Social Networking for the Socially Confused #theresanewdipshitontwitter

ImageI recently launched myself into cyberspace, and I’m hoping like hell there’s a net to catch me or a story left to write when I fall back down to earth. Talk about a distraction: I used to write about loftier things like verbs and shit, but after spending all this time on-line, I’ve degenerated to topics such as cheap chocolate and Peep husbandry. I have learned on my endless quest for publication that editors and agents expect the author to do much of his/her own marketing; a strong on-line presence is now mandatory if publication is the goal. Let the shameless self-promotion begin, I suppose. I thought I would take a little time today to share my experiences with social networking and on-line publication #pleaseletmeguestpostonyourblog.

Facebook seemed like an obvious place to start. I already have a private page for my family pictures and the like, but I wanted to create a separate section for my writing. Most of my friends, family members, and colleagues don’t generally pepper their language with swear words, allow their food to engage in coitus, or fart. I, therefore, had little desire to share my blog with anyone in, say, a 500 mile radius of my hometown. I still have to live and work with these people #pleasedonttellmybossaboutmyblog.

I sent a text to Tech Support (Big A., my stepdaughter) and asked her how to publicize my writing, yet privatize it from People I Might Offend. Big A. suggested that I set up a Fan Page and very nicely referred me to the proper links within Facebook. I quickly filled in the correct information and hit save. When the page refreshed, I found, with great delight, that I already had a LIKE! My oh boy quickly turned to oh, shit when I realized that the “like” stemmed from my pre-adolescent cousin whose parents aren’t that crazy about Sponge Bob. I love these people, and I respect their desire to shelter their daughter from flatulent influences like myself. I called her mother, apologized profusely, and then set my page to 17 and above. Tech Support found this episode rather humorous. I felt rather sickened #lockupyourkidsturdwomanisonfacebook.

My next foray landed me right smack in the Twitter nest. I spend considerable time pondering an appropriate introductory tweet. I said something like, “This twit is now tweeting.” The birds were flarking unimpressed. Twitter has helped me maintain my anonymity quite effectively, since I only have four followers. #BIGApleasefollowmeontwitteripromiseiwontfollowyoubecauseidontneedtoknowaboutyourillicitcollegeactivities.

I did Google myself, and I found myself on the second page (I guess you would call it a page). I located an article on horse barns I’d written and my She Writes page right above a mug shot of a Jennifer Worrell arrested for probation violation and one busted for DUI and driving with a suspended license #wheresabailbondsmanwhenyouneedone. Dude! I’m so excited! Last week, the Mug Shot Chicks were before my She Writes page. Oh, Goody! My four Twitter followers and 14 likes on Facebook must be paying off because Google says I’m moving up in the world!

Tomorrow Is the Big Day!

I’m questioning the sanity of heading off to Charlottesville to attend this writer’s festival at 6:30 a.m. on a blessed sleep-in Saturday. Geez, I get up at dawn’s deafening crack every morning. I could loll around in bed for a little while. Besides, we just “sprang forward” last Saturday, and I still haven’t recovered my lost hour. I feel like I have jet lag.

My inner bitch critic is being sneaky. Instead of trying to guilt me into staying home, she’s trying to tempt me with sleep. That’s a low blow. Precious sleep-in minutes have been a hot commodity since my daughter was born. I don’t need an alarm clock. Mine weighs about thirty pounds and stands in her crib at the top of the stairs shouting, “Mama! Goooooooooood MORNING, Mama! Tum DIT ME, PEEEEZ! I weady to DIT UP NOW!” She has no snooze button.

Sleep or no sleep, Charlottesville will not be denied. I’m going. No questions. I am sitting at my computer this Friday night trying to prepare my memoir about the struggles with infertility I faced before having my daughter. I am taking the first 250 words to the “Dancing With the Manuscripts” session. Published authors had agreed to come and give new writers feedback on their work. I feel pretty confident about what I’ve written. My experiences with magazine writing have helped me craft a decent beginning. I just tweaked it and gave it to my husband for review.

“Looks good to me,” he said. “Go with it!”

I’ve printed off several copies. I just finished making a few changes to a couple of children’s stories I have written to take with me, and I have some hard copies of my resume. I’m thinking that it can’t hurt.

Earlier, I packed my tote and ironed the new turquoise shirt my mom had given me last week. It is a striking blue, and I think it will help me stand out. I’m a minute fish in a gargantuan ocean. I need all the help I could get.

But, here I am, all ready to go. My inner bitch critic is silent. I guess I’ve exhausted her into submission for the time being. Look out world, here I come!

Holy Crap, I Feel So GUILTY!

The only way that I can successfully break into the business of writing and make any kind of living doing it, is to network and attend writing functions. This weekend, I plan to attend the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville. The line-up of workshops at the Omni in C-Ville includes sessions with authors and agents. This is how I make connections. It’s free and only three hours away. Most publishing events of this magnitude are way out of my price range. Free. Close. I. MUST. attend.

That means time away from everyone. It means dropping my baby off with my parents for something just for me on a day when I’m not working.

Yes, but I haven’t had a day alone in two years; Tim works every weekend, I tell myself.

My inner bitch critic answers back, your parents are essentially raising your daughter, and you want to drop her off YET AGAIN? What kind of parent are you anyway? You went through so much to have this child and you won’t even spend the weekend with her?

I stew in the boiling broth of guilt for awhile before I respond vehemently to my trusty inner bitch critic, Piss off! I’m a writer.

It turns out that Mom and Dad are delighted to keep Kindred, and Tim is encouraging me to go after giving me a modicum of crud about the lack of time alone we’d had lately.

Ha! My inner bitch critic shouted victoriously.

I wavered, then rallied.

Ha, nothing! I responded back to her. Pick a cheek, and pucker up! I’m going to Charlottesville!

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