Just Write

My NaNoWriMo novels
Yesterday someone in the NaNoWriMo Facebook group linked to a post that basically said that while everyone is supposed to have a story inside them, it doesn’t mean it has to be written. 

Spare the world your story because the world doesn’t need it – basically that’s my take on the article that I could only scan through because it made me gag.

It makes me wonder how anyone can tell someone such a thing to their face, but at the same time, welcome to the world of clickbait and the new wave of publishing where the reader has more power than ever before, even to the point of telling you that the world doesn’t need your story. Or your poem. Or your essay.

I don’t know about you but I only have three words to say to whoever that pompous reader was: I’m writing anyway.

An Author-ly Move: My Own Author Facebook Page

So I’ve finally gotten around to making my author Page on Facebook.  Because hubby wasn’t thrilled I was planning on using my married name and my middle name for a pen name (we might just get disowned if they read my stuff!), I figured, to heck with it – for the last two years, I’ve been Morrighan’s Muse.  So I’m going to just be Morrighan Muse and be done with it.

BTW, this really shouldn’t be how one chooses a pen name but maybe it was meant to be.  Other names I thought of were already taken, and they were all plays of my own name.  But I love the name Morrighan anyway, and with some people already calling me MM, wouldn’t you know it?  I love M&M’s myself!

So Morrighan Muse it is.

Which means that I’m gonna need some love – er, likes.  So if you have the time, and are inclined to do so, would you help my author page get some love over on Facebook?  I won’t spam you – heck, I don’t even know where to start to spam anyone on FB.  But since it’s linked to my Wattpad page and soon, to this blog, you will get notifications of my latest stories as well as my first published book!

Ready to spread the love a bit?  Here’s the link.

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Daily Prompt: Tread Carefully

How do you manage your online privacy? Are there certain things you won’t post in certain places? Information you’ll never share online? Or do you assume information about you is accessible anyway?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us PRIVATE.

I’ve been self-employed since 1997 and being thus means that you have to blow your own horn because let’s face it, even if you’re the best darn massage therapist in the world, if you don’t let anyone know, no one will.  Maybe your cat or dog will know and appreciate your skilled hands,  or your significant other.  Or your friends even – though I’ve heard of massage instructors who tell students not to work on friends while practicing because it makes for awkward situations when it’s time to charge them.  However it only makes me question what type of friends this person has or had.

When I started my massage practice, I worked on friends to build up my skills set which helped spread the word about my skill, or lack therof – depending who you talked to.  And living by the beach in a popular beach town definitely helped, especially if you knew every happy hour schedule of every bar along the strip and people knew what you were up to on a day-to-day-keg-special basis.

Now an online presence for your professional self is one thing.  There’s not much about me on my professional site – just my session offerings and rates, my private practice and teaching schedules, and maybe some random information about massage and bodywork.  It’s pretty boring actually.

But I can’t really NOT post my email address or my phone number if I want prospective clients to contact me, so there goes my privacy there.  After all, I need someone on my massage table/mat if I want to actually work and make a living.

But to have a personal blog, such as this one is a whole different story.  So I try to post daily prompts only, although these damn daily prompts often venture into really private territory and have a knack of making me dig up the old skeletons in the closet without the supervision of some psychotherapist and I find myself revealing more of myself than I ever intended.

However, when it comes to Facebook, it’s a whole different enchilada as well.  Even with all the privacy settings you check off, it’s really not that private.  Definitely not when it comes to the powers behind Facebook and their advertisers.  Whether I like it or not, they probably know more about me than I am aware of.  I’ve even heard that as long as you’re still logged on Facebook while you’re online, they can still track all the sites you’ve visited.

Now isn’t that scary?

Guess I now have to make sure I’m logged off all the networking sites before I check out some porn…

Massage in Session

Daily Prompt: Freedom of Facebook

Facebook has recently come under attack for failing to enforce its own guidelines on hate speech and violent imagery. Is it a website’s job to moderate the content users post, or should users have freedom to say what they want? Is there a happy medium? If so, how would you structure it?

I don’t spend much time on Facebook these days.  I’m bombarded by Bible sayings, selfies – which is a picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website – this according to urbandictionary.com, enlightenment sayings, pictures of what friends are having for lunch or dinner, and worst of all, photographs of me that I’ve never approved to be posted online.

So I end up policing my friends and family, having set up my settings so that photographs of me have to be approved before they dare post them – and yet some slip through the cracks.

I remember when one of my master Thai Massage teachers who, during training, pointed to me and gestured that she wanted me to work on her and while I was twisting and bending her like a pretzel (this is Thai Massage we’re talking about here after all), my fellow classmates were busy snapping pics left and right.

Stomach in, chest out, wet your lips.  Check.

I was so pleased with myself.   It was such an honor to be asked to work on a master teacher, and I couldn’t wait to post the photographs on my website (Facebook at this time was simply a sparkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye).  That is, until said master teacher got a hold of the camera, viewed the photographs and in her limited English, shook her head and adamantly said NO NO NO, or rather, MAI, MAI, MAI.

I looked at what she was protesting about.  And I had to admit she was right not to have me post any of those photographs anywhere.  It’s not that she didn’t look great – she looked fine – but she felt that she was receiving a massage and not primarily thinking about keeping her stomach in, her chest out and wetting her lips.

