My NaNoWriMo Experience

by @AnnieDaylon

CASTLES-IN-THE-SAND (2) brag medallion

This week, I am guest blogging on the B.R.A.G. Medallion website. Here’s a snippet:

It’s November and, once again, information about NaNoWriMo is flooding social media. Many writers participate in this annual National Novel Writing Month. Maybe some sit by the wayside, wondering: Is it worth the effort?

I have participated in NaNoWriMo twice. In 2010, I wrote a complete first draft of my novel Castles in the Sand. In 2012, I wrote a complete first draft of my work-in-progress, Of Sea and Seed.

See more here>>>   My NaNoWriMo Experience

 

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(Thanks, @indiebrag, for invitation to blog!)

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

12 Opening Lines: What’s the Book Title?

by @AnnieDaylon

 

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If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others:
read a lot and write a lot. ~ 
Stephen King

I do both.

What follows are some of my favorite opening lines.

Can you name the titles of the books?

(See answers below!)

  1. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

  2. “Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.”

  3. “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

  4. “As a boy, I dreamed of fishing before I went, and went fishing before I caught anything, and knew fishermen before I became one.”

  5. “I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.”

  6. “Elspeth died while Robert was standing in front of a vending machine watching tea shoot into a small plastic cup.”

  7. “Riding up the winding road of St. Agnes Cemetery in the back of the rattling old truck, Francis Phelan became aware that the dead, even more than the living, settled down in neighborhoods.”

  8. “My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was 14 when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”

  9. “Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing you to is vast and intricate, and you have not been here before.”

  10. “It happens that I am going through a period of great unhappiness and loss just now. All my life I’ve heard people speak of finding themselves in acute pain, bankrupt in spirit and body, but I’ve never understood what they meant.”

  11. “They’re all dead now.”

  12. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

 

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 Answers:

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
  2. Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler (2001)
  3. The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (1953)
  4. Lines in the Water by David Adams Richards (1998)
  5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (2005)
  6. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (2009)
  7. Ironweed by William Kennedy (1979)
  8. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002)
  9. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (2002)
  10. Unless by Carol Shields (2002)
  11. Fall On Your Knees by Anne-Marie McDonald (1996)
  12. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859)

If you have any favorite opening lines, please share. Would love to read them! Might even read the whole book!

A FREE SHORT STORY for you when you subscribe to my Author Newsletter! Simply put your first name and your email address in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

In the Company of Readers

 

by @AnnieDaylon

shutterstock_134073986Little did I know when I grumbled over precious time spent getting my novel onto the shelves of a local food chain that the effort would result in a magical evening in the company of avid readers. I was invited to a meeting of the Book Travellers, an octet of women whose group demeanor is a combination of the delicacy of porcelain and the strength of spider silk, women who have woven friendship into a book club that has endured two decades.

The Book Travellers are so named because each member returns from every trip with souvenir bookmarks for the group. The group chooses their books a year in advance, at a sleepover, in a cabin, on a nearby lake, each June. Through their meticulous ‘bookkeeper’, they keep track of every meeting (attendance, books read, and comments) and have done so since 1998.

They take turns hosting the event and, during my visit, they appeared to be as comfortable in their host’s home as they would be in their own. (author note: a wonderfully infectious state of ease.)

Our evening began with tea and dessert and progressed to discussion of my novel and books in general.

Elizabeth made Lemon Pavlova. Delicious!

Elizabeth made Lemon Pavlova. Delicious!

Personal details slid through book talk, information about connections made through vocation—librarian, teacher, nurse, accountant—and avocation—curling, volunteering, walking, travelling. There were snippets with giggles about surprise birthday jaunts and fragments with sighs about thoughtful memorial gifts.

Overall, a delightful evening  in the company of readers, one which served not only to deepen my fervor for reading but also to re-ignite my passion for telling stories. More importantly, I experienced a surprising gift: the joy of being in the presence of unmatched  strength and vitality. Truly Canada’s Steel Magnolias.  

And so, to: Elizabeth, Bonnie, Judy, Randi, Nancy, Magda, Leona, and Kathy, I express my heartfelt thanks.

My best to all of you, always,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Please subscribe to my Author Newsletter by including your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right. 

