Book Beat Babes

Book Beat Babes

Monday, December 5, 2016

For Dog Lovers - Our Fur Babies is Now Available

If you like dogs, you'll most likely relate to my first non-fiction ebook, OUR FUR BABIES 

Available at Amazon, this book relates the experiences my husband and I have shared through adopting our beloved dogs. Complete with pictures, OUR FUR BABIES introduces the reader to each dog my husband and I've loved through our married years, starting with Sadie, the first, next Missy, on to Morgan (from whom I got my pen name), then Rascal, and lastly, our present fur baby, Buster.


The cover picture, from long ago, features our first fur baby, Sadie. We look much younger there, than later, as the book progresses.

You may laugh or shed a tear or two reading this book, or perhaps you'll be inspired to adopt a dog of your own, if you haven't already done so. 

And, if you go for fiction, I also have a few other books, in which dogs play a prominent role. Check out FOR THE LOVE OF DOG, about an officer who takes drastic steps to keep his K9 companion. 

Another one you might like is the romance, HER HANDYMAN, about how a crazy canine's antics bring a handyman and popular artist together in an unlikely way.

Morgan Mandel



Friday, November 11, 2016

Search Engines

As humans we tend to fall into the trap of whatever is easiest for us to do as well as what is most familiar, and that includes technology.  But as with all traps, especially those that invoke complacency, there is a price to pay. In the case of search engines it could be skewed results that create certain biases or direct you towards sponsored stories and advertisements with information skewed towards enticing you to buy a certain product or to not believe someone or something is as bad as it really might be.

Writers need to take heed when using search engines, especially if they only use one and never vary the way they structure the search terms they use.  Remember, many of the creators of these search engines and social media platforms have a profit motive.

So, what is a writer to do?

Well, I found an interesting article from earlier this year that provides a list of alternative search engines to the more famous and mostly commonly used search engine, the name of which is now a verb in the English language.  Nothing wrong with using that search engine but as with all things in life, knowledge is power and when you understand who the wizard behind the curtain really is then you can make more informed choices.

Here’s the link to the article:


Try using the same search term in multiple search engines and compare the results.  The results will most likely surprise you.

Additionally, check out this Wikipedia page for an informative look at the variety of search engines that have come and gone over the past two plus decades.  Yes, decades.



Friday, October 7, 2016

e-Book Roundup & Revolution

Some interesting developments in the world of e-Books:

- Technavio research predicts that there will be approximately a 14% increase in e-book readership by 2020.  In fact, their Global perspective report predicts the following:

“Technavio’s market research analyst predicts that the global publishing market will surpass USD 357 billion over the predicted period. Much of the market’s growth is due to the surging popularity of digital publishing as it is relatively cost-effective for authors to get their books published and very convenient for the readers to read and carry around. Such advantages have propelled the adoption rate of e-books, where the readers are increasingly contributing to the market’s revenue through monthly and annual subscriptions. With the increased penetration of the Internet, readers want to read digital books more than printed books. Digital content is the future of book publishing with its explosion on devices like KindleReader, and iPhone, resulting in the overall growth of the market in the coming years.”

For more information on this 98-page report go toSome interesting developments in the world of e-Book readers:

For more information on this 98-page report go to:


Here’s more info on Publishers Weekly’s take on the e-book revolution:

-          Kensington’s Lyrical Press is adding two new categories for digital first submissions – Caress (Contemporary Romance) and Liaison (Romantic Suspense):


For more information on Kensington’s Lyrical Press submissions in general use this link:


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Looking forward to Oswego Literary Festival! by DL Larson

                        Looking for something to do this Saturday? Stop by the Oswego Public Library.
                                              32 West Jefferson Street, Oswego, IL 60543
                          Their annual Literary Festival takes place rain or shine, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

                  Oswego Lit Fest

         Local authors will be in attendance. Bring your checkbook, your credit card or cash!
                            Support your local author by writing a review on Amazon.com


Hope to see you there!

