Odd, Bookish, and Popular Social Networking Websites


Here’s a list of social networking websites which I personally think are either odd (in a fun, gawkish sort of way) or bookish (great for writerly types). I also threw in ones I know are popular enough (or advertised enough [<-there’s a lesson to be learned from that, I’ll figure it out later]) to warrant a mention. I’ve only used a few of these, (I won’t tell you which ones) nevertheless, I can personally guarantee that all of them are major time-sucks.

Now back to that lesson thing. Advertising. Social networking. Selling books.

Are there any writers or authors reading this? Good! I’ve figured it out and I’m sure you have too:

aNobii– Find, shelve, and share books.

aSmallWorldLa di da. This is for the European jet set and world-wide social élitists. BTW, it’s invitation only. In your face, jet set and social élite wannabes!

blauk– Anonymously let others know what you thought of that anonymous stranger. Confess your secret crush. Insult your friends and neighbors. The Jersey Shore of social networking websites, except it’s anonymous (Snooki’s ghost writer hones her writing skills here). Age 10+ only, please.

Care2– Get your green living and social activism on at this petition-heavy network. For tree-huggers and left-leaners.

classmates.com– Connect with former or current institutionalees and institutionalizers. Share your stories of institutionalization. Age 18+ only, please.

dailybooth– Obsessed with your appearance? Like to take pics of yourself? Go here.

Daily Strength– Lean on me, I’ll lean on you. Mental and physical health support community.

delicious– Discover, share, and store your favorite websites on this website.

disaboom– Disabled? Find support and friendship within an online disabled community.

facebook– Get bombarded with endless game and quiz invites, and get your personal info put on display against your will at the same time. For mental masochists. Age 13+ only, please.

flickr– Photo-hosting and networking. Age 13+ only, please.

foursquare– Make a game of location-based networking. Mobile.

früehstüeckstreff.de (frühstückstreff)- What?? Yoüe’re not on früehstüeckstreff.de (frühstückstreff)?? That früehcking süecks. Müest live in Eüerope or Aüestralia, and müest be a hüengry morning person.

G+– Share info and read info via circles (segregated groups). You can’t stop the Google. Must have a Google account. Age 13+ or 18+ only, please (you choose).

gays.com– Get your gay on. Network with other LGBTs. Review and read about the LGBT scene.

goodreads– Looking for a good book? Have a good book? Check-out here.

italki.com– Share, learn, and practice over 100 languages, including Yucatec Maya, Luxembourgish, and Esperanto!

Jaiku– Microblogging. Google-owned. You can’t stop the Google. Age 13+ only, please.

Jammer Direct– Share your art. Or bitch and moan about being an unsigned artist. Or laugh and jeer at unsigned artists bitching and moaning.

LibraryThing– Gotta thing for libraries? Gotta thing for book lists? Swoon here. Age 13+ only, please.

LinkedIn– For yawning, business networking, and yawning. Also for yawning. Did I mention yawning? Yawn. Age 18+ only, please.

Livemocha– Learn 38 languages in an interactive community.

Meetup– Plan offline hookups meetups for various kinks activities. If you live in the UK, you may get lucky and hook-up meetup with this guy. Age 18+ only, please.

Myspace– View the fake profiles created by pedos, and the kids they cyber-stalk. Try to guess which is which. Age 13+ only, please.

Ning– Make your own websites and networks here. Age 13+ only, please.

OUTeverywhere– Come OUTy, come OUTy, where every you are! LGBT

ReverbNation– Socialize with musicians, managers, and groupies. Age 16+ only, please.

ScienceStage– Multi-media science platforming and networking. Video streaming.

Scispace– For scientists, by scientists. Invitation only. But don’t despair, you may request an invitation.

ShareTheMusic– Free and legal music listening and sharing.

Shelfari– e-shelve your books here.

SocialVibe– Network for charity.

Stickam– Get your chat on while you ogle and be ogled via video streaming.

StumbleUpon– Stumble your way through interesting websites.

Tumblr– Microblog. Real time- or auto-post.

Twitter– Microblog. 40% pointless babble.

Wattpad– Authors and readers unite! Also e-book sharing.

WAYN– Plan traveling rendezvous with fellow travelers. Age 18+ only, please.

weRead– We read books and talk about books.

WiserEarth– Organization-based social and environmental justice network. Age 16+ only, please.

ZOOPPA– Artists, work for free and sell-out at the same time here. Age 14+ only, please.

Here’s a longer list.

Do you have a strong opinion of a particular social networking site?

Writing Realistic Disabled Characters

Throughout my live, I’ve known and befriended a number of people who were physically, mentally, or psychologically disabled, so it makes sense that I’ve written a few disabled characters into my novels. The disabilities I’m most familiar with- schizophrenia, autism, and mental retardation, are featured prominently within some of my main and supporting characters. Because I personally don’t have these disabilities, and I write realistic fiction, I’ve been especially mindful of how I portray these afflictions in my novels. I’ve come up with my own guidelines to writing realistic disabled characters:

1. Research the facts of the disability- but not too much. Disabled people are people, not books. Research as much as you need show the relevance and accuracy of the impairment.

