately. After months of frustration and lost opportunities.

But now I know. Hear my happy bark – ARF! ARF!

Happy active dog playing and jumping at spring park

Jack Russell Terrier jumping high

 

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International Reading Year!

FROM CHARLES FRENCH’S BLOG:

( There is nothing official about this, but at this blog, I am declaring that this whole year from September 6, 2016 to September 6, 2017 is International Reading Year! Care to join me and spread t…

Source: International Reading Year!

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New Historical Fiction!

 

I’m excited to share with you the upcoming release of Gloria Waldron Hukle’s newest book and final piece of the “American Waldron Book Series” on October 11, 2o16!sots_bk_cvr_only-jpeg

“Souls of the Soil” is one tale within another; a contemporary novel that questions the meaning of reality converges with well-researched historical fiction, the whole body of the book inspired by an actual murder in Upstate New York in the year 1756 during the French and Indian War and the discovery of a local family cemetery plot centuries later.

But Gloria Waldron Hukle’s final slice of her “American Waldron Book Series” opens long before blood drips from the blade of a sharpened rusty bayonet.

The lives of two sets of fathers and sons, all four of whom share the same DNA, crisscross between centuries in this last of the four book series that began a decade ago with “Manhattan: Seeds of the Big Apple.”

“Souls of the Soil” starts in the year 1679 as Cornelius Vandenberg, a badly burnt, disheartened Dutch immigrant farmer living on Papscanee Island near Albany, laments his loss of everything. It is November on the crystal covered, scorched fertile land, long held sacred by the indigenous peoples. As the fire smolders, the angry immigrant wonders how he can go forward.

Thus begins the never-ending quest for happiness and meaning, the trek continuing many centuries and generations later in 2014 with the reconciliation of family members brought together by the unexpected death of a close friend.

Further information visit: www.authorgloriawaldronhukle.com. The book also can be pre-purchased at her daughter’s secure business website: http://www.heavenlyhollowdist.com by clicking on the book image on the first page of the site.

gloria-and-daughter-julie

 

Gloria Waldron Hukle and her daughter, Julie:

Book Debut and Author Presentation 7:30 October 11th at Sand Lake Town Hall, Sand Lake, New York.

November 6th Hukle joins dozens of east coast authors at the Chronicle Book Fair, Queensbury Hotel, Glens Falls, New York. (11 till 3 in the afternoon)

November 13th A special presentation and signing with the Albany Dutch Settlers Society, Schuyler Meadows Country Club, Albany, New York.

November 15th Hukle will present at Hudson Valley Community College (Creative Retirement Class). Check local newspapers.

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What Did Kindle Unlimited Pay per Page in August, 2016?

KINDLE UNLIMITED PER PAGE-RATE FOR AUGUST, 2016 The Kindle Unlimited per-page rate dropped slightly, down to $0.004575 per KENP page read for August, 2016 (compared to $0.00481 for July). There hav…

Source: What Did Kindle Unlimited Pay per Page in August, 2016?

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I’M STUMPED!

tree-stump

WHERE TO GO FROM HERE?

When I finished Star Catching earlier this year, I began work on another novel that had been circulating around my brain for some time, tentatively called Lilies of the Valley. I thought once Star Catching went into the publishing process, my head would be ready to move forward with Lilies. And yet….

I still like this story line, but another one has been calling to me, louder by the day. It has no name. It has a concept and set of characters that have been coming into focus, without ever applying a single letter to paper or opening a new document on my computer.

The disciplined side of me says, “Finish what you started before starting on something new.”

I’ve always been a linear thinker and worker. Job A comes before Job B, and followed by Job C, and so on. Call me rigid, but it shakes up my sense of order to do things differently. I feel scattered. Uncommitted.

“But,” says this voice inside me, “if the new story line literally is writing itself in your head, isn’t that a sign that it is bigger than Lilies?” And some corner of my mind, one I usually try to ignore, screams, “YES! Lilies of the Valley isn’t going away. Your research is there. Your concept is there. But it isn’t writing itself! This new idea—face it—needs an outlet, or Lilies will never get finished.”

I’m committed to Lilies on so many levels. It’s a piece of history. It’s real and gritty. It’s personal in some ways.

But the voice of this other book grows louder in my head by the day.

So the question is, should I remain disciplined, true to my nature? Or should I follow the voice in my head and see where it leads?

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STAR CATCHING

Way back in March, when we were trying hard to say good-bye to winter and welcome the warmer months, I announced the completion of my third novel. The title then was Gram and Me. Fast forward past spring and summer, after multiple critiques and edits, the resulting complete overhaul included a new title!

WELCOME, STAR CATCHING!

Shooting Star 3 (2)

 A family struck by tragedy is forced to rebuild their lives around a new mold.

Sarah Crawford’s family vacationed every summer with her beloved Gram and Gramps. Every day was a fun adventure, but Sarah’s favorite was their special night of star catching, with Gramps and her dad. On the last night of vacation, Sarah overhears her grandparents saying how much they look forward to selling their house and traveling unencumbered after Gram retires.