DL Larson
www.DLLARSON.com

twitter: @DL_storyteller

Friday, September 23, 2016

Wow

I know it's been awhile since I've posted and to say life has gotten in the way would be an understatement.

Settling the estate of a friend with properties in two countries on top of work and my own writing has been keeping me very, very busy, with little time to spare.

I also recently traveled thousands of miles to show my daughter where I grew up and went to school.  I hadn't been "home" in decades. Most of my family is either deceased or has moved to other states, and that happened some time ago, so going to my childhood home with my daughter didn't have the same urgency while she was growing up.  This trip was the result of hitting a critical birthday year and I just needed to walk down memory lane to understand certain demons that I only subconsciously admitted that I had taken with me when I left, and there is definitely a story brewing in my head about what all that means.

This trip put many things in perspective for me and one of those things is my writing.  I haven't published in a while but I have been writing and developing a game plan for publishing what I've been working on all these years.  I'm actually rather excited about the prospects.

I'm also keeping notes about the process I'm going through in my upcoming publishing pursuits and I've realized a few things as a result to include that there are many aspects if writing and publishing that haven't changed even though the paths to publishing, especially with the influence of technology, have changed.

Some of the aspects of writing and publishing that don't seem to have changed much include:

- write what you know and love
- writing is hard work
- some writers will find great financial success but most do not
- writing is often as much a business as anything else
- being discovered is still a challenge
- networking is still critical

The difficulty of being discovered as a new writer given all the social media available is somewhat surprising on the surface but then when millions and millions of posts flood the internet it's like trying to stand out like a drop of water in the ocean.

As a parting note I thought I'd share the article below:



Thursday, July 7, 2016

Follow-up on my Tweeting Experience! by DL Larson

In my last blog I shared my attempts at tweeting for the first time. I posted five tweets, then later added one more: One reporter. One warrior priest. One werewolf. And one thief. A deadly dragon, a missing baby and Savagers eat their prey.

I received 2 hearts, meaning two publishers were interested enough to ask for a query. I received three other hearts in my other pitches. Overall, I was delighted to have gotten some attention. Now, the work begins. 

I researched the various publishing houses. They all seemed legitimate and I felt my book could possibly fit within their interests. Most want the basic query and bio sent to them. A few want a synopsis and the first ten pages, others prefer the entire manuscript. 

I will continue to research these publishing houses, and I will most likely send out a few queries. In the meantime, I have sent a query to a literary agent I have researched. I remarked that during the pitch fest, I drew interest from several publishers. I didn't name names, but I conveyed I have gained attention on my first pitch madness experience.

Where will this get me? 

I have no idea! But I'm learning as I go. Keeping up with social media is a full time job, and I wonder how writers find the time to write when so much is demanded of them elsewhere. Another thing that makes me smile ... I have a few followers on Twitter! They obviously know how twitter works better than I do. I believe it's another venue to gain followers on their site. It's a numbers game and I'm sadly behind, but at least I'm in the game.

'Til next time ~

DL Larson
DL_storyteller





Friday, June 24, 2016

The MySpace Hack and Why You Should Care

If you haven’t heard yet, account information that was hacked from MySpace was recently put up for sale.

I know, you thought MySpace was dead, or you’re too young to remember just how big it was.
Well it isn’t dead and even if it was, the hack provided a plethora of login information.  Yes, that information was in many cases very old but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful to the criminals who have obtained it.  This, as well as every hack, reveals just how vulnerable we all are online.  In the early days of the World Wide Web, security wasn’t in the forefront of most people’s minds.  Now, you can’t avoid it whether at work, home or at play.

So, why does this hack matter?  Well, many of us probably forgot that we even had these accounts let alone the login information we established at the site, and there may be other such accounts lurking out there that we haven’t accessed in some time.  Thing is, in our zeal to embrace the World Wide Web we probably have information posted at these sites, in addition to login credentials, that reveals enough about us to make us vulnerable to social engineering efforts.