2. Interact with disabled people. Interact just like you would with a non-disabled person. Those who aren’t disabled and don’t have a friend or close family member who is disabled often “look the other way” when given the opportunity to smile or say hello to someone with a significant mental or physical impairment. Befriending a disabled person will give you as much potential story information as befriending a non-disabled person.

3. Watch movies and read (or re-read) novels that feature disabled characters in a non-comedy genre. See how other actors and writers portray disabled people. Consider what seems realistic and what doesn’t. Often a disability is shown but not named, and this adds to the immediacy and integration of the disability in the story. Some movies I recommend: Rear Window (1998 version); Sling Blade; and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Some novels I recommend: Meeting Rozzy Halfway, by Caroline Leavitt; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey; and Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck. Note that some of the novels have excellent movie counterparts and vice versa.

4. Write your disabled characters “as is.” Avoid exaggerating daily struggles in an effort to portray a sympathetic character. Depending on the type and severity of the disability, many disabled people are able to live reasonably normal lives that aren’t that much different from the lives of non-disabled people. On the flip side, avoid glossing over daily struggles in an effort to portray an admirable character. Everybody, regardless of ability, must work through obstacles and overcome crisis. If your disabled characters face major obstacles or crises directly related to their disabilities, it makes sense to accurately describe those specific struggles in your novel. (See #1)

Have you written a major character with a significant mental, psychological, or physical disability? What worked for you?

Their Naughty Bits Thwack Together Like Really Strong Magnets

A couple weeks ago, while outlining my new ROW80 novel, I realized I would have to write a couple sex scenes. Now I’ve written for most of my life, but the majority of my writing has been poetry and non-fiction, and sex scenes were something I simply didn’t consider for those works. I wrote my first fiction novel a few years ago, and didn’t include a sex scene for the same reason I didn’t include a bank-heist scene or a car-chase scene. They just didn’t fit into the story. I wrote my second novel last year, and while that didn’t have any sex scenes per se, it did have a fair amount of double entendres and sexual innuendo. Now, at the start of my third novel, one of my main characters has conspicuously popped up- pun intended. He is a sex addict and he told me I would be writing about what he loves to do the most.

I really have no clue how to describe a sex scene without it sounding medical. Sure, I can substitute slang for the proper names of body parts, but beyond that is where I need a little helpful suggestion. Years ago I did actually read a romance novel, written by Fabio. Yes, THAT Fabio. Around the same time I toyed with the idea of attempting to write a romance novel myself. Why? Well, because out of nowhere (or maybe through Fabmosis) I thought of the perfect romance novel title: “Loins of Fire.” That title was, and still is, too perfect to not have a book behind it! Try saying it out loud, and draw out the “ire” part of “Fire”- Loins of Fiiirrre . . are you hot yet? I am!

So, now that I’m “in the mood” with “Loins of Fiiirrre” raging in my mind, here I go with the sex scene thing . .

Her gluteus maximus fits neatly into the bucket seat of his very expensive sports car. He leans over her, and his man-scented perspiration drips from his manly nose onto her exposed womanly bosoms.

“Your gear shifter is in the way,” she whispers.

“Not yet,” he replies.

He shifts his proud pleasure stick with the skill of a seasoned NASCAR driver, putting it in 1st.

“I’m in gear now,” he revs.

“Oh . . do donuts!” she gasps. Her heaving bosoms jut conspicuously.


Yes? No?



She runs across the flowered field, her well-muscled legs pumping, giving chase to her adoring compadre.

“The longer you run, the more submissive you’ll be, my naughty filly!” she yells.

A glowing pink mist flows over the Earth and envelopes the pursuant pair.

“It is a sign from She-Ra, she has proclaimed I shall drink of your sweet nectar!” the princess warrior bellows.

As the Sun slips away and the Moon rises, the womyn snatches the grrrl, and they embrace and twirl in a femme-domme dance.

“And now I will revel in your poontang,” the powerful she-beast smirks.

“Giddy-up!” her breathless side-kick giggles.


Too specific?


He cups her heaving bosoms and spies two crescent-moons of milky-white woman-flesh underneath her otherwise orangey pendulous orbs. “Self-tanner,” he muses, his hungry nostrils flaring with each chemical inhalation.


What do you think? Too many adjectives?


On second thought, I think I’ll just write out the scenes just like I would write out any other scene- focus on character, the senses, and moving the plot forward. My “Loins of Fire” title is up for grabs. I’m not an erotica / bodice ripper writer. I’m a general fiction writer.