When an accident on their way to the airport kills Sarah’s parents and brother, Marian and Ed cope with grief and the unanticipated responsibility of raising Sarah. Sarah’s recovery is complicated by guilt over ruining her grandparents’ plans. She decides she must return to Washington, to the home she shared with her parents Precocious academically, in her immaturity she doesn’t grasp the unrealistic nature of her goal and the dangers of her attempts to achieve it.

It’s a cozy, if sometimes tearful, family love story, sort of in the Hallmark movie tradition. It’s also suitable for YA readers. It is told in the voices of Sarah and Marian (Gram).

And now I’m excited to announce that it has entered the final stages of the publishing process and will debut in early November!

Watch for updates and details on availability!

Posted in Books, critiques, Editing, Grief and Loss, Publishing, Reading, Women's Fiction, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO

Anyone out there remember this Bonnie Tyler song from the eighties?

“Holding Out For A Hero”

Where have all the good men gone And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need

[Chorus] 

I need a hero! I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong And he’s gotta be fast And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure And it’s gotta be soon And he’s gotta be larger than life, larger than life!
Somewhere after midnight In my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach There’s someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
It’s gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet
[Chorus]
Up where the mountains meet the heavens above Out where the lightning splits the sea
I would swear that there’s someone somewhere
Watching me
Through the wind and the chill and the rain And the storm and the flood
I can feel his approach Like the fire in my blood
[Chorus]

Songwriters Jim Steinman;Dean Pitchford; Published by SONY/ATV MELODY

Remove the assumption of the hero being male, and you are left with the hopes I had for our next President. (Bet you didn’t see that coming!)  I’m taking a break from writing about writing to voice my frustrations.

I was on board with the “Ready for Hillary” campaign. I started out the protracted campaign season hopeful of a first woman President who would draw from the wisdom of years in the domestic and foreign political arena and an up-close perspective on the presidency from her years as First Lady. I knew she was flawed. But I looked at the alternatives and drew a preliminary conclusion that she offered, in my eyes, more of a real life perspective to me than any of the Democratic or Republican potentials during those “Ready for Hillary” months

Enter the primary season. I made excuses for her scripted interactions and lack of eye contact, for the early accusations of her being owned by Wall Street. I ignored friends (including Democrats) who said she was dishonest and not to be trusted. I still didn’t see anyone else who was better.

Enter Donald Trump. As someone who avoided the Fox Network and Republican thinking in general, I was introduced to him through mainstream media, which was much kinder to him during primary season than they are now. Hard as I fought it, I liked much of what he said and how he said it. Yes, he was outrageous and unpolished. But like many who flipped sides and voted for him in the state primaries with open ballots (unlike NYS, where we could only vote for the primary candidate in our registered party), I found his unscripted, take-me-or-leave-me honesty refreshing. I loved that he was “bought” financially by no one, and seemed to be in this campaign because he genuinely cared about the future of the country, rather than what the office of the presidency could do for him. He had great, well-spoken, nice kids! I started paying attention.

Fast-forward again. Hillary’s email scandal raised eyebrows. But Donald’s frequent gaffes – which, by the way, received much more frequent and protracted publicity than the Hillary issues – did concern me to an extent. I held on to the words of many high-level (and often unexpected) Trump supporters whose off-the-podium experiences with him were totally different, totally favorable. Hillary’s “platform” became increasingly liberal, as she sought to win over Bernie supporters – to the point where she became unrecognizable to me – this was not the strong and independent woman I supported, despite her known flaws, through the “Ready for Hillary” campaign. She had become a candidate who would say anything to get elected, regardless of her core beliefs – whatever they were.

I so wanted a hero. I looked at one crisis after another erupting in our own country and on the world scene. I wanted a presidential hero who would slay the dragons and, yes, make our country great again – or at least whole and united.

The mass media turned against Donald Trump as soon as he won the nomination, twisting the meaning of things he said and barely mentioning the scandals plaguing Hillary. I wasn’t seeing the media’s image of a man who is racist, and sexist, and anti-Muslim – but rather, he is politically incorrect (blunt) in the way he presents his proposals to protect the country. I started flipping between regular media and Fox News to get a less slanted perspective.

Here’s the bottom line I’ve come away with so far. I don’t trust Hillary not to walk the path of least resistance, particularly if it is paved with gold for her. On the other hand, I’m uncomfortable with Donald’s unwillingness to become at least as politically correct as is needed to give the public (including foreign countries) confidence in his capabilities (skewed public media reports aside). And those running third and fourth party campaigns are just spoilers. They can’t win, and they could skew the final outcome without adding anything to the quality of the winning candidate.

So there it is. I’m still holding out for a hero. Will the real hero please ride in on your fiery steed and give our country some hope of being saved?

 

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