Conversely, the login information may very well be the same as the credentials we setup at other sites that contain even more sensitive and valuable information, at least this is what the hackers are banking on, figuratively and literally.  People tend to use the same login credentials across accounts and this is an Achilles heel for all of us.

Over the years, we’ve been encouraged to create stronger and more unique passwords.  At work you’re most likely required to do so.  In fact, more and more commercial sites are requiring the same thing as well as requiring that you change your password frequently, at least more frequently than most of us like.  I do find some of the security questions interesting since many of the suggested ones are things that hackers find by way of social engineering to include mother’s maiden name, street where you lived, etc., which is why the forgotten sites that you may have used the same login credentials as MySpace can be lucrative for hackers and identify thieves.

So, if you’re a creature of habit and have used basically the same login credentials at multiple sites for years, you may want to consider changing your password at sites where you’re registered, especially those with access to financial, medical and other personal information.

For more info on the MySpace data up for sale and how to set a more secure password the following links will help:



http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2368484,00.asp

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tweeting for the First Time! by DL Larson

I've enrolled in a class for writers. I want to learn more about tweeting and twitter. Today I'm supposed to tweet 10 pitches. Up to 10 pitches of my sci-fi romance. I feel as if tweeting is something kin to playing scrabble. I have 140 characters to explain my book. In that 140 characters, I must include #SFFPIt - the hashtag regarding the pitching that is going on today in the sci-fi genre. In that 140 characters, I must include what type of Sci-fi, so I included SFR. That stands for Science fiction romance. That takes 12 characters out of my 140 character limit.

I angst over these pitches. I have a two-part book. Do I pitch the first part that leads into the second part? Or do I jump over the first part and attack the second part? I need a hook, a hero, a stake, and an inciting incident.
OR ...
I could have a hero, conflict, desire.
Or ...
I could have a hero, setup and a twist. You get the idea. The possibilities are numerous. But what is the best way to form the pieces together to entice an agent to want to see more? Only the writer can determine that. And that brings me right back to the angst part of my day.

Last night our small community was hit with three tornadoes. Everyone is fine. Our home still stands, a machine shed was damaged and we have fields of damaged crops and standing water. We have been without electricity for 24 hours. We cleaned debris and tree limbs out of my daughter's yard. It took hours and hours and hours. And all the while I'm dragging branches and raking sticks and leaves, I'm trying to conjure up the perfect tweets for my book.

I've only tweeted one so far today - because the electricity just came back on! I don't believe I have anything fantastic to offer. But for my first time at tweeting a pitch, I'm happy to have tried.

Here they are:
#SFFPIt Wolf works nights. Ancestral spirits help him kill a dragon. The Lord heard his plea. If only insanity could be cured so easily.
This is within the 140 characters, but I didn't mention it was a romance. A colleague was confused by the Lord part. So I continued on with a different approach. He suggested I introduce Part 1 rather than part 2 (the above one is about part 2.)

#SFFPIt #SFR Wade, a priest & killer, loves Rock 'n Roll. A snoopy reporter tip-toes into his life. How can he fall for a human? Part 1-2
 This one explains the beginning of my story, and hopefully the oddity of being a priest and a killer, and intrigued by a human. 

#SFFPIt #SFR Wade protects his werewolf prince. They are considered aliens on Earth. No one knows they exist, except the enticing reporter.
Does this one show a bit of intrigue? I don't know. I'm still not happy with my pitch. But does it say enough to want to read another pitch? 

#SFFPIt #SFR Wade forgets he loves the human, Tracy. She fears the werewolf will kill Wade because he's wounded from the dragon slaying. 
When a book has many layers, it's unclear to me which avenue will bring the most interest. But in this order, the pitches begin to form a story. Enough to attract an agent? I have no answer to that.

#SFFPIt #SFR Wade knows the wolf better than anyone. Priestly chanters protect Wade even though they can't stop Wolf from attacking him.
This will be my last pitch because I've run out of time. Maybe it will be enough to draw some interest. Either way, I've learned a great deal about twitter and tweeting. And I've learned pitching is intense and confining at the same time. Maybe that's the true purpose. How well can a writer tell her story?