P. S. Dear Writers, Marketing can be a pain in the posterior: In my case, it took five trips to the store, several forms that had to be filled, trashed, replaced, filled again and edited; it also took a few emails to the wrong people before finding the right people. I was left wondering if time-consuming grunt details are worth it. They are. Do it.

 

For the Love of Reading

by @AnnieDaylon

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Are you a reader? I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I read for many reasons: escape, meditation, knowledge, meaning, and pure love of story.
What follows are some quotes about the love of reading, most of which came from two great sites: Search Quotes and Quote Garden.

 

 For the Love of Reading

  • Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere. ~ Mary Schmich

  • To read a book for the first time is to make and acquaintance with a new friend; to read if for a second time is to meet an old one. ~ Chinese Saying

  • I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve. ~ Charles De Montesquieu

  • The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries. ~ Rene Descartes

  • A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. ~ George R.R. Martin

  • A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint…. what I began by reading, I must finish by acting. ~ Henry David Thoreau

  • I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke in me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. ~ Malcolm X

  • To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry. ~ John Andrew Holmes

  • The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it give you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination. ~ Elizabeth Hardwick

  • If you read a good book, you’ve got a friend for life. ~ My nephew, Matthew, at age nine.

 

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Are you a reader?
What is special about reading for you?
What books are you springing into right now?

 

 


Please subscribe to my author newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

P. S. If you can read this, thank a teacher. ~ Harry S. Truman

 

 

Olympic Hope

by @AnnieDaylon

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On Feb 21, 2010, while standing on the Vancouver Waterfront, I snapped this photo of the Olympic Cauldron. At the time, I was immersed in gratitude. Just the fact that David, my husband, and I had made it to witness the Vancouver Olympics, was miraculous.

Today, inspired by the 2014 Winter Olympians, I pulled the following memoir from my files. I am posting it in the hope that it might help someone who is undergoing a difficult journey, medical or otherwise.

 

 

 OLYMPIC HOPE

Three hours. A crowded hospital room. My husband, David, looked relaxed in his cushioned recliner. I squirmed in my resin chair and glanced at the door. Yes, I could leave at any time; David couldn’t. I reached for the sides of my chair and clamped my fingers tight.

Today the usually chatty group was hushed, all staring at a television set, waiting for the big announcement, hoping that it would be favourable for our home city of Vancouver. Breathing stopped as Dr. Jacques Rogge broke the seal on a huge, white envelope, pulled out the winning bid and began to read: “The International Olympic Committee has the honour of announcing that the twenty-first Olympic Winter Games in 2010 are awarded to the city of………Vancouver.”

Applause erupted. David looked at me, his brown eyes tinged with wonder. He said nothing, just tipped his head to one side and smiled, but that was enough to make my throat tighten and my eyes blur. I broke eye contact, choosing instead to look at the tube running from the injection site in his arm to the bag of chemotherapy drugs hanging above his head. It was July, 2003. We couldn’t begin to think about 2010.

 

David and I had been married for twenty-eight years when he was diagnosed in November, 2002.  It was a Friday and, as we sat on our veranda for the usual end-of-day chat, he said, “I have cancer.”  

 Instantly, some core piece of me fled and hovered in mid-air, a few feet away. I felt safe there—on the outside looking in, watching this event like it was a scene in a television drama. This couldn’t be real. This only happened to soap-opera people, or maybe to real-life, far-away people.

I opened my mouth, a futile attempt to speak.

 “But the doctor thinks it might be the good kind of cancer. Hodgkin’s disease…they can treat that,” he added.

I slumped into my Adirondack chair. I heard or sensed a slow, grinding noise, like that of a run-down carousel coming to a halt. Then… nothing. No chattering Stellar’s Jays. No rumbling car engines. No laughing passersby. The planet had stopped spinning. When I finally blinked, it hit me that the earth had merely hiccupped, spat us out and was now returning to orbit. I wanted to chase it; we couldn’t stay here, abandoned, alone. All the while, I was trying to fathom what David had said—the ‘good kind of cancer?’ He reached out his hand and I clasped it. Then, we just sat.

 

There was no adjustment time; there was only the journey, no choice but the journey which began the next morning—a one-way trek through X-rays and blood tests and cat scans and needle biopsies. All of which proved inconclusive.

