As I mentioned in last Monday's post, I had a great time a few weeks ago at the Public Safety Writers' Association conference. I even had an opportunity to speak with two publishers (honest, real live publishers). They both had some very encouraging things to say about my WIP but both also offered the same piece of advice: don't publish under the name Linda Leszczuk. Leszczuk is just too difficult to spell, pronounce, remember, etc.
Okay. This isn't really a new thought. When I first started this blog, I slipped in a subheader "aka LD Masterson". Registered both domain names for my web site, as well. But during the past year I've rather let the LD Masterson fall into the background and most everyone knows me as Linda Leszczuk. So I've got some re-branding to do.
You'll notice I've already reversed the names on the header and changed my web site link. I've made all the necessary changes to my web site and set up a new e-mail, Lin@LDMasterson.com. Now comes the tricky part. I'm going to change my blog URL and my Google account name to LD Masterson. I have no idea what that will do to my Followers (Google promises to redirect everyone to the new address but...) and I DO NOT want to lose anyone. Or should that be, I do not want anyone to lose me?
So here's that "help" part. When you see this post, please leave me a comment and let me know you've seen it. Then on Wednesday, please look for me again. If I'm not in the usual place, please hunt for me at ldmasterson.blogspot.com. (I can't make this a link because it's not a valid address yet.) Then leave me a comment again and let me know how you found me.
I really appreciate everyone's help on this. The idea of starting over at square one is just too disheartening. I'm also making a list of all the blogs I follow in case they don't make it to my new blog site. I don't want to lose you either.
Once the new blog connections are in place, I'll be attacking my Facebook page.
In case you're wondering, Masterson is my maiden name. The "Leszczuk" came along with my husband when I got married. What can I say? I was in love.
Groaner of the Day: It turns out that the "Old King Cole" of nursery rhyme fame is loosely based on a 14th century ruler.
The slightly mad monarch is best known for his decree that the entire fiefdom's crop of lettuce be diced and drenched in mayonnaise.
Well, this is not an impressive start. First week back and I'm late with my Friday post. As usual, I'm going with Friday silly stuff but I will give you a preview of coming attractions. Based on conversations I had with a couple publishers at the PSWA conference (real live publishers - honest), I've got a major change in the works. I'm going to tell you all about it on Monday. Please stop back then.
For today - just some signs seen around the office. Enjoy.
You gotta love that last one. Anything free.
Have a great weekend. See you Monday.
I'm Currently Enjoying: The Help by Katheryn Stockett...which I started while following the kids from roller coaster to roller coaster (see Wednesday's post) and finished at 4:30 this morning, which is why this post is late. This is a really excellent book.
Groaner of the Day: There was a Russian man named Rudolph, a high ranking member of the KGB. One evening Rudolph and his wife were walking along and it began to snow.
"My, look at the lovely snow," said his wife.
"No, that is not snow, that is rain." replied Rudolph.
"No, this is snow," she said.
"Look, there is a palace guard, we will ask him." Rudolph went to the palace guard and asked, "Is it raining or snowing?"
The guard was no dummy. "What do YOU think it is doing?"
Rudolph replied, "Raining."
The guard said, "Yes, Comrade, I was going to say raining, also."
So Rudolph and his wife went walking off. The guard could just barely hear the KGB official say:
"Rudolph, the Red, knows rain, dear."
Pubic school here starts next Monday. This feels very early to me but then, I'm old. When I was in school we never started before Labor Day. Of course, we also rode dinosuars to school so I guess things change.
What doesn't seem to have changed is that end of summer vacation panic when you realize there's less than a week to do all the things with the kids - or in my case, grandkids - that you promised them back in June. This is why I'm spending today trailing behind my grandson and his friend all over our local mega-amusement park. Roller coaster heaven.
I'm not really into roller coasters. I don't see the point of standing in line for three hours for a three minute ride that will make me throw up. I mean, if I want to be scared to death, I can open a newspaper and read the latest from Washington. Or as a writer, the latest news about bookstore closings. Really, why would I want to be scared?
But wait...I read mysteries. And thrillers. Stories designed to put my hair on end and tie my stomach in knots. The scarier the better. So what does that make me? An armchair roller coaster rider?
What about you? Do you like being scared? Do you prefer screaming your head off on a fast moving ride or the delicious creepy terror of a really good book?
Guess what I'll be doing today while the boys are standing in those three hour lines waiting for a three minute scream? Yup. I'll be on a nearby bench...with a really good book.