'Til next time ~

DL Larson

visit me on twitter: DL_storyteller





Friday, June 10, 2016

Hacks for Writers

It’s interesting to think of hacks for writers since the words hack and writer have traditionally meant something rather unpleasant.  In fact, being called a hack in any profession has traditionally meant that the person in question was lacking.  So, it’s ironic that hacks have become so popular.

Hacks tend to cut corners so many of the hacks, or tips, basically seem to provide a shortened method of doing something or reaching a goal.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but sometimes when I read some of the hacks for whatever area is being discussed, I’m not always convinced that the shortcut is the best way to do things.

Most lists of hacks focus on 5-10 items but there is a website that lists 1000 hacks for a variety of categories.  My first thought was that I need a hack to get through the long list but I must admit that some of the hacks listed are quite useful.  It does help that they are organized by category, which in a way is a type of hack, and quite a useful one.

So, in the spirit of hacks as a way of helping writers doing something faster or to accomplish a goal here are a few hacks of that I use:

-Capitalize and/or change the font to bold for a particular word in your manuscript to make sure that it is being used appropriately.  The word very comes to mind as one example.  You will know very quickly if you overuse this word by changing the font to bold.
-Put markers in your work as you are writing or rewriting so that you don’t stop and take a side trip that takes you away from finishing the work in question.  I often tag paragraphs with the words research or verify so that I can come back to it after I’ve written a scene or chapter and not get bogged down in details that while important are minor compared to finishing the writing in question.
-Keep a cut file for all those gems that you have to eliminate in the rewrite.  You just might be able to use them in another work and if you change your mind later on and want to put it back in your work then you will know where to find it.
-Keep your research notes in a separate file so that you don’t inadvertently violate copyright laws.  Copy and paste can be both useful and detrimental depending on how they are used.
-Email a copy of your work to yourself periodically so that if you don’t remember to backup your computer, all is not lost.


There – that’s five hacks.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Five Things

1 - Crowdfunding for writers:

We’re seeing more references to successful crowdfunding by writers such as the ‘Rebel Girls’ effort by the founders of Timbuktu Labs:


But before you go down the crowdfunding road take a moment to consider if it’s the right journey for you as outlined by Jane Friedman one of her recent blog postings:


2 – An updated list of the top 30 websites for Indie Authors:


3 – An Indie success to admire:


4 – Something to think about:


5 – Indie Book Reviews:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Roald Dahl, A Tribute To His Legacy! by DL Larson

This is a picture of Roald Dahl, author. He is known for many children's books. You may recall James and the Giant Peach, (1961) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ,(1964) The Fantastic Mr. Fox, (1970) The BFG, (1982) Giraffe and Pelly and Me, (1985) Matilda, (1988) and My Year, (1993) published after his death. The list goes on and on, but these are many of the American favorites.

He didn't begin his writing career until after his children were born. He wrote in the small hut (pictured) at the edge of his garden. And my favorite, since I too favor this technique ... he wrote in pencil on yellow paper.

Roald Dahl was born in Wales, 1916. He was a fighter pilot in WWII. Much of the world will celebrate his 100th birthday this summer. Disney has The BFG coming out in July, directed by Stephen Spielberg. If you'd like to watch the trailer, google: Disney's The BFG. The official trailer will come up.

I received a poster at my library as a promotion for the upcoming movie. We still have the book, The BFG, in our classic section. I brought it home to read. The story comes to life immediately with an orphan girl being abducted by a giant. From there the action keeps going. I'm not quite finished, but I do believe the Queen of England will take a significant part in the resolution of the story.

This book is exactly what I've been looking for my upcoming summer reading program. This book will fit nicely with our theme "Challenge Yourself - READ." The story is full of action, misunderstanding and misconceptions, with a 'try at all cost' emphasis. Dahl subtly shows the reader how narrow-minded we human beans are.

