Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This is totally an opinion piece, which means it's MY opinion.  Feel free to disagree, but keep it respectable.

The media this week is ablaze with Miley Cyrus critiques, criticism, and other bashing due to her over-the-top performance at the VMA's.  I haven't watched the VMA's in about 15 years, but I had to see what all the fuss was about.  So, I went onto You Tube and watched the video.  And, like 99% of the world, I was horrified and disgusted.  Here it is, if you haven't had a chance to see it yet:

 Yep, pretty disgusting. No doubt about it.  I read some articles about it here and there, including one that talked about MTV bleeping out "molly" in the song, due to it's frank reference to drug use.  I watched the video for Miley's song, "We Can't Stop" and then watched the VMA clip again. (The video for "We Can't Stop is highly reminiscent of Fiona Apple's "Criminal.")

Ok, so I was still disgusted, but for a different reason.  One of the main critiques of Miley's performance was her "twerking."  Frankly, I had to google what twerking was.  I still wasn't sure from reading the description, so I had to google videos, which explained it pretty well.

This kind of dance move has been around for years.  Hello, Rump Shaker anyone?  But back to Miley.  Why is everyone criticizing her twerking all over the place, when her back up dancers were doing EXACTLY the same thing?  No one seems to mention the dozens of other women up there shaking their money makers in scarcely any clothing.  Frankly, much of the performance was a hybrid of the "We Can't Stop" and "Give It 2 U" videos.

Directly.  So, it's fine for a man to sing with mostly naked women twerking around him, but it's not alright for a woman to sing while twerking semi-dressed.  Huh?

The VMA's has a long history of artist's pushing the envelope.  Why is this so different?  Madonna's "Like a Virgin?"  Brittney's "Slave for You?"  Lady Gaga's whatever performance.  Lady Gaga ended up clothed in even less than Miley did by the end of the night, but no one (besides the Will Smith family) seemed to take offense.

Are people offended because Miley was once a Disney darling and now she's gone over the edge?  Brittney, Christina (who can forget their kisses with Madonna or her video for "Dirrrrty"), Linsday Lohan, Amanda Bynes.  Yep, all sweet and innocent still.  Right.

People need to get over the face that Miley Cyrus is now a woman.  A young woman, but she is no longer a child.  She has a right to try to expand her market and her style.  If nameless backup dancers can grind up on Robin Thicke, then why is it wrong for Miley to do so?

That being said, do I think she is in desperate need of some style guidance?  Oh definitely.  She is beautiful and has a good singing voice.  I'd kill for her body.  I think it's pretty obvious that she isn't a strong dancer, hence the gyrating.  But she needs to wear pants when out in public.  Her hair looked terrible.  It looked terrible on Gwen Steffani 10 years ago as well.  On stage, her outfit, though ugly, was no less revealing that anything Pink, Katy Perry, Rihanna, or Lady Gaga wears.  However, that does not mean that it was flattering.  It was not.  Not at all.

Someone needs to sit her down and explain the difference between being sexy and simulating sex acts.  She would be a whole lot more sexy if she stopped rubbing herself with a giant foam finger.  And please, for the love of God, tell her to keep her tongue in her mouth.  Unless you're at the doctor and they're trying to look at your tonsils, there is no excuse for your tongue to be out like that.  I'm not saying needs to be prim and proper, but there's a fine line and Miley crossed it about a mile ago.

And to all the people who say that she's a bad role model.  Yep, she is.  So are lots of singers (Rihanna anyone?).  Her songs are not necessarily appropriate for my children.  Which means we don't listen to them while my kids are in the car.  I change the station.  Just like I do when "Whistle,"  "S&M," "Last Friday Night," or "Same Love" are on.  My children are 6 & 9, and there are some things they do not need to be listening to.  Frankly, even the history of the VMA's dictates that it is not a child-friendly show.  I don't know why kids would be watching it to begin with.  Plus, my kids are heading to bed when it even starts.  I don't leave it to some random celebrity to be a role model for my children.  I surround them with people in their every day lives who provide good examples of how to be a decent human being.  My children have not and will not see the video, but if they did, then a discussion about what was inappropriate would follow.

And I think it is pretty clear that Miley should not be considered a role model, but desperately needs a few herself to help her figure things out.

At this point, I just feel sorry for her.  Miley Cyrus has a lot going for her.  I wish she could surround herself with people who would help her bring out the best, rather than just going for shock value to make more money.  Tell her to cover up a little, and stop defacing her body.  Make her look in a mirror before leaving the house.  Tell her, help her see that drugs will destroy her, not make her better.  And please, just please, keep your tongue in your mouth.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Many Thanks

I'd say the ride started on May 31, 2013, when I hit the 'Publish' button, but in reality, it began a long time before that.  But now, I can really say that I'm an official author.

I got my first royalty payments.

