Thursday, April 03, 2014

Poetry from Bonnie Ditlevsen - "New Year's Eve Y2K"

Just found this gem in the Literary Kitchen.

Especially for my ex-pat friends, Bonnie nails the feeling - sure it sounds romantic, glamorous even, but is it?

I love the details.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Simple text profiling with Wordle text clouds

Just found this tool.  I want to test out a few of my stories to see how they fare in this analysis.  I will post one here when I get a chance.

Here's one:

Wordle: A Chase after the Wind - Chapter One

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What I check daily...

I check:

1.  My listing for WALLOW on the Amazon Kindle site.  Mostly hoping to see some new reviews rolling in.  Also check the book rank.  The rank in Literary Fiction Short Stories by a Single Author is the category I care about.

2.  My KDP bookshelf reports

3.  Number of followers on Twitter

4.  Number of friends on Facebook

5.  Number of people on Google+

6.  My Google Analytics site for LIES

7.  Number of likes on the LIES home page

I should probably make this a weekly ritual and save the results somehwere.  I need to do that.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Working on a review: The Wasp's Nest PiƱata

I wrote more than 1,100 words this morning capturing my thoughts on the book.  I will condense this down into less than 300 words.

I want to give this book the attention it deserves.  I am going back and re-reading portions to make sure I appreciate it fully.  I know that anyone who reviews my stuff is doing the same.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Added Google Analytics to LIES

I have no idea how many people in the last twenty years have read LIES.  Isn't that crazy?  So from now on I will know how many.  It was easy to add - but I still managed to do it wrong the first time.  I fixed it now.  I have had 15 visits from 4 unique people so far. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Got a book in the mail

I posted a cool picture on Instagram of the quote from the book about my hyperfiction short story, LIES.

The book is from 1997.  It is called and it was written by Gary Gach.  The link in the book is outdated, but hey, I did say it was in print, right?

LIES has been mentioned in more than 7 books, at least one in German and another in Italian.  That's got to count for something. 

Friday, March 07, 2014

My Twitter account got hacked

This is a cautionary tale.  I am sharing it so that anyone who reads it will not be a victim in the same way I was.

Yesterday while I was at work, I got notification in my personal email that Southern Writers Mag @SouthrnWritrMag had mentioned me in a tweet including an indecipherable link.  I had no idea why Southern Writer Magazine would be mentioning me in a tweet (red flag number one), so I wanted to check it out from my iPhone.  I opened up the tweet, and proceeded to click on the link.  When I did, the Twitter app opened up a browser session and presented me with a Twitter login page.  Strange, since I was in the Twitter app - why would I need to login again?  (Red flag number 2). 

Since it was on my iPhone, and since I have been struggling to get the security settings on the device where I want them to be, I figured it was just a problem with my configuration.  In addition, the page on the browser on my iPhone was far too small to read, so I had to magnify the screen, thereby obfuscating some of the other parts of the screen that might have tipped me off that this was not a legit login page.  I typed in my username and password, hit enter and nothing seemed to happen.  Thinking I must have done something wrong, I went back to Twitter, clicked on the link again, and was presented with the login screen again.  Wondering if I had just fat-fingered my username of my password on the iPhone, I entered both again and hit enter.  The fact that I was at work, and the fact that I just wanted to see what Southern Writers Magazine was saying about me, and the fact that I was on the iPhone with limited visibility all conspired against me.

In the meanwhile, I noticed that the Southern Writers Magazine Twitter account was tweeting repeatedly some message about Dr. Oz.  In addition, there were other tweets that looked like the one that was directed at me (red flag number 3). Still it did not dawn on me that the account had been hacked, although I did wonder who had taken control of the Twitter account, and why they were seemingly promoting the Dr. Oz book so heavy-handedly (red flag number 4).

When I woke up the next morning and checked my email, I had an email from Jason Mashak in Prague letting me know that my Twitter account was spamming others with an infected link.  I immediately changed my Twitter password, and posted a brief apology.  I sent a thank you note to Jason, and in his response he mentioned that I should probably post a warning so that no one else would be duped so easily as I was.  This blog post is that warning.

For years at the beginning of the proliferation of email, I was surprised by the family members and friends who got themselves hacked by clicking on links that they shouldn't have, or worse, typing in their username and email address into pages that were obviously meant to trick them.  I felt embarrassed by their naivete.  Being the victim of an attack like this, and making the same innocent but careless mistakes, I am humbled.  Angry, frustrated, embarrassed and humbled.