Dahl reminds me of Dr. Seuss with his whimsical made-up words. In The BFG, the giant taught himself how to read, and although his speech pattern is a bit roughysided, he's understandable!  It's scrumdillyious. And a twister to the tongue at times. Dahl created or made up 238 words in The BFG. He called it gobblefunk.

Many of Dahl's books have become movies. He wrote the screenplay for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as You Only Live Twice. He wrote adult fiction, specializing in short stories for magazines. His work could be found in Ladies Home Journal, The New Yorker, Playboy, and many others.

Another thing I admire about Roald Dahl: Writing and English were not his best subjects in school. Oh, how I love hearing that about other authors. My English teachers in high school and college repeatedly told me I was too chatty with the readers. I believe I was blogging and didn't know it! Another told me it felt too much like a movie in her head. One of Roald's grammar school teachers wrote on his report card: "I have never met anybody who so persistently writes words meaning the exact opposite of what is intended." (taken from mentalfloss article/527-17/11)  Such is the life of a writer who prefers imagination over perfection.

Roald began writing at a request from another writer, C.S. Forester, who was looking for a story about a soldier who had been on the front lines during the war. Dahl agreed to write something and ended up writing an article he called, "A Piece of Cake." He was paid $1,000. The title was changed, but not much else. The article came out as, "Shot Down Over Libya."

Have you read any of Roald Dahl books? If so, what is your favorite? Have you seen any of the movies?
Do you remember any of his jumbly words?

'Til next time ~

DL Larson
www.DLLARSON.com




Thursday, April 28, 2016

Authors, Remember The Logistics of Pet Ownership

The hubby and I are planning the logistics of our next trip to the cottage in Wisconsin. Much has happened since the last time we  vacationed. The saddest of all was the deterioration of our Amstaff, Rascal, whom we'd loved for almost eleven years, and who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in November.

Happiest, was the addition of our Miniature Pinscher, Buster,whom we adopted shortly thereafter to take our minds off our loss, and to provide a home for an animal in need.

Rascal was getting up in years and had been with us since a puppy. She knew what was accepted and what wasn't. Two-and-a-half year old Buster, on the other hand, still needs training, although I must say, he does very well in obedience classes.Also, he's very adept at giving us kisses.

Anyway, we're figuring out our strategies ahead of time to keep our little animal safe, so we can all have a good time. When we're away from the cottage, we may need to put him in one of the bedrooms and close the door. That sounds like a possible solution, but, there are other matters to consider, such as blocking off any targets of exploration in that room, such as under the bed, where objects are stored. Then there's the dresser, above which is the TV, and underneath runs the cable and electric wires. We'll set up barriers and see if that will work. Otherwise, we may need to resort to placing him in a crate when we're gone. 

Of course, we'll also need to keep him company and make him feel at home in the new environment, along with addressing his physical needs, such as walks, food and water.

Why am I mentioning this on a book blog? When writing fiction, it's important to make fiction seem authentic and believable. I enjoy reading books where dogs are included, and I also like watching movies where a pet plays a small or large role. However, often it seems a dog is added merely for decorative or emotional purposes, and the logistics of dog ownership are absent. 

Matters such as where a pet is allowed to stay in the home and the reasons are not always revealed to the reader. What's even more irksome is when a book character gets up, and no mention is made about seeing to the animal's needs. Let the poor dog out, please, and give it some food and water!
 
Instead, the book character leaves and goes about life trying to solve a mystery, or falling in love. Then, later, when the character deigns to come home, whatever time that may be, the animal sometimes is greeted, other times ignored, along with its needs. 

So, if you decide to add a dog or other pet in your book, remember that I and other pet owners are not happy if an imaginary animal is treated poorly. I beg you, when including a dog or other pet in your book, remember the logistics of pet ownership.

R.I.P. Rascal - Here she is in her younger
 years in the backyard with Morgan Mandel.

