Monthly Archives: January 2013

Website

I sure have been posting a lot lately, haven’t I?

Well this one is pretty big.

The website is up and running!  Click this link to check it out: www.rebeccalevitonauthor.com

It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but I promised I’d let you know when I had my site up and now I have.  Just so this isn’t a total waste of your time, I’ll show you this picture I drew.

Book Tree

That’s all I’ve got for you right now.  I’ll leave you with a comic and a Word of the Day.  Don’t forget to check out the site!

Oh, right.  An update on Hellbound.  It is now being looked at by three different editors.  That’s all I can say right now.  But that’s something!  I’ll let you know when I hear back from them!  Ok, I’m really done now.  Bye!

Writer's Block Strip 14

Word of the Day: Tangible (adj) – capable of being touched; discernible by the touch; material or substantial.

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Flash Fiction

A while back I wrote a post about my rules for writing.  At the end of that post was a writing exercise that consisted of a list of words that had to be used in a piece of flash fiction.  I said that I would do the exercise and post the results, and so I have.

First, the list of words:

Apple

Expensive

Ordinary

Superfluous

Tangible

Officer

Weirdly

Now the story:

It all started with an apple.  I was at the supermarket, obviously.  I mean where else do you buy apples?  My wife is pregnant.  She’s going on four months now.  She wanted apple soup.  I don’t even know how to make apple soup.  Is that a thing?  I looked for it in the soup aisle, but all they had was the ordinary stuff.  Like chicken noodle and clam chowder.  No apple soup.

So I was looking at the apples, and I was thinking of buying organic, but they were way too expensive.  Can you believe how much they charge for one freaking apple?  And as I was thinking that, I kid you not, a man with a gun ran into the supermarket and open fired on the freezer section.  Not on the people.  On the food.  The noise was deafening.  Like it was so loud it was almost tangible.

Weirdly enough, I wasn’t scared.  All I could think was, I have to get home to my wife.  I don’t know why I thought that.  She probably wasn’t in any danger.  It was a weird impulse.  So I ran out of the store, and I didn’t even realize I was still holding one of the apples, but I don’t think they would care that much if they found out I stole it.  In the light of the recent freezer shooting, a stolen apple would just be superfluous, you know?  They don’t need to deal with that.  So I’m driving home, with just this one apple, and I’m just thinking about my wife and getting back to her.  I shouldn’t have been driving so fast, but I was.

And that’s my story, officer.  That’s why I was speeding.

The policeman glared down at him for a moment and then smiled.

“Where’s the apple?” he asked.

“I’m sorry?”

“The apple.  You said you stole it.  Where is it?”

“I…uh…I don’t know.  It must have rolled under the seat.”

“It was a nice try, sir, but I’m still giving you a ticket.  Maybe consider driving a little closer to the speed limit next time.  Give your wife my regards.”

The officer pulled the ticket off his pad and handed it to the driver.

“Have a nice day, sir,” he said, and walked back to his car.

The man sighed and drove home.  It wasn’t until he pulled into the garage and was able to search around a bit that he found the apple under the passenger seat.

Sighing, he walked into the house and tossed the thing into the trash.

He found his wife sitting on the couch.

“Hey, honey,” he said.  “You’re never going to believe what just happened to me.”

[End]

And there you have it.  You’re still welcome to give it a try yourself.  I realize now that 500 words might be a little long for a comment.  For some reason I thought it’d be shorter.  But you should still try.  It’s fun.

Here’s a comic:

Writer's Block Strip 13

Word of the Day: Superfluous (adj) – being more than is sufficient or required; excessive.

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Lyrics Analysis

I don’t like John Mayer.  He seems like kind of a douche, and his songs make my ears cry.  If you like John Mayer, and these words offend you, please stop reading.  I don’t mean to offend anyone by having opinions that are different from theirs, just as I don’t mean to empower anyone by having opinions similar to theirs.

Anyway, there is this one song of his that I can’t get over.  Apparently it’s really old, but I’ve only recently started hearing it, so I guess I’ve been out of the John Mayer loop.  I would have happily stayed out of the John Mayer loop, but apparently fate didn’t think I deserved that.

This song is called “Daughters.”  After some discussion with my friend, Micah, I discovered that this song was supposed to have a message somewhere along the lines of “Don’t abuse your children.”  I can see why I missed this message, as I only ever managed to catch the chorus, but even with its good intentions, I feel sexism taints it.

Take, for example, the lyrics of the chorus:

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

First of all, I would like to point out that I have no issue with telling people not to abuse their kids.  That’s great.  People shouldn’t abuse their kids.  That being said…”Girls become lovers who turn into mothers”?  Does anyone else see anything wrong with that?  Here, I’ll break it down:

1. The reason you should be good to your daughters is because “girls become lovers.”  Specifically girls.  (We’ll get to what he says about boys in a moment.)

2. And then they “turn into mothers.”  Every last one of them.  I don’t know if I’ve expressed my distaste for blanket statements before, but I’m going to say it again: Stop with your blanket statements!  Not every girl wants to be a mother.  Or a lover for that matter.  Some accidentally become mothers, sure, but there are still those women out there who do not have any interest in either becoming a lover or becoming a mother.  Or they like the first bit but not the second bit.

