Subscribe to darkmuse, my mailing list!
Interested in posting your reviews or guest articles at this site? Then fill out the form HERE.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pet Peeves

One of my biggest pet peeves is living in a high-technological society with idiots who don't take advantage of that. For instance, why do businesses bother having a website with no way to conduct business via that website? I like to check out businesses first online before I have to call them (I hate talking on the phone).

Insurance companies and other service type companies should have prices listed or a way to get a free quote online. I don't want to call and be asked a myriad of questions on the phone just to get their rate. That's just silly. Anything that can be asked over the phone can be dealt with via email or a secure form.

And what's the point of having an email address to contact them with? A lot of times I don't get responses back or when I do, I get the favorite line, "in order to better serve you, please call our 1-800 number". They can't even answer a simple question online? Instead, I have to waste time dialing a phone, trying to figure out which number to push to get the right department, then I'll have to be put on hold any number of times during the call. Why? Don't those businesses realize people are in a hurry these days and don't have time to play their silly games?

Get a website and use it to its full advantage. I applaud those businesses that keep up with the times. Way to go!

So what are your pet peeves?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Writing Rant

Writing is a long and arduous process. You might sit at your computer for hours on end composing your next masterpiece or it's possible you just sat there staring at a blank screen. Some days the words come easier; other days, nothing. You're determined to make it in the writing world, though, so you condition yourself to be at your desk during your peak writing hours. It's hard when the phone keeps ringing, the dog wants to go out, the kids are fighting, the laundry needs to be done, your spouse is waiting for dinner, friends show up and want to hang out, and your favorite television show just started its new season.

Despite all the distractions in your life, you manage to knock out a great manuscript. It only took months out of your life. Those words on the page beg to be read. They are your lifeblood, springing from your sordid imagination. You swear they came directly from your soul.

So it's time to send it out into the world. Let your readers hear your words; see into your worlds; and live in your mind. Welcome them into your bosom. Treat them as royalty.

Unfortunately, the world won't be as kind. Your words will come back to you as rejections, one after another most likely. You just spent a good part of your life crafting a great piece. It came from deep inside you, but the publishing industry doesn't care. They took your words and stomped on them, cleaned the dirt off their shoes, and then dipped them in the toilet. It meant nothing to them.

This is the life of the writer. We spend our lives crafting words with meaning, but the competition is so fierce that only a small handful of brilliance ever gets through. It's a lonely life we weave.

Online Grammar Quiz

Wow, guess my grammar isn't as good as I thought it would be:

http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar_quiz/punctuation_mastery.asp

Friday, July 16, 2010

Where to Walk, OMG!

It seems to me that every day I see more and more people walking and running in the street instead of the sidewalk. Is there something wrong with the sidewalk? I always thought streets were for motor vehicles. It's annoying when a car has to drive around a jogger because they felt the sidewalk wasn't good enough for them.

Anyway, your goal for today, should you decide to do it, is to craft a well-written short story about a world that has no sidewalks. People walking their dogs, taking their kids out for a stroll, riding bikes, and jogging all need to share the road with cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Will this lead to more accidents or will the characters in your world learn to be more careful?

Have fun!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Write in the Laundromat

I saw this poem by Marcy Sheiner and wanted to share it.

I write in the Laundromat.
I am a woman
and between wash & dry cycles
I write.

I write while the beans soak
and with children's voices in my ear.
I spell out words for scrabble
while I am writing.

I write as I drive to the office
where I type a man's letters
and when he goes to lunch
I write.

When the kids go out the door
On Saturday I write
and while the frozen dinners thaw
I write.

I write on the toilet
and in the bathtub
and when I appear to be talking
I am often writing.

I write in the Laundromat
while the kids soak
with scrabbled ears
and beans in the office
and frozen toilets
and in the car
between wash and dry.

And your words
and my words
and her words
and their words
and I am a woman
and I write in the Laundromat.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Creative Writing Games

This morning, I was doing what I do best -- that is, surfing the Internet for fun and games :-) Anyway, I came across this website called Votepages. Votepages is a creative writing game where one person starts writing something and then passes it off for others to contribute. Those contributions are put to a vote to decide what comes next.

If you have the time, check it out.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day in the States

Today is July 4th, the day when America celebrates its independence. But are we still free after all these years? It seems to me like the United States is losing some of that independence every year. We're starting to be treated like kids and told what to do.

We can't smoke here (not that I smoke and I'm one for the new no-smoking law), we have to be a certain age to do this, we have to wear seat belts, we can't jay walk, we have to have a passport to travel, there are stricter flying regulations, obesity is a problem so the government feels like it has to step in (to save our lives), the government is now running our banks, redoing credit cards, and is now offering a mandatory health care for all U.S. citizens for a price.

So what happened to the independence we earned a couple hundred years ago? It's quickly going out the door. Yes, it's true that our country isn't half as bad as some (yet) and I suppose we are still more free than others, but how much longer before that ends?

I guess we have to make the best of what we have and celebrate Independence Day as if it might be our last. However, can someone please explain the joy of shooting off firecrackers? All they do is make a loud bang. How can anyone enjoy that? Fireworks maybe, but big bangs? It's very annoying.