Find all of Morgan Mandel's books at

Also, find excerpts and descriptions at: http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Morgan Mandel





Thursday, April 21, 2016

Remembering Long Ago Days & Raspberry Beret! by DL Larson

Today, we said 'good-bye' to a musical genius, Prince Roger Nelson. I remember him as Prince. "Mom! It's Prince, turn up the radio." And Raspberry Beret would blast through the speakers as we drove down the road. It was 1985 and my daughters loved Prince, or later, the musician, Formerly Known as Prince. It wasn't until 2000 that Prince got his name back. The dispute over his name escapes me now, but it was a BIG deal back in the '90s. Something about copyrights and money!

I always worried my girls would all too easily understand the meaning behind that song. I suppose they did eventually. But the song drew vivid imaginings in my mind, I'm sure it did many young women. A young man and woman in an empty barn ... and a raspberry beret!

Purple Rain, was the other big hit, I remember. It hit the charts in 1984. Saying good-bye and moving on was the theme to that song and I'm pretty sure I knew that one by heart, too. Please don't tell my daughters!
I always pretended not to like him too much.

Prince won seven Grammy Awards and had thirty nominations. Five of his singles topped the charts and fourteen others hit the Top 10. Prince is an Oscar Winner for best original song for Purple Rain.

We had an upsurge of Prince in the early 2000's when my granddaughters discovered Raspberry Beret. I'm sure their mother had a lot to do with that. It felt as if I'd gone back in time when I heard from the back seat, "Grammie, put in the cd with Purple Rain."  And then, "Let's listen to it again!" A new generation with just as much enthusiasm for this musical icon had modern technology to feed their impulses. On any given outing, I heard Purple Rain some dozen times. Okay, maybe not that many, but it was a lot!

When a performer stretches beyond the generations, one knows they are listening to perfection. Prince had so many wonderful songs, always with a story. They were sexy, devout or fun. Sometimes all three in one song. He was a legend. He was a hero in our house. And he will be missed.

Heaven is singing tonight! It's bound to be a fabulous time. I imagine there will be a lot of purple!

'Til next time ~

DL Larsonwww.DLLARSON.com





Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New Mystery Website

I got inspired by a 50% off deal from Wix.com. I already had one website from them, which is Morgan Does Chick Lit.Com, and decided it was time to devote a separate website to my dark side, the one that compels me to write mysteries

So, yesterday, Morgan Does Mystery.Com was officially born. Nothing too fancy, just enough to get the word out about my mysteries without boring readers. Also, I happened to like the template background, which seemed kind of mysterious to me.

If you get a chance, I invite you to check out my official mystery website. If you haven't popped over yet to my romance/chick lit one, by all means you're welcome there as well.

http://morgandoesmystery.com
http://www.amazon.com/author/morganmandel

Friday, April 1, 2016

A Writer's Digital Legacy



There have been a number of stories in the news about parents of soldiers who’ve been killed in the recent wars wanting access to their child’s email accounts and not being able to obtain it due to privacy laws.  As a result there is also an increased awareness of planning for what happens to your digital assets after you pass away.  More and more financial advisors and estate planners are recommending that all of us identify our digital assets in our estate.  With online bill paying and paperless communications this is a real concern for those left behind to deal with our estate and in some cases clean up our messes.

For writers it’s especially important to address their digital assets because some of these may have monetary value to the estate, not the least of which is the domain name for the writer’s website.  Questions such as renewing the domain name registration, maintaining the website and by whom both of these tasks are done need to be identified.  It’s becoming clearer and clearer that most writers don’t have a plan of action for these tasks.  Keep in mind that there are laws at both the federal and state levels that need to be considered which is why it's best to work with an experienced legal expert on digital estate issues.

In the past few years several of my writer acquaintances have passed away, some suddenly, some as a result of a long illness and it’s a very haunting experience to receive a spam email from one of their email addresses.  Obviously, they aren’t sending the emails but it does bring to mind the need to make sure that somebody is identified to either maintain the writer’s digital presence or to gently shut it down.

For more guidance on planning for the digital portion of your estate the following links are suggested:



Thursday, March 24, 2016

Searching for Integrity! by DL Larson

This picture was taken last week. My grandchildren and I had a good time painting Easter eggs. We look pretty carefree, yet I've been worrying quite a bit lately ... what does the future hold for our young ones? In the last six months there have been over sixty terrorists attacks around the world.

