My trip to Florida. Yes, there are pictures.

Florida was definitely . . . hmm . . . unexpected – all around.

I had some fun. I had some revelations. It was an experience, for sure.

One of the first revelations will be one of the last that I mention on here.

The following one: I might have to do some spelling lessons with my niece when she returns.

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My next revelation was that Florida during the rainy season is quite unpleasant at times, and somewhat scary at others. I recorded a video, but have no intention of posting it.

My disdain for Spanish Moss has not lessened in severity since leaving Georgia several years ago. No offense to those who are fans of it, but it just disgusts me. I have a horrible daymare about a big chunk of it falling from a tree, such as the one below, and landing on my head.

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Something completely unexpected was (what my friend J calls) a magnificent little plot bunny hopping around in front of my face, while looking out very early into the trip at the scenery below and hearing a story about a certain bird. (If you follow me on Twitter, that is the lamppost I mentioned on there as well, though from a different angle).

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Beach Day Number 1 was fun. My sister and I went alone and alternated between laying out, and walking around in the water.

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We then shared a giant platter of fried seafood (and fries) after, which was lovely. Our waiter needed a haircut.

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Dogs, generally, love me. The latter of those below followed me around the entire time while at the house. He tried to sleep on the bed with me one night and was so insistent on staying there that he had to be picked up and carried away. Poor thing. And yes, those are two different dogs. They are both thirteen or fourteen years old, believe it or not.

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Beach Day Number 2 involved several people and LOTS of rain. Needless to say, I have no pictures of during. It rained on us the entire time. I had children holding my hands (which was strange, but made me wonder if I MIGHT NOT be so horrendous at dealing with them when I possibly have my own one day).  I got the crap beat out of me by waves (which was a good laugh). All in all, it was a startlingly fun time. I’m glad there was no lightning, or else the time wouldn’t have happened at all.

The picture below is of my grogginess waking up on Beach Day Number 3. Those are my favorite sunglasses. They broke, shortly after I took this picture.

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I am expecting some pictures of BDN3 to appear in my email at some point, but as of now, I have none. That was another day with many people. Another revelation I had that day: My social anxiety has NOT lessened. I nearly had a panic attack due to the COPIOUS amounts of people on the beach. It was not pretty. Not at all. Well, the BEACH was pretty, but me on the beach? Not so much!

Later on, after it rained (which cleared out most of the people), my sister and I walked around in the water, looking for seashells. She found the best ones, but she let me have them.

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Beach Day Number 4 was only me and my sister again (yes, I know that is not the appropriate way to say that).

It was lots of fun, apart from some strange sand-bee things that were hovering around our laying-out-blanket. And, of course, the seagulls always make for a nervous time. Poo? No thank you. Also, some jerks tossing a football over people’s heads right before we left caused a bit of frustration. Anyway, that was the only day we saw dolphins. As mentioned in the last entry, my sister took 30 pictures of them while I was away for a few minutes. I will spare you of them all. If you see the little specks far off into the distance on the second picture – that’ll be the dolphins. Yes. Specks.

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The last full day was the 4th of July. I was missing Husband terribly, dyed my hair again, and was then thrown around people I didn’t know, a couple more kids, etc., and was about fifty million different levels of uncomfortable. The picture below is me sitting in the car while the kids did things at a little carnival type . . . thing? My misery level was 9000.

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But things got a little better (about 3 hours or so after that picture). Watched fireworks. Got a glow bracelet (hadn’t had one of those in a long time . . . I’ll disregard that it was yellow). Plus, I’d had some awesome blue cake earlier in the day, which was pretty great.

A few small things? I got an email from a friend that absolutely MADE one of my days. I spent some time with some awesome people. I found out that my favorite band, Geographer, will be playing close enough for me to see them. Yes, six hours of driving is close enough to see them. Don’t even talk to me about social anxiety; I will stomach it for them. I missed them the last time they were that close and I’ve been regretting it ever since.

Anywho, that was basically my trip.

But apart from realizing that I DO NOT LIKE BEING AWAY FROM MY HUSBAND, I also realized that my sister and I? Well, we can have a pretty dag on good time together. That was the best thing about all of it for me, which is what he’d hoped – for the two of us to get some quality time together. We did.

We drank a CRAPTON of coffee (though it was never as strong as I like). We laughed. We talked. We talked some more. She made jokes about her Flintstone feet; we then painted our toenails to match and had ‘chrome wheels’. She fishtail braided my hair (I’d never had it done, and she’d never done it). I made her listen to Mr. Roboto (WHO HASN’T HEARD THAT SONG?!). We listened to SO much music. We did a lot of talking.

