Being Different

it’s okay to be you. it really is. no need to run with the herd and do what everybody else is doing.

if you don’t like that book that everyone else is reading, that’s cool.

if you don’t like broccoli, think starbucks is just overpriced coffee, and wouldn’t know a hair product if it bit you in the foot, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.

just saying…love yourself. be yourself. you’re cool just the way you are. 

happy tuesday. ❤

It could be worse – I could have writer’s block…

33 DAYS AGO, I QUIT SMOKING…

In the interest of full disclosure, I have quit smoking many times before. However, this time seems different. Mostly because I want this time to stick. I don’t want to start smoking again.

Ostensibly, I quit because the cost of cigarettes in CA has gotten so high that it’s an insult to pay the price of a meal for a pack of cigarettes. And don’t get me started about all those do-gooders who vote for raising the taxes on cigarettes and similar items – thinking they are so right and we who indulge are so wrong. Because one day, they’ll have to leverage taxes on something they really love like, I don’t know, weed? Frappucino’s? Vapes? Anyway….

And because I really am committed about quitting I have had an interesting 33 days. Going through withdrawal (and let’s be honest nicotine is a drug and quitting is withdrawal) has produced some weird effects, like:

My right foot and ankle swell up over the course of the day. So badly sometimes it appears I don’t have an ankle, just a block of wood at the end of my leg. Oddly, it all goes away over night.

I feel a little drunk – not quite focused, a bit dizzy and a little loopy

I’m muttering more than usual

Food doesn’t taste amazing (like so many claim upon quitting), in fact, it hardly tastes at all.

It takes me five times longer to do anything. Walk to the corner. Make a sandwich. Edit a paragraph. Things that typically I can do quickly without effort, are now Herculean tasks.

Life seems empty. Like totally. Like completely black.

Blank moments. Not sure what I’m doing during them, probably because I go blank?

I fear substitute smoking products. Vaping equipment, eCigs, patches, gums, lozenges – anything that contains nicotine or mimics smoking gives me the shudders. (Lest I start smoking again).

Junk food is my new cigarette. In order to fight the cravings I’ve given myself permission to eat whatever I want in any quantity of my choosing. Consequently, I have stocked up on chips, chocolate, pastries, and candy. Oh and ice cream. Yes, so being super obese is more healthy than smoking, right?

I’m not sure that writing about my trials and tribulations of getting the nicotine monkey off my back is really helping – me or anyone else. However, maybe it is.

And I want to thank both online and offline friends who have supported me in this goal – your encouragement has made a huge difference. ❤

How about you? Have you quit smoking? Did it stick or did you have to try several times before you succeeded? What’s the weirdest thing that happened to you during cigarette withdrawal? Tell me all your smoking stories in the comments.

Annie (who is not smoking but would like to be)

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I give you a book, do you owe me a review?

This was a discussion that started in my Facebook feed last week and I’ve been thinking about it, ever since. Not surprisingly, I suppose, there were many varying views on this question.

The original post went something like this, “If you are given a free book, you are obligated to post a review.”

As an author, I certainly agree with the spirit of the statement. All writers hope to get reviews, positive ones, but even negative reviews are helpful. And it is a difficult task to get reviews. I don’t know if there are any statistics on it but it seems that a very small percentage of readers actually post reviews on anything they read.

However, the question for me is if I give away one of my books freely is the receiver obligated to write a review?

In my case, no. I make no assumption that giving away one of my books will result in a review. I would certainly be happy if that were the case, but it isn’t something I expect. Just as I wouldn’t expect my buddy Zelda to buy me a latte this week because I treated her to one last week.

Why do authors give away books anyway?

There are many reasons authors give away books, certainly the hope of getting reviews would be one of them. Probably because they’ve been told by a marketing ‘expert’ that giving away books results in getting reviews, will skyrocket them to the top 100 list, make them super visible to potential readers, somehow make them a best-selling author, etc. I know plenty of authors who would disagree with that ‘conventional wisdom.’

But an author may also give away a book to:

  • Entice you to sign up for their mailing list
  • Get you acquainted with their writing and become a fan
  • Increase their rankings in various bookstores within Amazon and on other online book retailers
  • Encourage you to buy and read their other books
  • Otherwise increase their sales stats
  • And probably some reasons that none of us would think of

However, regardless of the reason that an author may give you a free book, does that obligate you to give them something in return?

I don’t think it does. And if it does, perhaps it should be called a trade rather than a freebie?

What about you? Do you believe that if an author gives you a free book that you are obligated to review it? Do you typically review the books you read? If not, how come? Is the offer of a free book intriguing to you or a sign of desperation? What do you think about free books? Feel free to share your views in the comments below.