“You need a lung biopsy,” said the oncologist, a dark-eyed, straight shooter who did not smile. “I think you have Hodgkin’s disease; we can treat that. But you could have lung cancer. If it’s lung cancer, then …” She shrugged.  “Do you smoke?”

“Yes.”

“Humph.” She threw her hands up and turned to face her computer. “We’ll get the test done as soon as a surgeon is available.”

 

For two months, we were in limbo, waiting for a surgeon. Stress hovered like an offshore tempest. David showed no signs of needing any coping mechanism—other than sleep. But me? Meditation. Hot baths. Exercise. More meditation. Anything to ward off the ‘what if’ pictures—all worst-case scenarios—which pierced my thoughts and left me trembling. This reaction was nothing new for me, a well-practiced ‘what if’ thinker.

“What if the mortgage rate increases when we’re ready to renew?” I would ask David, not once, but repeatedly.

He always had the same response. “No point in worrying about it. If it doesn’t go up, you worried for nothing. If it does go up, you’re stressing about it twice.” He’d then yawn and continue watching hockey. Exasperated, I’d throw my hands in the air and walk away.

But now, especially now, in the face of cancer, I was sure that he would ‘see the light’. His laissez-faire attitude would change.

I was wrong.

“It is what it is, Ange,” he said. “I can’t worry the cancer away; there’s nothing I can do but wait.” And that’s what he did: waited…and slept.

After a while, I realized that my usual frustration at his laid-back approach to life had vanished; in its place was total respect.

 

All this time, while we were coming to terms with the diagnosis, while we were waiting for a surgeon, David’s health was deteriorating. He became gaunt. Ate next to nothing. Slept up to twenty hours a day. He seemed to be disappearing bit by bit, like bubbles dissipating in a bath. And I could do nothing but watch. Christmas and New Year, meaningless events now, approached, intruded, and receded. Finally, in mid-January, a surgeon became available and a lung biopsy took place. We settled in again after that, thinking we would be waiting some more. But, just two days after the procedure, the surgeon called David’s oncologist who immediately phoned us.

“You have Stage III B Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” she said. “You will have a set of final tests on Monday. If all goes well, treatment starts on Tuesday.”

Lymphoma. Not lung cancer. Lymphoma. ‘The good kind of cancer. They can treat that.’ We smiled and we cried.

On Monday, hopes high, we went to the hospital and paraded through blood work, a bone-marrow biopsy, another meeting with the oncologist and a meeting with therapy consultants. The two consultants presented us with tons of information, oral and written. They read through twenty pages of data about drugs and side effects; the side effects alone slammed into us with the force a tornado. “Do you have any questions?” they asked.

We shook our heads. How could we have questions? There was just vocabulary, a tsunami of medical terms and possible treatments and chemotherapy drugs and anti-nausea drugs and catheter options and side effects and more side effects. We left, thankful to escape the onslaught, and took with us the binder of materials, promising to read everything and to ask questions as they arose.

Chemotherapy started the next day and, soon after that, David’s health showed improvement; his appetite came back and he began to gain weight. Surprisingly, the side effects, which we feared the most, were minimal.

Every two weeks, for eight months, we trudged back to the hospital for more chemotherapy. After the final treatment and the follow-up radiation, there was remission. Life returned to normal. Or as normal as it could be. I still felt my body shudder with anxiety occasionally. At some point, in the middle of each night, I would reach across the bed to touch David’s back. When his skin felt warm and dry, and not drenched with the sweat that was symptomatic of lymphoma, I would roll over and go to sleep, reassured that there were no monsters in the room.   

Every few months, there were blood tests and CT Scans. And we waited. At first, when waiting became intolerable, we called for results.

 “No news is good news,” they said. “We’ll call you if there is a problem.” After that, I worried that the phone would ring.

And, in February of 2005, it did. No information was given, other than the fact that the oncologist wanted to see David. We made the appointment. And, again, we waited.

 Two weeks later, in the oncologist’s office, the news came. “Your cancer is aggressive—chemotherapy and radiation won’t work,” the doctor said without blinking. “What is needed now is a peripheral blood stem cell transplant; you’ll have some tests and we’ll contact you.”