3. A life of abuse will not automatically make a girl a bad lover or mother, though it always helps to have a loving upbringing.  It is still possible for a girl to be strong and persevere despite a tough childhood though.  But more on that later.

Now we get to the verse about boys.  Here is John Mayer’s reasoning for why you should only be good to your daughters, and not your sons:

Boys, you can break
You’ll find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong
And boys soldier on
But boys would be gone without the warmth from
A woman’s good, good heart

4. Apparently boys can both “break” and “be strong.”  But the funny thing is that this language is exclusive.  It only refers to boys.  Boys you can break.  Boys will be strong.  And boys soldier on.  Not girls though.  Girls won’t be strong.  They won’t soldier on.  Which is why they are there to offer “the warmth” of their “good, good heart[s]” to boys.  Because they are delicate flowers who need protecting and are only there to nurture their protectors.

5. Apparently it’s okay to beat up on boys because that’ll just toughen them up.  “You’ll find out how much they can take,” and then maybe they’ll learn how to “be strong” and fight back.  In fact, a little punching might be good for them.  Toughen them up.  Teach them to be strong.  That’s the message I get.  So while abuse will break them, it might also…make them?

6. Not all girls are pretty, pretty princesses.  I like, repeat, I LIKE, the message of “Don’t abuse or neglect your kids.”  But I would have liked that message to apply to ALL kids, and not just the dainty female ones.

I Hate Pink

7. Fuck you, John Mayer.

8. Comic Writer's Block Strip 12

9. Word of the Day: Misogynist (n) – a person who hates, dislikes, mistrusts, or mistreats women.

10. P.S. I had a conversation with Liz about this song while writing this post, and after I said, “It’d be nice if this song had the message, ‘Don’t abuse any of your kids,” she responded with, “And that they’ll all respond in their own unique ways, regardless of their genitals.”  So if you need a TL;DR version of this post, I feel that conversation sums it up.  You’re welcome.

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Tumblr Fumblr

Recently, as you know, I’ve been trying to build a platform for myself as an author.  Along those lines, I figured I’d try creating a Tumblr account even though I still have no idea what Tumblr actually is.  My grasp of it is that it’s a blog but also a social network but also a place where you mainly share photos, GIFs, and videos.

So I created an account.  And then I tried to log in.  And then I got redirected to the log in page.  Then I entered my information again, and got redirected to the log in page again.  It was an infinite loop of Tumblr log in pages.

Tumblr Loop

After several agonizing minutes of this, I decided to try changing my password.  I followed the link, changed my password to something completely different, and tried again.  Tumblr Loop prevailed.

It was unavoidable at this point; I had to contact their support team.  I sent an email as follows (all green text has been added in for the purpose of this blog to emphasize a point):

I just created a new Tumblr account and it won’t let me log in. I tried resetting my password and clearing Cookies from my browser, but all it does is redirect me to the log in page every time I try to log in. I already verified my email address, so I don’t know what’s going on.

Their response was:

Hi Rebecca,

Did you ever receive an email address verification message from us? If not, have you checked your Spam or Junk mail folders to make sure the verification email didn’t end up there?

My response was:

I did in fact get the verification email and I verified my email address,
as I said in my original message.

Their response was:

Hi Rebecca,

Ah! So you did! Sorry about that; moving a little too fast this evening! Could you try three things:

1. See if clearing your browser’s cache helps.

2. If #1 doesn’t help, Try deleting your web browser’s cookies for Tumblr.com and see if you can log in then. Let me know if you still have a problem.

3. Finally, try restarting your computer.

At least he didn’t tell me to reset my password.  Except he kinda did, because he did link me to their FAQ page for what happens if you can’t log in, and resetting your password is on there.

If you hadn’t guessed, I’ll let you know that it’s still not working.  I have restarted my computer at this point, cleared my cookies, reset my password, verified my email address…I’m done.  No Tumblr for me.  Bummer.

No comic today as I have been lazy.

Word of the Day: Agonize (v) – to suffer extreme pain or anguish.

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Filed under Humor, Technology

My Platform

I have a fairly big, somewhat important announcement.

Hear-Ye

According to my agent, I need a marketing platform to make me and my book(s) that much more appealing to publishers.  For that reason, I am working on creating a website for myself.

I’ve also been shamelessly trying to get followers on this blog from my Facebook friends.  I could get more people’s attention if I talked about really popular, topical things, but I’m not so good at that.  The posts I wrote about 50 Shades of Grey got quite a few hits for obvious reasons, but I don’t like the idea of writing about Justin Bieber’s latest growth spurt or Disney’s latest racism just to try and attract people to my site.  So I probably won’t do that.

On the list of things I’m planning on doing is creating a Facebook page for myself or my books.  Maybe I’ll get that up and running if I actually get published.

One thing that I absolutely want to do is offer some special deal or giveaway or something for my blog readers.  A lot of you have been with me from the very beginning, so I’d like to offer you my thanks in the form of a signed book or something.  The problem is I don’t know what will actually be possible once the book gets published.  But I promise to try my best to get something going for my blog readers.  That’s the best I can offer right now.

Anyway, that’s it.  I’ll let you know when the website goes live!  Have a hastily drawn comic.

Writer's Block Strip 11

Word of the Day: Incentive (n) – something that incites or tends to incite to action or greater effort, as a reward offered for increased productivity.

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