Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Are you a FB As*hole?

OK, I am going to rant. That's OK, right? I mean, it is pretty much what blogs are designed for, isn't it? I am, admittedly, a Facebook over-poster. Once, I tried to restrict myself to pithy comments a few times a week. Once, I felt I needed to keep my politics off Facebook. Those times are gone.

As a mom who lives pretty far from most of my family, sharing pictures of my kiddo helps me feel connected. As an activist, I feel compelled to share well-reasoned and well-sourced information from reputable venues. As someone who thinks I am funny (hey, Scary Mommy sometimes runs my stuff, so I must be funny, right?), I sometimes post amusing anecdotes and evidence of my aforementioned humor.

Lately, though, Facebook As*holes are getting me down. Admittedly, it's been a rough few months and I am on edge, so things that shouldn't annoy me are annoying the ever-loving sh*t out of me. I also get that my over-posting is the fodder for jerks being jerks, so I could eliminate the annoyance by keeping my thoughts and photos to myself.

But it isn't all me... some of it is people being Facebook As*holes.

Are we friends on Facebook? Are you wondering if this means you? If so, here are a few simple tests.

Have you told me what to do on a post that clearly wasn't seeking advice?

Maybe I was just sharing an adorable photo of my kid eating ice cream. Did you need to caution me on the dangers of sugar as though you can glean his entire nutritional history from the one spoonful of ice cream in his mouth?

Recently, I shared a photo of a baking fail on a complicated pastry recipe. I knew exactly what went wrong, but I had a pithy caption for the photo of chocolate pastry pucks and thought it would be funny to post. I did not realize people would feel the need to tell me what I did wrong without even asking what I was attempting to make.

Is this on par with the injustices of the world? Absolutely not. But it was really damn annoying.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes people have had incredibly helpful advice to share. However, those are the people that send me a private message that says "Hey, I noticed XYZ. With my kid, this mean to do..." This is helpful. Making determinations based on a single photo and forcing your opinions based on those determinations is not. Plus, it ruins the joke!

Have you used the content of my posts to poorly structure a sales pitch for whatever product you think I should buy? 

And to be clear, I am not against people using Facebook to sell stuff at all- I am writing this post from my beloved Lula Roe leggings that I bought on Facebook. I am against people doing it broadly and badly.

My two favorite examples:

One started with a friend request from a former neighbor my parents that I had not seen or thought of in YEARS. Two minutes after accepting, I get a message that says "Congratulations on your pregnancy. Don't let the romance die! I sell (some brand of sex toys I can't remember the name of) now. Let's schedule a party for you." Yeah... umm... I'd been vomiting for a month straight, so I went ahead and clicked that "unfriend" button.

The other happened when I aas lamenting that my kid was sick AGAIN. I got a message about how I really ought to be giving my 9 month old a probiotic if I didn't want him to be sick so much, and it just so happened that she could sell me one. I googled her magic probiotic out of sheer irritation and discovered that it was not FDA approved. So, aside from the fact that I am not giving my kid unregulated supplements and a probiotic won't do sh*t for his head cold, you just used my sick baby as a sales trigger. And unfriend.

So, if you sell something or are hosting a Facebook party of some sort, you can avoid being a Facebook a*shole by not inviting everyone you've ever met or trying to morph people's life events into your sales opportunity.

Have you read something politically motivated and responded with unsubstantiated vitriol?

I think now is a critical time for us to all be conversing, listening to new ideas, and hearing each other out. Its why I read news from multiple sources, some liberal and some conservative, and only share things I am confident are accurate. You don't have to agree- in fact, I encourage you to share your comments if you don't.

But if you don't want to be a Facebook As*hole, your disagreement shouldn't take the form of regurgitating tweets.

And I have some scheduled time off coming up. I think some R&R will help me be less of an as*hole in general right now!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Seer's Lover by Kat de Falla Review

Calise has spend much of her life trying to ignore her ability to sense the demons and angels who walk among us. However, when the man who comes to her aid against a particularly awful demon is murdered, uttering a name and place with his last breaths, she begins a voyage to understand what she is capable of.

This voyage takes her to Costa Rica where she meets Lucas, a pure blood seer in the midst of an epic battle with the forces of evil.

This a really unique, exciting novel. Sexy, exciting,and engrossing, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do feel that the writing could have used some more editing and finesse. There were many cliched descriptions, strange word choices, and poor use of adjectives. However, despite a few annoying parts in the writing, I really liked this book and can't wait to read more from this author.

Recommended.

Purchase on Amazon here. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Giant Slayers
by 
Jeff Altabef & Ken Altabef
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date: September 20th 2016

It doesn't seem fair to call this a retelling of David and Goliath, because the book is so much more than that. However, at it's base, that's what we have here. Filling in gaps and expanding on details, the authors introduce you to young David, brave and restless and more than a little Luke Skywalker around the edges. Far away, a young princess explores the world around her. Fierce despite her sex, and savvy beyond her age, Michal is every bit a heroine. When these two meet as David is called to use music to save the king from nightmares, their story is a bittersweet one. 

This one has it all, witches, heroes and heroines, kings, princesses, and even a giant. 

What I loved: Sure, we all know the story of David and Goliath, but this book is an exciting, fresh look at the tale. Though I knew where the story was heading, I found myself desperately reading to see what happened next. 

What I didn't love: There are spots, especially at the beginning, where this book took up more space than it needed to. While I appreciated the attention to building strong characters, the result was a very slow, windy start. 

All in all, a good read. Recommended. 

About the Authors
Jeff Altabef lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of "telling stories," he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, is his debut novel. Jeff has a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories. You can find his blog, The Accidental Writers Workshop, on The Patch. Jeff also rights a column for The Examiner under the byline - The Accidental Writer.
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Ken Altabef- As a Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America member, my short fiction has frequently appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. I also had stories in Interzone, Buzzymag, Abyss & Apex, Unsettling Wonder and Ominous Realities. 
ALAANA'S WAY, my 5-part series of epic fantasy novels is published by Cat's Cradle Press. Described as "cutting-edge fantasy from the top of the world" the arctic setting and unique characters will bring something new to even the most jaded fantasy enthusiast. You can preview this work and others at my website 
www.KenAltabef.com
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