Just like that, we were back in the battle fray. This time there was no shock. There was just doing and dealing. We learned that there was a 10% chance that the treatment would kill him and a 50% chance that it would work. “Those are pretty good odds, Ange,” said David. I stifled a scream.

After four more months of chemotherapy and tests, David was admitted to hospital, in isolation, for a full month. Each day, while he was there, I got up before dawn to clean a section of our house—the home environment had to be germ-free when he returned. I washed the walls and put bleach down all the drains to prevent bacteria from seeping in. I moved the fridge and stove and scrubbed behind them. I stripped caulking around two bathtubs and three sinks and re-caulked them. Then, each day, I drove the one-hour trip to the hospital to visit.

 After an extensive bout of chemotherapy, a stem-cell transplant and recuperation time, David, hairless and fragile, came home. His immune system was brand-new; we had to be excessively vigilant for the first one hundred days. He couldn’t be near plants or animals so I threw out my prized African Violets and made sure our much-loved dog, Angus, stayed away. David couldn’t be around people either. There were no trips to the mall or the movie theatre or the grocery store—too many germs. Friends and family were supportive and understood, but some genuinely-concerned people  just wanted to visit. I soon came to realize it that, unlike our dog who had an innate sense that he shouldn’t get too close, some people didn’t get it. I assumed the role of body guard.

“You’re my little Pit Bull,” David teased one day when I was standing at the window, arms folded, scrutinizing people who had dared to venture up our walk.

“You got that right,” I replied, as I headed to the door to dispose of well-meaning visitors.

We marked each passing day by placing a giant, red X on the calendar. After the obligatory hundred days, when David’s immune system had strengthened slightly, he began to receive inoculations—his immune system was that of a newborn and he needed to have all the same shots that babies have.

Every three months, there were more tests and we waited. “It will be five years,” the haematologist said during one visit, “before we can use the word ‘cure’.”  Five years. It was 2005. We still couldn’t think about 2010.

 

As all this went on, we became more and more aware of the fact that the bond between us was strengthening. Our priorities, which had often appeared as divergent paths, now coincided. A single road.  We didn’t need the huge, Victorian house so we sold it, choosing to live in a smaller one—mortgage-free. We spent less and saved more; we even bought a car with the money we accumulated from quitting smoking. During the first hundred days, we developed the stay-at-home habit and we continued that, choosing each other over the outside world. We had time together and that’s all we wanted: time.

Slowly, time passed… a day, a week, a month, a year, two years, four years…

 

163On Feb 21, 2010, while standing on the Vancouver Waterfront, I snapped a photo of the glowing Olympic Cauldron.

Later, I asked one of the blue-jacketed volunteers to take a picture for me. Tears surged as I recalled the freeze-frame moment in the chemotherapy room seven years ago when 2010 seemed so far off. But now, the Olympics were here. And here we were, in an Olympic bobsled. After an amazing and terrifying ride.

 “Smile,” said the volunteer.

We obliged.

 

(Four years later? David is still here, still smiling, a miracle of modern science and olympic hope. )

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter, October, 2013

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Looking for writing tips? Here are my top ten Twitter picks for October, 2013:

  1. 50+ Things to Blog About When You Have Writer’s Block by Caitlin Muir  @AuthorMedia

  2. “The Truth about Overnight Success” by Ali Luke @aliventures @copybloggerRSS

  3. Why You’re Not Selling Your E-Books by Judy Cullins @CoachJudy

  4. Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors: Professional Resources for Writers by @KMWeiland via @EricStoffle

  5. How to Get in the Zone and Stay in the Zone with Tom Evans   @thecreativepenn

  6. 5 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction    by @ChuckSambuchino @WritersDigest

  7. 5 Reasons You Should Embrace Rejection by Linda Formichelli @LFormichelli

  8. Cut Thousands of Words Without Shedding a Tear (How to Tighten Your Manuscript) by @RachelleGardner

  9. What makes a good short story? by Heidi Pitlor @BAShortStories @HuffPostBooks

  10. Atypical Protagonists: Six Anti-Heroes From Great Works of Fiction   by @ChrisCiolli  @readlearnwrite via @elizabethscraig

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: September, 2013

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Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Ten Twitter picks for September:

  1. The 6 Best Book Marketing Blogs    by Chris Robley @BookBaby @chrisrobley
  2. 10 Marketing Tips to Build Your Author Brand  by Chanel Cleeton @ChanelCleeton  RT @PSLiterary via @YAStands
  3. Hugh Howey’s ‘Dust’: The Cleverest Promotion I’ve Seen in Years by @JonathanGunson
  4. Stuck for Ideas? 20 Quotes Telling You What to Write about. by Vinita Zutshi @WritetoDone
  5. Lessons Learned from 2 Yrs as… Author/Entrepreneur by Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn
  6. Freelance Writing: An Interview with @Patricia Leavy About Inspiration, Obstacles and Advice   RT @BlueHorse74 via @HuffPostBooks
  7. Amazon Matchbook: HowPublishers and Authors Can Work Together  by Jane Friedman @JaneFriedman
  8. How to Identify and Minimize Spam in Your Blog Comments   by Stephanie Chandler @bizauthor
  9. 101 Fabulous Blog Topic Ideas  by Molly Greene @mollygreene
  10. Book Marketing Plan: 10 Priorities When Launching a New Book by John Kremer @JohnKremer

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Castles in the Sand ThumbnailMy best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Newfoundland Dialect: Derivation and Appreciation

by @AnnieDaylon

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How’s she goin’, b‘ys?
I have just published a novel set on the island of Newfoundland–OF SEA AND SEED— and am often asked about the dialect of that part of Canada. The language is no doubt unique. A while back, I wrote this post about  its source. If you have
 nare click nor clue about it, here (speaking strictly from me own neck of the woods which is Placentia), is the rights of it:

The dialect is owing to early settlers who hailed from Ireland, England and France. Groups arrived and settled together.  Hemmed in by sea, no roads on land, they didn’t shift much.

Placentia, NL, about 135 km (85 miles) west of St. John's.

Placentia, NL, about 135 km (85 miles) west of St. John’s.

Over the years, dialect evolved, due to:
1) World War II: An influx of American military personnel slowed the lilt of the language and added words such as ‘dime’ and ‘boyfriend’;
2) Resettlement: As fishing declined, people shifted from outports to larger areas;
3) Emigration: People moved away; some came back, talking large.
4) Immigration: People brought in new accents; and
5) Technology: The world is online and satellite TV is all over da place, b’y. Everyone watches the same shows and movies and, subsequently, speaks similar language.

Despite all of the changes, despite the fact that I now live in British Columbia,  I cherish opportunities to hear Newfoundland dialect; those occur thanks to CBC shows such as Land and Sea, The Rick Mercer Report, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and Republic of Doyle. But nothing replaces the real thing, b’y, and every year or two, when I make the twelve-hour trip from Abbotsford, BC to St. John’s, NL, I look forward to the sound that is distinctly Newfoundland.

On such a trip couple of years back, I dashed from the St. John’s airport, filled my lungs with fresh air, hopped into the first available cab and leaned back, ears at the ready. When the driver opened his mouth, his accent fell out and my heart fell to me boots.  He was Eastern European. What the heck? Holy Lord tunderin’!  Was the dialect disappearing altogether?

I allow I was disappointed, and I had a like to forget about the whole thing. But I didn’t. I headed to the DownHome Shop and O’Brien’s Music Store. I listened to VOCM radio in the mornings. I heard smatterings of dialect but, by the last day of my ten-day trip, I resigned myself to the fact that the accent was dissipating. What was the world coming to at all?

A sense of loss pervaded as I rang up a taxi service to schedule my trip to the airport.

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Eastern Canada’s island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Where are ye at, me love?” asked the dispatcher.

With my heart fluttering to beat the band, I told him.

Sure, me darlin’, ’tis not us you wants now at all.”

I was some flummoxed (and right delighted.) “Excuse me?”

“Well, it’s like this. We’re way too far across town. Call buddy over at City Wide. He’ll get you there, guaranteed.”

So I thanked him profusely and called buddy.

The next morning, the driver arrived early. When I complimented him on his promptness, he said, “Ducky, when I has to be some place, I shows up like a bullet!”

I smiled the rest of the way to the airport. I was still smiling when the jet pitched in British Columbia half a day later. What a wicked time I had! 🙂

My best to you and long may your big jib draw!