They're not much.  In fact, I'm still a long way from breaking even on the whole process.  But, at 9:00 last night, when I checked my e-mail and had received the notices from Amazon that the money had been deposited in my account, it was a milestone.

I didn't know that I wanted to be a writer.  I still don't really consider myself one.  It was an accidental discovery, fueled by an overactive imagination and insomnia.  I love to read, and I think it was a natural progression.  I don't think I'll ever be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer, but I'm quite alright with that (Although, it would be nice.  There is some real estate I'd like to invest in, and that's not going to happen without me hitting the lottery or hitting the best seller list).

The book is selling, albeit slowly.  Every day (ok, several times a day--I'm a little lot OCD), I go in and check my sites to see if I've sold any.  Most of the time, the numbers haven't changed.  Sometimes, when my book is featured on a blog, or when a review is posted, I see a small spike in sales.  And I'm excited for every single one.  Each one makes me nervous that the reader is not going to enjoy it.  That they're not going to like me.  It is hard, putting yourself out there, just waiting for the next review.  It's like walking into the cafeteria as the new kid every single day. But that's the risk you take for putting yourself out there.

So, now that I can officially check 'become a writer' off my bucket list, I need to stop and send a shout out to all the people who have helped with that check mark.  From my friends who read the book and listen to me talk endlessly about it, to my husband who works really hard at being supportive, to the people who have given reviews or let me crash on their blog, a huge THANK YOU!!  I know I wouldn't have gotten this far without your help.

And please, keep up the good work!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'm Still Here...

...But reporting from a different location.

Last week, my computer died.  I think I'm still in shock, because I haven't even cried.  But that's mostly, because, after my hubby took it apart, and diagnosed it with a "blown mother board," he promised me that he can retrieve all my stuff off the hard drive.  (Why is it the mother board that fails?  I take this personally.  Why can't it be a failed father board?  Just sayin'...)

I'm trusting in that.

'Cause if it's not true, I may just totally loose it.

It all started last week.  On Tuesday, the kids were due to go to a make-up session of camp.  When they go to this camp, I usually pack up my computer and go to a coffee shop and write while the kids are at camp.  But I wasn't feeling it.  I had a post-birthday party hangover from Sophia's weekend/Monday festivities.  Oh, and I'm totally stuck with my story.  So, Tuesday dawned dark and rainy, and the kids didn't want to go to camp, and it was fine with me. We rescheduled for Thursday, and I was sure I'd totally be in the writing mood by then.

Thursday comes, and I deposit the kids at camp.  I make it to the coffee shop and am determined to get some school work done first.  So, I turn on my computer.  And...nothing.  Well, not nothing, it has power, but the screen remains black and it starts beeping these horrible beeps at me.  Like it's yelling at me for being an irresponsible computer user or something. I call my husband and try not to freak out.  Because I'm an idiot.

You see, I'm stuck on my book.  But it's also about 75% of the way done (first, very rough draft).  And it's not backed up.  I'm an idiot.

Yes, I have a flash drive.

Yes, I have an external hard drive.

But they only work when you use them.

I have been emailing my work to a friend for review, but I had not sent her the last four chapters.  I guess I could re-create those, but I may have to bang my head upon something hard, if it comes to that.  It would not be a total loss, but certainly a setback.

I also store pictures on my computer.  I do try to back those up regularly, and had just uploaded a bunch to Snapfish, so there might be some loss there, but it would not be catastrophic.

We went away on Friday morning, and just got back last night, so we haven't had time to try to retrieve my data.  I'm totally going with the whole, "it will all be fine" mantra.

I do have to get a new computer.  I'm using my hubs right now, and that will be okay in the interim, but I'll need something for long term solution.  Plus, his keys have a little space in between each one, and it's really throwing me off.  I make a lot of typos anyway, but this is making it ten-times worse.

I'm trying to use this time to figure out what to do in my book.  I know where I want to go, but not sure of how to get there.  Of course, I want to be able to read what I had already written.  

In the meantime, lots of unpacking, laundry, and getting ready for school to do around here.  Gonna try to keep going on the book, one way or another.  I'd like to finish it before I go back to school, but that may not happen at this point.

Oh, and keep your fingers crossed for an intact hard drive.   Otherwise, please don't comment when you see me and I have great big bumps on my head from banging my head against the wall.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Another Guest Appearance...

Ask any indie author, and they will tell you that Bloggers play a huge role in the success of a self-published book.  Book review blogs are a lifeform in and of themselves.  As an avid reader, I have come to appreciate them highly.  I'm always looking for a good book to read.  I'm always looking for a good deal. These sites help me find both.

Naida from ...the bookworm... is one of these awesome bloggers.  So awesome, in fact, that she let me crash on her site and write a guest blog post today.  Not only is there some information about Good Intentions, but you can also read a sample of the first chapter (in case you're still indecisive about whether the book is for you), and find out some background info about me and the book as well.

Head over to ... the bookworm... to check out my guest post!

Thanks Naida!