Monthly Archives: June 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 7/1

Thanks for joining me for my first Six Sentence Sunday. Here’s an excerpt from the meeting of my hero and heroine of Seaside Sorcery:

Their gazes locked and the sight of his eyes silenced her. His eyes were silver–dark, glinty, silver irises, fixed steadily on hers. Oh, Orb curse it! Silver eyes meant silver energy. She glanced at the glowing silver mass frozen in mid-slide from the refrigerator, bottle tops poking out at awkward angles.

She’d never met a wizard of this type.

To read other sixers’s posts, follow the #sixsunday hashtag on twitter or go to the Six Sentence Sunday website. Enjoy!

Tiny URLs, or Shortlinks

I’m offering another short lesson in blogging shortcuts I’ve learned.

Back a few months ago when I started my nature blog, and was trying to get attention for it, a chapter mate suggested tweeting it with Tiny URL.


I don’t know the history, but someone devised a way to condense URLs into short versions that, according to the website, ‘will not break in email postings and never expires.”

Great. I used the site with success. Then a few days later I noticed WordPress offers this same service—and on my website. Ah, more time savings! Here is the location:

Open your post. Note in the screenshot below just underneath the title box (Coneflowers) is a row of buttons. The last is ‘Get Shortlink.’ Click it.

The box gives you the highlighted URL.

Copy and use to paste in your tweet or to your Facebook entry.

There is a second shortlink accessible when you open your website in edit mode. Look for your icon and website name at the upper left and click for the dropdown menu. In the lower half is a shortlink is for your website home.

I have used the post shortlinks as links back to prior posts within my website. One caveat: Be sure when you post the shortlink in the link box that the existing ‘http://’ that is highlighted is replaced by your complete link, not added to it. I had a couple of malfunctioning links and discovered my pasting was faulty.

Happy posting!

An Editor / Agent Networking Luncheon

With two chapter mates I ventured north to Woodbury, NY for the Long Island Romance Writers Annual Luncheon. This networking event in the glass-ceilinged waterfall room of the Inn at Fox Hollow brought together about 25 editors and agents with twice as many writers for an afternoon of pitching.

Energy and spirits were high. I was pleased to find the industry professionals eager to talk to writers and very approachable for pitching. The atmosphere made the afternoon fly by with pitching, friendly discussion and good food. Add in a very insightful talk on the past and changing future of the publishing industry by Angela James, Executive Editor of Carina Press, and the afternoon was well worth our long travel.

In the excitement of the day, I forgot to take any pictures, but LIRW member Dawn Berkoski graciously offered to share these, which she posted on LIRW’s blog. Luckily, she had snapped one me at our table. I’m in the back row on the left.

She even caught me pitching my science fiction romance, Passages, to Angela James and Christopher Keesler–at the same time. As I said, this was a fantastic event to attend.

Please visit Dawn’s June 12, 2012 post for a more complete view of this great venue.

Remembering Ray Bradbury

I never met the author, but his books made an impact on my teen years. Back in the 70’s I devoured his science fiction, particularly the short stories.

One that stuck with me is about an agency offering dinosaur hunting via time travel. The hunters were not allowed off the levitating path, but one man takes fright, runs and falls into the mud. When they return to the present, the world has subtly changed. The errant hunter finds a crushed butterfly in the mud on his boot. The original name, “A Sound of Thunder,” changed to “The Butterfly Effect.”

Of all Mr. Bradbury’s novels, my favorite is “Dandelion Wine.” It was required reading in ninth grade with Mr. Permenter. Most of the class didn’t get it, maybe because it was fantasy? I loved it. I knew that story inside and out and nailed the final exam. To my horror, I missed one question. I confronted Mr. Permenter with my paper, insisting I knew who had said that piece of dialogue. He sadly shook his head and pointed out this was the first of a new group of questions in which we had to identify who the line had been spoken to. I was frustrated I’d missed my 100%, but so relieved I didn’t continue the mistake through the rest of the questions.

When my rising ninth grader had to select a summer read written by an American author, I eagerly suggested “Dandelion Wine.” He read it, enjoyed it and wrote his report. Then after the first day of school, disgustedly informed me his teacher said Ray Bradbury wasn’t American.

Now I was the one who was disgusted. How could his English teacher blow that one? The setting of the story is so American. I punched up his wiki entry – starting with “Ray Douglas Bradbury is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction and mystery writer”—and printed it off for my son to take in. He wouldn’t. I couldn’t stand it. At back-to-school night, I corrected the teacher.

If you’re looking for a fun summer read to remember Ray Bradbury by, this is the one.

It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer.

Thanks, Ray Bradbury.

Adding a link in a WP text box, without knowing how to code HTML

Most of you computer-savvy people out there will shake your heads at me, but I’m thrilled I figured this out and posting the process may help someone else.

I can’t write HTML code, but I wanted to add a link in the text under my Gravatar. I knew WordPress does it for you when you are in the ‘page’ or ‘post’ areas, so I used ‘post’ and typed up my little blurb. While in the ‘Visual’ version, I highlighted the title of the words I wanted as a link, The Squirrel Nutwork, and clicked the ‘link’ button on the menu bar.

This is the same process I would use to make those words a link in this post text. Once the link was established, I switched the view from ‘Visual’ to ‘HTML’. Now the HTML code appears. I highlighted the entire text—my message with the code within it—and copied.

Next I accessed the ‘Widgets’ under ‘appearance’ and opened my Gravatar box I had already set up in my sidebar. In the box for ‘Text displayed after Gravatar.’ I pasted my text with the HTML code.

I hit ‘save’ and closed, then went to look at my website.

Voila! The link appeared, as you see over to the right.

I also tried this in the widget labeled ‘text’ and it works there as well.

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