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

Technology Woes (aka ‘Oh Me nerves, You Got Me Drove’)

by @AnnieDaylon

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Have technology problems ever frayed your nerves? Welcome to my world!

Last week I was struggling to get images on my blog. No luck. I managed to publish a post and then I took the CPU to Express Computers for full diagnostic and general clean up. Of course, the computer worked perfectly at the shop. So, I took my baby home where, sadly, nothing worked.

I consulted with the my website host, with Word Press, with a highly knowledgeable tech friend. But, in this day and age of Febreeze anti-clogging technology and Mazda sky-active technology and Energizer power-seal technology and Nikon android technology and Nivea Dry-Q technology and Frog Tape Paint-Block Technology and Ford Eco-boost technology, there seemed to be no answer to my technology woes. I was ready to throw in the towel, make that a whole roll of towels, specifically, Bounty (with trap-and-lock technology.)

Desperate, I took the CPU back to Express Computers. As soon as they connected it to their monitor, the images appeared. Magic! I mentioned how impressed I was with the speed of their system in comparison to the slow rate of mine. Instantly, they asked who my service provider was and if I had taken advantage of upgrades. (Oops! Had the system for six years; no upgrades.) Apparently, if your system is running too slowly, the internet tries for a while to complete your command, gives up, times out, and moves on to something else. Express Computers suggested that I go to my provider and ask for a new router. I did. No extra cost. Problem solved.

So, what’s your take-away from my experience?

Well, is your computer slowing down? Are your images disappearing? Before you spend a half-hour waiting to connect with your host and another half-hour in an online chat, before you troll for hours through Word Press support forums, before you use up a wonderful friend’s valuable time, before you start deactivating and reactivating plugins, before you do any of this… check for upgrades. The problem can be as simple as a new router or a new cable. (Express Computers in Chilliwack, BC, gave me a new cable, just in case. Gotta love that kind of service!)

In short, look for the simplest solution. A philosophy for technology… and life.

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My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

What’s in a Pen Name?

 

by @AnnieDaylon

shutterstock_163039295My legal name is Angela Day. A perfectly good name but, as I discovered in my quest for a domain name, a ubiquitous one. Chefs, writers, real-estate agents, doctoral candidates… so many Angela Days. I even located and angel-a-day website: all angels, all the time.
My choice then? A nom de plume.
I opted for the surname Daylon (a combination of my maiden name and married name) and chose Annie in lieu of Angela/Angie. Why Annie? My middle name is Ann, the middle of my surname contains the name Ann, and, years ago, I was influenced by three extraordinary women named Annie:

  • Annie Sullivan,  Helen Keller’s lifelong teacher, a.k.a. The Miracle Worker. I admired her dedication and perseverance.

    Keep on beginning and failing… you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose.” ~Annie Sullivan

  • Annie Oakley, sharpshooter, star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, egalitarian. I admired her confidence, her belief in the equality of women, and above all, her persistence.

    Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second, and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally, you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.” ~ Annie Oakley

  • Annie Murphy, my eighth-grade teacher, lover of poetry and prose. I admired her dogged determination and over-the-top optimism.

    Today we are starting ‘The Rime of the ancient Mariner’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and… you will memorize it. ~ Annie Murphy (paraphrased)

All of the above quotes relate to setting high goals and hammering away at them. I’m working on mine. Did I ever memorize Coleridge’s classic? Not a chance. My teen-rebellion years kicked in as soon as I realized that The Rime of the Ancient Mariner contained more than one hundred verses. However, I did memorize a lot of poetry in grade eight; to this day, I can recite Magee’s High Flight and McCrae’s Flanders Fields. And I will be forever grateful to Annie Murphy because it is she who taught me to love literature.

So, there it is. The Annie Daylon story. I have had no second thoughts about the choice of surname but I have, on occasion, questioned the choice of the first name simply because there are instances when people are at odds over whether to call me Angie or Annie. (Annie will do just fine, by the way.) Other than that, no regrets: the use of a pen name works well for me. With regard to submissions, I sign Annie Daylon (ndp) and beneath that Angela Day (legal name). As for copyright? Legal name only.

Do you have a pen name? If so, what’s your story?

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My best to you, eNovel-Round-Logo

Annie Signature Light Blue