I know this blog is supposed to be non-political and non-religious. But I can't help wondering if all these polite rules have been a hindrance to us as a nation. 'Don't talk politics or religion in polite company.'  I grew up hearing this rule over and over. I tried to adhere to it most of my life, and I wonder if I should have stood up long before now to say, 'where has that attitude gotten us?'

As a writer, I want to express my frustrations, yet there seems to be so many problems facing us as a nation, I'm ashamed I haven't spoken out sooner. I speak as a wife, mother and grandmother, neither Republican nor Democrat. I'm not a very political person, but I want my country strong so my grandchildren will inherit a great country, not one that has slid into despair and desolation.

I want my politicians to have integrity. That's right. It really boils down to that. Where has the integrity of the government gone? I realize a public entity may not hold personal values, but the people who are in charge sure should. It's one of the main ingredients that made this nation great. It's all but disappeared and we, the people, let it slip away because we've all been so blessedly polite. Or maybe we weren't paying attention when we should have been keeping a closer eye on our government and its actions.

I want my government to take action in protecting our borders. I want an easier avenue to citizenship for those who are here illegally and want to stay. I relate this to some young man or woman stepping out of the closet and admitting to the world they are homosexual. The world didn't end with their confession. Their life changed, and I pray, for the better. No more secrets. Illegal immigrants need a path to become a working, thriving part of our nation.

I want our soldiers to receive the benefits they need and deserve. The fact that our congressmen and senators have lifelong benefits and our soldiers don't, irks me. This is wrong. We hear VA hospitals are helping out more and improving. I personally know they have not in my area. Let us not grow lazy in believing the propaganda that is being delivered to us by the very folks that allowed it to happen in the first place.

I want a safer world, free of tyranny and terrorists. I know I'm asking for the moon, but if integrity were instilled to all at a young age, maybe our world would not be littered with this disease of  'my way or no way.'  Perhaps we would learn to tolerate our differences. Perhaps we could be happy with our own chunk of the world and not believe we are entitled to take more without asking.

Book Beat Babes is a group of writers with followers who are mainly writers. So I challenge you, start writing to your Congressmen, your Representatives and Senators. Make your values known. Be attentive to the world around you. Speak up. It's time ~ way past time ~ we start using our talents to let our thoughts be known in a public way.

Below is an web address to the Federal Representatives. It lists all by state.
http://www.house.gov/representatives/
Here is a site for Senators:
http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

Speaking up is scary. But as writers, we have the tools to start a conversation that could bring about change. I want a secure future for my grand kids. I don't want them growing up with threats of terrorism, bombs in public places, or afraid to play in their backyard for fear of what might happen if a car drives by. Stray bullets and angry mobs will not fix our problems. Integrity, even in small doses, feeds the conscious to act more civilly. It's a small, but significant step toward a brighter future.

'Til next time ~

DL Larson
www.DLLARSON.com



Thursday, March 10, 2016

Beware of Rip-Off Agencies! by DL Larson

I've been searching for possible agents and publishers lately. I've come across at least a dozen who are closed to submissions. Sigh ... it's frustrating yes, to finally find a possible agency that might fit my type of writing, only to find the door closed before I've had a chance to inquire.

I also found a few disturbing remarks. Yes, most don't bother returning a 'no thank you, not interested' note. I came to terms with that long ago. Others want only inquiries that have been sent solely to them and no one else. They state they will respond within four to six months. Really? Still? In this day and age. I don't know anyone who actually believes this anymore. I used to play by the rules and wait and wait ... and wait, only to realize it was time to move on.