I did end up with a few photographs with her that she approved and those ended up on my websites and brochures.  And we were both happy with that.

Facebook, however, is a whole different story.

No one bothers to ask you whether you do mind having your photographs plastered all over their timeline AND their albums.  No one cares to ask for permission anymore.  It’s assumed that the moment you step out of your home, it’s a free for all and your face can be plastered anywhere.

And really, if my friends and family are reading this, that is just not cool.

So when it comes to all the political statements, bible verses, selfies that come up again and again and yet again (don’t these people get tired of taking selfies?  Because I know I sure get tired having to look at them), and even photographs of massacres that I never signed up to see, that’s alright.  I can live with that.  After all, it takes about five seconds to click on the arrow thingy on the right of that post and click “hide” and it’s gone forever – until they post it again on  their timeline.  That’s when I un-friend them.

But unapproved pictures of me?  Nope, I can’t deal with that.  Just. Can’t.

I can’t even un-friend them for fear that they’ll be posting pictures of me online and I absolutely will never know!  The horror!

Maybe I could have Zuckerberg have his minions police my friends’ and family members’ timelines and censor any unapproved photographs, or even better, unflattering photographs of me.  Maybe they can run each photograph through a list of requirements, ticking each one off (like, is the light flattering?  Is it showing her left side – since that is, after all, her better side?  Are there any grays in her hair?  Is her stomach held in, her chest out, her lips wet?) and after that’s all done and only when everything on the list gets checked, then they can go ahead and set it free on everyone’s timelines for all to see.

But let’s face it, do you really expect that to happen?  I won’t hold my breath.

But I do hope my friends and family exercise a bit of common sense before posting any of my photographs and run each one through that check list I just emailed to each and everyone of them right now.

Daily Post:  Freedom of Facebook

Daily Prompt: The Social Network

Do you feel like you “get” social media, or do you just use it because that’s where all your friends and family are?

Being a Gemini, I’m all about communication.  I majored in Communication and I just love being able to communicate my thoughts and ideas as long as there’s someone willing to listen.

But when it’s two in the morning and my mind is still racing with thoughts and ideas and your boyfriend, after a marathon of sex and all he wants to do is sleep and all I want to do is talk, asks me, “Do you ever sleep?” then that’s when I realized that I needed an outlet other than what real life could give me.

Apparently there wasn’t enough communicating in real life as much as I would have wanted.  With or without sex.

So years and years ago, I mastered Myspace and Friendster, then came Facebook – only with Facebook I realized that I was about to get to know the very people I was so happy to leave behind in high school and barely remembered.

Only now, they were back and Facebook was THE platform to be in.

Then there is Twitter –  and for almost two to three years, I had a Twitter account for my massage therapist persona – only to realize that if there’s a massage therapist on Twitter, it doesn’t mean that she’ll be talking about massage because she’s probably busy massaging some client or getting her real life business going.  So there really wasn’t a lot of time socializing.

And after two years of watching all this unfold on my timeline, all condensed in 160 characters, I realized that tweeting as a massage therapist boiled down to one word:  boring.

Hell, I’d rather hang out with my FB friends, the same ones I couldn’t have cared less back in high school.

So last October, I finally started a Twitter account for fun.  At first it was just about writing – I got myself a pretty simple twitter name, Morrighansmuse – but then I found that if I followed just writers, all I was ever going to get on my timeline were tips about writing or sales pitches about their books and again, it bordered on that one word again – boring.

What’s social media without the “social” part of it?

And so I decided to seek out people who shared something that I was interested in at the time.  I typed in ‘yarn’ and ‘knitting’ and even ‘spinning wool’ but I already knew most of these people from another online social media platform, Ravelry.

Why the hell would I need Twitter to talk about yarn – and worse, condense it into 160 characters?  Twitter obviously does not understand knitters – because we can talk and talk and talk, even while we knit.  So Twitter is mostly a secondary media platform and I really did not want to talk yarn on Twitter.

So I tried another search.  At that time, I had just discovered Richard Armitage through BBC North & South, and so I typed his name in the search box and found the Armitage Army – the Twitter contingent.  Apparently there are many other contingents out there – IMDB, C19, the Real Armitage Army…the list goes on and on.

What’s interesting about social media, as I’m discovering now that I tweet and blog more for fun than I used to in the past, is that I’m actually having more fun doing it.  And in doing it, I actually have learned so much more about it while having fun.

Social media has finally become what it says – social media.

These days, I don’t just tweet with other people about Mr. Armitage.  I’ve met people who do art, who write exquisitely with vintage fountain pens, who create beautiful works of fairies and unicorns and dragons, who do their best to practice kindness each and everyday (though there are those who do their darnedest to do just the opposite) and who make me laugh or smile every time I’m online.

I’ve also finally learned how to use Twitter and master the 160 word limit and practice tact when others forget the meaning of the word – for even online, it’s important to still be polite.

And most of all, when hubby now asks me at three in the morning, “do you ever sleep?” I can simply turn on my iPad and socialize in the virtual world.

But one thing that surprised me the most about all this media socializing is this – as much as social media is all about communication in virtual networks and communities, where ideas are transmitted primarily through keystrokes and mouse clicks, it’s brought me back to the simple forms of communicating, back when computers were gigantic and the postman’s arrival was a main event for most people.

I’m actually getting real honest-to-g*d snail mail.

And that is quite awesome!

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