Do you struggle when writing sexually graphic scenes, or any other specific type of scene?


p.s. Swoon-filled thanks to Margeanne Mitchell who let me borrow her “pleasure stick” for this post.

p.p.s. And here are some sex scene tips which actually work!


Banning the “A” Word, “B” Word, “C” Word, “D” Word

“Knowledge is power.”- Francis Bacon

“A little learning is a dangerous thing.”- Alexander Pope

Every year in the USA, hundreds of books are reported as challenged or banned. The actual number is undoubtedly higher, as the American Library Association estimates only 20-25% of book challenges are reported. (2009)

The latest book censorship to make national news is NewSouth Books’ version of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”


NewSouth Books censors the “N” Word to “slave” and the “I” Word to “Native American.”

I believe censoring and banning books and words is morally wrong. It doesn’t matter what the book is. It doesn’t matter what the word is. The removal of a word from a published book without the author’s permission is a cousin of plagiarism. Banning a book from a library compromises the intellectual integrity of the library community.

Banning books is dangerous. Without many years of intensive education, most people are simply not smart enough to figure out how to live in harmony with others. This is where “freedom of speech” and “freedom of press” is helpful. People who are exposed to more ideas are more likely to figure out which ideas are good and which ideas are bad. This comparative reasoning is the basis of all informed decision-making.

Of course, not all books are appropriate for all people. For example, few would argue against segregating erotica away from the children’s reading room of a library. Segregation is not banning. Segregation will move a book to an age-appropriate area, while banning will remove a book from an entire community.


Behold the All-Powerful “N” Word

In modern western culture, no other word is more feared and worshipped than the “N” word. Since stripped of its trailing letters, it’s become even more looming and poisonous. Civilized people don’t say the “N” word, it’s just too raw and violent. And the more it’s worshipped and feared, the more powerful it becomes. The “N” word is even more powerful than the “G-d” word. Most people are allowed to say the “G-d” word, but relatively few are allowed the “N” word. The only people still saying the all-powerful “N” word in its entirety without repercussion are “B R” and “B C.” They are rewarded for spitting the “N” word to their “N”-immune minions, who devour it like a pack of profanity-starved sailors. But what about those of “M R”? Can you say the “N” word if you are 50% “B,” but not if you are 25% “B”? What if you are a “N-B” person raised in an otherwise “A-B” family? Is your family allowed to say the “N” word while you are not?


Let’s own ALL our words, and not let our words own us.

List of government-banned books.

For more information, visit the ALA.

Words and books can be controversial for any reason.

What is your opinion of censoring or banning words and books? Is it appropriate or necessary in specific instances?

Round Of Words / 80 Days

Back in November I successfully completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I wrote a 50,002-word (as yet unedited) novel in 1 month. That experience was so stressful such an empowering accomplishment, I decided I can’t wait for next November to sign up for another timed group writing project. A depressing helpful lesson I learned from NaNoWriMo is I am more likely to accomplish personal goals if I’m accountable to other people- even if those other people are virtual strangers online.

A Round of Words in 80 Days will happen 4 times during the year. Round 1 begins January 3 and ends . . 80 days later. (You do the math, I’m more of a word person.)

Each Round has 3 challenges- measure, chunk, and blog. For Round 1, my personal challenges are:

1.  Measure- write a draft of a new novel in 80 days.

2. Chunk- write at least 700 words of my new novel per day.

3. Blog- as you see from this post, I already have that part nailed.

Now to sit down and pick up my tools:

Happy New Year, and Happy Writing!

Daily Check-Ins:

Date  Words

1-3     715

1-4     712

1-5     765

1-6     808

1-7     897

1-8     768

1-9     752

1-10   775

1-11   845

1-12   875

1-13   793

1-14   727

1-15   710

1-16   773

1-17   704

1-18   784

1-19   704

1-20   743

1-21   765

1-22   748

1-23   762

1-24   713

1-25   737

1-26   715

1-27   736

1-28   760

1-29   745

1-30   767

1-31   778

2-1    727

2-2    738

2-3    780

2-4    707

2-5    707   (again!)

2-6    746

2-7    727

2-8    720

2-9    733

2-10  728

2-11  792

2-12  767

2-13  710

2-14  990

2-15  765

2-16  855

2-17  758

2-18  806

2-19  882

2-20  708

2-21  745

2-22  718

2-23  763

2-24  710

2-25  710   (again!)

2-26  725

2-27  748

2-28  720

3-1   732

3-2   725

3-3   728

3-4   810

3-5   802

3-6   718

3-7   750

3-8   838

3-9   725

3-10  825

3-11  797

3-12  735

3-13  868

3-14  805

3-15  715

3-16  722   (brief novel outline- I do things backwards)

As the draft of my novel is basically done, the remaining word counts will be from “character profile worksheets.” The word counts will include the pre-written questions.

3-17  715

3-18  736

3-19  707

3-20  713

3-21  705

3-22  708

3-23  722   DONE!