The one that bothered me the most was on the Alloy Entertainment site. They sound reasonable and interested in hearing from all types of writers. That's wonderful, but this is from their Submission Guidelines:

  • Submission Guidelines: We are evaluating full fiction manuscripts only—please, no scripts or fan-fiction. Please send us a query e-mail that contains a brief overview of the premise of your book and a short description of your writing background. In addition, please include the first three chapters of your manuscript in a Word document, as well as a link to your book or Goodreads page if you’ve already self-published the book. And, agents, feel free to get in touch for your clients! We cannot accept submissions from legal minors. Please note that Alloy is constantly developing new titles. In light of the numerous submissions Alloy receives and Alloy’s own in-house development, Alloy may already have (or may in the future) independently develop a project based upon an idea or theme that is identical or similar to your material, and you acknowledge that you will have no interest or claim therein.

It's the last sentence I have an issue with. It sounds dangerously close to stealing. They may not like your work, but they like your theme, your plot, your characters. Where does that leave you, the writer, if they steal your work? 

Does anyone have a comment to share about this? I'd be very interested in hearing from other writers.

'Til next time ~

DL Larson

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Want to stay healthy? by DL Larson

I don't generally write about health topics, but I want to share what I've discovered this winter. It's simple. It doesn't taste bad. It's not expensive. And ... It's all natural! I imagine my grandmother would have known about this remedy, but it was new to me.

It started in my sinuses. No infection, just nagging stuffiness, congestion and the like. I didn't have a cold either. I rarely catch cold or the flu. But I coughed when I laughed or tried to carry on a conversation. It was irritating at first and then became a real nuisance. I appreciate the patience my co-workers showed with my persistent cough.

I tried many remedies, none that worked. Then one day I saw an article about the wonders of honey and cinnamon. The combination of these two ingredients can and does solve many ailments. It cured my nagging cough. I made my husband take it as well for his asthma cough. It worked for that, too. The recipe called for 1 tablespoon of honey (raw is best) and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir the two together, heat in the microwave for a few seconds and spoon it into your mouth like cough syrup. Do this for three - five days. Best taken on an empty stomach.

It worked! My cough is gone. And the better thing, my husband's asthma cough has disappeared. And let me tell you, that has been around for way toooo long!

Honey and cinnamon have other benefits too. They are known to help with arthritis - 2 Tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon added to a cup of hot water. Best taken before breakfast. Taken daily, this helps relieve pain. Since I have RA, I've tried this, and it's pretty fantastic. The weather still affects me though, so it's not a cure all. But I didn't expect it to be. But help is help. Less pain is always a plus for me!

For cholesterol control, use 2 Tablespoons of honey and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon with 16 ounces of tea or water. It reduces cholesterol levels within hours. This can be taken up to three times a day to keep cholesterol manageable.

Upset stomach? Indigestion? Gas? Cinnamon and honey taken before eating, can relieve acidity and digests the heaviest of meals and relieves gas.

A researcher in Spain proved that honey contains a natural ingredient that kills germs that cause the flu. Honey and cinnamon strengthens the white blood cells, which boosts the immune system. And the list goes on and on.

If you're looking for a cure all, I don't have an answer to that, but if you want to boost your energy and feel healthier, try the honey and cinnamon remedy. Then you'll have the energy to write!

'Til next time ~

DL Larsonwww.DLLARSON.com

Friday, February 19, 2016

Tech Buzzwords

So, just what is the "Cloud" and/or "Cloud Computing?"  PC magazine has a great article posted from April 2015 about this:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372163,00.asp


What's an app?

Well, I really like the explanation of this from an article back in 2011 from Small Business Trends:

http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/03/what-is-an-app.html

but, if you want something more techie try this:

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computerbasics/3

But the most straight forward definition of an app is, "a self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfill a particular purpose; an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device."


But the truly big tech buzzword these days is IoT or the Internet of Things.  I bet you thought I was going to list Virtual Reality (VR) or Net Neutrality, although since IoT is basically "the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity—that enables these objects to collect and exchange data," then VR and Net Neutrality are directly and indirectly a part of IoT.

So, now that your refrigerator can send you messages when you're low on milk, your tech wearables can let you - and perhaps your doctor - know if you're having a medical crisis, and your mobile app alerts you to traffic accidents and bad weather, you are benefiting (or not) from the IoT.