It’s okay if you cry

You’re feeling confused and maybe a little scared. Go ahead, cry. It’s okay. Life is overwhelming. There’s so much to do. You don’t know where to start. Even if you did know where to start, you’d second guess yourself anyway. You’d convince yourself that you were wrong and then you’d get confused all over again. So yeah, go ahead, cry. Let it out.

Everyone else is just so on top of it. They know where they’re going and why and how and they’re flying toward that goal like Icarus toward the sun. While inferior you sits on the sidelines and feels nothing but envy. That awful green stuff in your gut that makes you dizzy and nauseous. It’s not fair is it? Everybody else in the know but you’re in the dark. So really, it’s okay – cry. Cry great big buckets of giant tears. Fill the pool or the Jacuzzi with them. I understand. I really do. Let it out. Cry.

You failed. That hurts. A lot. You don’t know why you failed and that hurts more. A lot more. It’s not that you aren’t trying. You are. You’re trying so hard that your brain cells are blistered, your mind is bleeding, and your soul is circling the drain. Go ahead. Cry. It’s really okay.

Then tomorrow….

Start again.

Scammers Break The Kindle Store

This is a serious situation that should concern not only authors but readers who get their reads from Amazon. We are all being scammed.

David Gaughran

On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.

The Kindle Store is officially broken.

This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.

Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples.

I wrote at the start of June about how scammers were taking over Amazon’s free charts. That post led to a phone conversation with KDP’s Executive Customer Relations.

Repeated assurances were given that the entire leadership team at Amazon was taking the scammer problem very seriously indeed. But it was also stressed that the…

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Things you didn’t know about the nectar of the gods…

In case you are confused, I’m talking about coffee. That glorious, dark, rich liquid that wakes us in the morning, picks us up in the afternoon and seemingly kicks our brains into high gear at any time. At least, for writers…

Did you know that…

  • According the the USDA (from 2016-2017) worldwide demand for coffee is expected to be 156 million bags. Which is about 10 million tons of coffee beans. No shock but most of that coffee consumption will be in Europe and the US. Like, how many barristas does it take to make that much coffee?
  • Brazil is actually the coffee capital of the world, Viet Nam is #2, and Columbia is #3 – who’d a thunk? Sorry Juan Valdez but the truth hurts.
  • According to historians, coffee showed up in Ethiopia, circa 850 A.D. However, it took a little time to catch on – it wasn’t until 1100 that the black gold was popularized in Asia. However, it wasn’t until 1515, that Europe got a taste of this magical nectar.
  • Attention barristas – the first ever café opened in Constantinople in 1475. I wonder how you say latte in turkish? By 1675, England had over 3,000 cafes offering our beloved café au lait.
  • There are two types of coffee plants harvested for coffee production: Arabica and Robusta. The Arabica plant originated in the Middle East and the Robusta from the Congo. Arabica beans are known for their premium quality and 75% of the world’s commercially produced coffee comes from them. On the other hand, Robusta coffee beans are hardier than Arabicas AND contain 50% more caffeine.
  • Throughout history, coffee was officially banned three times. The first time in Mecca in the 16th century, though no one seems to know why. The second in England when Charles II banned the drink and coffee houses because he suspected coffeehouses offered a perfect opportunity for plotting sedition and treason among the population. The third time took place in Germany in 1677. Frederick the Great prohibited his people to drink coffee because he was worried about money leaving his country for imported goods rather than being spent on his own country’s goods, such as beer and ale. Ironically, despite his ban, he continued drinking coffee himself.
  • Coffee grinds are a fabulous and cheap fertilizer for your garden. Coffee grinds are rich in nitrogen, an element that all plants need to grow and especially seedlings and young plants. Many Starbucks still offer home gardeners bags of used coffee grounds free just for the asking.
  • Coffee grounds are also helpful in repelling snails and other hard-shell insects from your garden – they hate the taste.
  • World famous spas offer coffee grind wraps, facials, and skin treatments to reduce the look of cellulite, loss of skin elasticity, and under eye bags – and to promote improved skin firmness.
  • Coffee grounds can also be used as an all natural dye or stain for fabric or wood.
  • Coffee grounds also make an excellent drink that can be consumed hot or cold with milk or without – and even the beans can be covered in chocolate and eaten.

What’s your favorite use for coffee? Have any secret recipes or tips on coffee? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today would’ve been my dad’s 92nd birthday, if he were still alive. Though we lost him 24 years ago, I still miss him terribly. He had a way about him that made you want to be him. Maybe because he really didn’t care what other people thought of him, though he’d bend over backwards to help you out if you were in need or trouble. Or his yuk yuk laugh. Or that he always wore blue jeans – long before it was cool.

He loved boats – I think because secretly he had a wanderer’s heart and always wanted to travel the world. In fact, the last day of his life, he had gone to the harbor to watch the boats with his wife. Later that day, he passed in his sleep. But I’m glad that it was in a safe and loving place.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I hope there are boats, Budweiser, and country music, wherever you are.