I’ll tell you what . . . that plot bunny aside?

All of that stuff with my sister was the best part of the trip. And missing Husband (and having several anxiety-episodes) aside?

I’m glad I went.

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Unhelpful Book Reviews: A Rant

I believe this is going to be my very first rant on here. At least the first that I have every intention of posting after I get finished typing.

A little bit of back-story to explain completely . . .

About a month or two ago, I decided that I was going to download some e-books off of ‘The Big 2’ (Barnes & Noble and Amazon). The entire purpose of it was to write some good, helpful reviews – both for the potential readers, and for the authors.

I suppose that I should interject on my own writing here and clarify that I was downloading lesser known books, hopefully by authors who were just beginning their careers. I was hoping upon all hope that I would be able to . . . HELP.

There are two issues . . .

One: I have major problems with reading long things on any type of screen. Even things that I write. When I’m writing my own books, I keep them in separate chapters until throwing them all together. I do not read my own books in their entirety on my computer. I just can’t retain things, or pick them out. So, doing this was potentially problematic in that sense.

Two: Well . . . You see . . . I tried to read one of those downloaded books. I got about 10 or so pages into it and literally could NOT continue. It was torture. Absolute TORTURE.

I went and sat down at my computer with intent to write a review (I should say, I’ve only written one book review in my entire life, apart from the one I’m currently speaking – er, typing – of. I told myself, “Constructive criticism, C. Constructive criticism. Anything you say could potentially help this author. HELP THEM, FOR HOLY &%*$’@ sake!”

I wrote the review, and I was pleased with it.

I was pleased with it until I realized that it was written better than the book I’d attempted to read (I swear this is not me tooting my own horn. If you’ve read many of my blogs, you know that I’m extremely critical of my own writing). And I was pleased until I realized that, if I posted it? I could potentially do more harm than good. I guess the Aspiring-Author part of me couldn’t stand the thought of harming the career of another author.  Even if they might have . . . needed it. Even as a wake-up call.

I didn’t post it anywhere. I still have it saved on my computer, but that’s where it sits.

Anyway, I’ve been perusing The Big 2 again today, and I just got a bit frustrated. Or more than a bit, possibly.

 

The purpose of this here rant is not about the horribleness of that book, or of any other book (though authors DESPERATELY NEEDING to get their books edited before self-publishing, and also ensuring they GET GOOD COVER ART are potentially fuel for the fire of another entry.)

The purpose of this here rant is the absolutely unhelpful, ridiculous book reviewers on The Big 2.

Not all of those reviewers are unhelpful. Some of them write amazing reviews – even those 1 star ones (which I am more likely to read than the 5 stars).

This rant is not even about the reviews that are ridiculous (and also a bit ironic). (THIS BOOOK WAS REATAR!!!!!!!! WHA WAS THE AUTHER THIKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [insert more excessive !!’s]), (This author really needs to stop reling so much on spell-check) . . .

This has absolutely nothing at ALL to do with the reviews that have zero writing (I’m assuming they all just couldn’t stomach the book to the point of not even wanting to comment on it).

This has nothing to do with the rating system at all, really. This has nothing to do with bad reviews.

This has absolutely everything to do with people who give a book 1 star to . . . ask a question. (As a side-note: I actually saw one review like that with 5 stars)

– Here is one star. How many pages are in this book?-

-Here is one star. I’m nine. Can I read this book?-

. . . . . . .

What these people fail to realize is that they are actually harming careers.

I hadn’t even been looking at books with ratings that had less than 4 stars, until earlier. And I’ll tell you – I flagged and flagged and flagged until my little heart was somewhat content once I realized what I was looking at. Unrelated content. Suspected underage user. Unrelated content. Again, and again, and again.

If the book is free .  . . Can’t you just . . . DOWNLOAD it to see how many pages there are?  Hmm?

 

I try to be professional on here – at least to an extent. But seriously? Harming careers.

I say again . . . Harming CAREERS.

I sure as hell wouldn’t want that level of ignorance keeping my potential audience from picking up my book when the time comes. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it – that’s totally fine. That’s an entirely different ballgame.

But if I don’t want it to happen to me?

I don’t want it to happen to any of you either.

 

Maybe I would be more helpful at skimming reviews than reading books. Ha