I'm Currently Enjoying: The Bogey Man by Marja McGraw
Groaner of the Day: A man goes into a bar and orders a beer. He takes a sip of the beer and a small voice says "Nice Tie."
The man looks around and doesn't see anyone. A little puzzled he takes another sip. This time the voice says, "Nice shirt, too".
Now the man calls the bartender back and complains that everytime he takes a sip of beer he hears a small voice.
The bartender says, "Oh, never mind that. That's just the peanuts, they're complimentary."
I'm baaaaack. Did you miss me? (Someone please lie and say yes.)
I have so much I'd like to share it's hard to know where to begin. First, a news flash:
I've finished my first draft on my WIP and started re-writes and edits. Okay, it's nowhere near finished - lots of additions and changes to do - but I did get to type those beautiful words: The End. Can I get a Woo Woo?
Next, I'd like to back up a bit and say a few words about the Public Safety Writers Association conference I attended last month. It was great. In addition to some excellent sessions on writing, we learned about fires, forensics, police psychology, going undercover, and "How TV and Movies Get It Wrong." Love NCIS? Sorry, in reality there is no Ducky or Abby - NCIS doesn't have it's own morgue or lab. (I was crushed.)
I'm going to devote a few posts later to sharing some of what I learned there but for now, I'd like to introduce a new friend.
In one of our sessions we got to examine this skull which was found thirty years ago in the desert. What can we learn from a well-dried skull? You'd be surprised. This one had three bullet holes in it. I guessed it was probably a homicide. (I'm so bright.)
I'm also starting blog-following again but I've got a lot of catching up to do so please forgive me if I don't do any commenting for a bit.
I've missed you all. It's good to be back.
I'm currently enjoying: Just finished The Ballad of Johnny Madigan by John A. Bray
Groaner of the Day: A young man had been working as a bag boy in a supermarket for several years.
One day the supermarket got new orange juice machines.
The bag boy was excited and asked the manager if he could work the juice machines.
The manager turned him down.
The bag boy said, "But I've been working here for five years. Why can't I run the juice machines?"
The manager said, "I'm sorry, but baggers can't be juicers."
When I took a blog-break at the beginning of June, I expected to be back for the first of July. As July approached, though I was nowhere near caught up with other things, I still intended to post on July 1. Then life took a sad turn.
Those of you who have been with me a while followed my dear Brandi through our attempts to save her ulcerated eye. We saved the eye, although she lost much of the vision in it. On Wednesday, June 29, her other eye ulcerated suddenly. By Thursday she was totally and permanently blind. Our options were to remove her eyes, which were causing her significant pain, or have her put to sleep.
Even though she also suffered from arthritis and partial hearing loss, we weren't ready to accept the second option, so we scheduled the surgery for Tuesday - after the holiday weekend. By Saturday we knew we'd made a mistake. Watching our dear old girl stumbling around in the dark told us what we didn't want to know. It was time.
Sadly, she still had to wait until the vet's office re-opened on Tuesday, so we spent her last three days trying to make her comfortable and saying goodbye. She left us Tuesday morning. The empty place she left in our lives cannot be measured.
I'm attending the PSWA conference later this week, followed by hosting out of town guests, so I probably won't get back to regular blogging/blog following until the end of July. Just wanted you to know I'm still here.
Have a kind thought for our Brandi. She's gone to join Chance at the Rainbow Bridge.
I started this blog last spring. I really had no idea what I was doing (as I admitted in my first post). I was polishing an almost finished manuscript and I was five months from retirement - ready to dive full time into my lifelong dream of being a published author. And I was starting to discover the wealth of resources available to writers online. One of the first things I learned was unpublished hopefuls need an online presence, so I created a website and started this blog.
It's been fun. I've met some great people, found (and keep finding) great blogs to follow, joined a few excellent e-mail groups, taken some really good workshops, and learned a lot about my craft. I still may not know exactly what I'm doing but I've been having a good time with it and I've picked up a small but lovely group of Followers (bless each and every one of you).
In the meantime, I made the discovery that my finished manuscript was way too big and attempts to trim it down to size just weren't working. So I disassembled it into two separate stories and started over.
Now I'm almost six months into retirement. That new first draft that was about 30% complete in February is still about 30% complete. A couple family issues have been added into the mix and my writing is at a standstill. Time for drastic action.
I've seen the word "blogcation" and the phrase "going dark". I don't know if either fits but I'm basically saying good-bye for at least the month of June. I'll try to put a blurb on FB every so often so you'll know I'm still around. Please don't forget me or "unfollow" me before I get back.