Jerks & Irks IX: Tweet Creeps

How many of you are on Twitter?

*Surveys crowd raising their collective hands.*

Ok, how many of you are constantly annoyed by other people’s tweets?

*Notices no hands have gone down.*

This little guys keeps annoying stuff in his diary, as should you.


Now, I’m excited to be going on a couple of weeks straight without a suspension, but sometimes I wonder why in the fiery red heck I was so depressed to be without Twitter when these are the things that annoy me on an hourly basis (Yes, I check Twitter that often):

1. Spam-a-lot Spambots: Go away, all of you! I don’t want to work from home and earn $8.2 zillion dollars a minute, I don’t want to buy your special tupperware, and I don’t want to be a beta reader for your imaginary “publising” company. That’s right, I got a spammerific offer to be a beta reader for Ristrict Publishing. If you google them, they don’t even have a website. They have a Twitter account (where they talk about their budding “publising” company in their profile), a Facebook page, and a youtube book trailer for something called Thuggin In Miami or something. Alrighty then…

2. Inspirational Quotes…on Repeat: I hate when I see a good quote, such as “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” (Walt Disney), and then I see it again, and again, and again…by the same PERSON! It comes across as a fake attempt to seem “real.”

3. Teaser Tweets for books: Normally I love these and I have even purchased a few books based on an intriguing sentence the author has posted on Twitter. But I hate the ones that post mundane sentences like “Betty had a hankering for pancakes but knew she was out of Nutella.” That is not a compelling sentence, people. Not in ANY genre. Sorry.

4. High & Mighty Hashtags: I #hate #tweets that #looklike this for #no #reason and it #makesmewantto #start a #hashtag #topic called #Ihopeyourshoebecomesuntiedandyoufalldownthestairs.

5. Killing me with Klout: Why, oh why, do some people log onto Klout and give a measley little Klout point to 839 of their closest friends and associates? It clogs up the twitter feed like chicken guts poured down the drain of a kitchen sink. Stop it! (Unless you want to give ME Klout. My score is only like a 23 or something.)

“Stop annoying each other or we’ll banish you to MySpace!”

So there you have it. My love/hate relationship with Twitter. I can’t live with it, but when they suspend me, I whine a lot. (Feel free to follow me though, I don’t do any of those things I listed above.)

What do you hate about Twitter?

Mommy, Scrivener Made Me Cry!

A while back I came across a blog post singing the praises to the mountaintop about Scrivener. I don’t remember which blog it was, but if that person wants to come forward in the comments section, I’ll gladly edit this post to include a dandy little shout out.

**Update: Someone has come forward in the mystery that was “Whose blog did I read that led me to Scrivener.” It was Chazz over at Chazz Writes. He thinks. It might still be a tiny bit of a mystery. Anyway, he posts a lot of useful writer stuff, which may or may not have included a post about Scrivener. So check him out.**

For those who went to high school with me, let me assure you this post is not about Mrs Scribner (with a B, but it still sounds similar). She was one of the English teachers and quite a feisty little thing and I wouldn’t put it past her to have the ability to make people cry. Even still, not what this post’s about. No, Scrivener is an award-winning word processing program designed for writers (novelists, scriptwriters, playwrights, etc). You can find the full set of specifics here. That’s what Wikipedia’s for, right? So Scrivener is pretty wonderful…now. But here’s how the first twelve hours went for me:

  • I downloaded the 30-day free trial and was elated to see that it didn’t run out 30 days from when it was downloaded, but rather after 30 individual days of use. I opened the tutorial and a window told me it would take about 2 hours to complete. I hoped I didn’t waste the entire 30 days just navigating the tutorial.
  • Three hours later I completed the tutorial. Given the fact that I’m not computer savvy, coupled with the fact that technology hates my existence (see here and here for examples), it took me a little longer. But I was ready to open up a new “Project” and import my WIP.
  • Even though my WIP was a word doc, I repeatedly ran into a converter error when I tried to import the current progress of my novel. Frick.
  • I realized that I use AbiWord (a free version of Word) to write my novel. Perhaps, even though I saved my work as a Word .doc, Scrivener was a Word snob and didn’t recognize my free version. Perhaps it was even giving me a dirty look like I was flaunting a sidewalk knockoff of Louis Vuitton bag.
  • So I re-saved my work as an HTML document because that was on the list of acceptable, convertible documents. Mind you, I had no idea what that even meant. Somehow my work was accepted that time, but it loaded as one big block of text. No paragraph breaks. No chapter breaks. Nothing. Frick!
  • I deleted the whole Project and opened up a new one. I tried to re-import my WIP as an HTML document. Converter error. **Rinse and Repeat** That’s right, I kept deleting and retrying the import. Several more times, me thinks. <insert definition of insanity here>
  • I finally go back to the tutorial and review the list of convertible documents and compare it against my save options in AbiWord. There’s something called RTF. Again, mind you, still had no clue. Rich Text rings a bell. I don’t know. Anyway, it was on both lists, so I tried it. It worked. Well I’ll be Persian rug’s tassels…
  • So it was six hours since I began the tutorial. My WIP was finally imported. Now what? In the tutorial there was a Draft Folder, a Research Folder, and a Trash Folder. The Draft folder was supposed to contain all the different sub-folders, like, ahem, chapters. But there was no Draft Folder. There was a Manuscript Folder. I went back to the tutorial and figured out that when you open a new Project and select “Novel” as the project type, it replaces the word Draft with the word Manuscript. Makes sense, yes? Ok then.
  • So I stared at the Manuscript Folder wondering why in green heck my imported WIP hadn’t been magically whisked away to it during the importing process. Instead it was a separate folder. And I couldn’t click and drag it to the Manuscript Folder either. Frick!!!
  • For two hours I fruitlessly clicked and dragged in various ways to try to get my novel into the fricking Manuscript Folder. Eight hours in and I literally began to cry a little. Mostly because if I threw anything I would risk damaging our two twin flat screen tvs and I love sports too much to take that risk. So I combined my stifled sniffing with a not-so-stifled expletive that rhymes with “duck” (definitely not “frick”).
  • Now my stomach is grumbling. I’ve had to pee for an hour and a half. And I’m pretty sure my neighbors are calling the nearest priest to report the need for an exorcism over here due to my violent outbursts of the aforementioned word that rhymes with “duck.” I decided to just copy and paste everything into the stupid Manuscript Folder. I click, scroll to start selecting, and somewhere around Chapter 9 the rest of my novel had disappeared. My WIP has 15 chapters.
  • Now ten hours in, I gave up and went to sleep, hoping the rest of my novel would somehow appear in the morning.
  • When I awoke the next morning, my complete WIP still wasn’t there. But I noticed something: the word count in the window’s footer matched my current word count. Hmm. So it’s technically in there. Somewhere. Scrivener is just playing Keep Away.
  • Around midmorning, an idea was conjured up in my technologically dimwitted brain: if I cut and paste the first chapter, maybe more of the text will be visible. Perhaps there’s a word count limit for the folder or something. Who knows. But it worked! Well I’ll be a pilgrim’s feathered hat…
  • I spent the next two hours cutting and pasting my work into the Manuscript Folder. I broke it down into sub folders for each chapter. Then I broke each chapter down further into separate scenes. Next I did scene and chapter summaries on little index cards. This is my favorite feature (besides the split screen) because when you hover the mouse over a chapter’s folder icon, the summary pops up. This is very helpful for when I need to open up a different chapter (using the almighty split screen feature) to check something I had previously written, like a minor character’s last name or something.

You see that last bulleted item there? That’s about the time Scrivener and I started getting along. I adore the program now (Well I’ll be a beaver’s dam…). If you don’t have it, you should get it. It’s about $40. That’s like two coffees and a large muffin at Starbucks. You can skip Starbucks for a day, right? Do it! Do it now! Starbucks be damned!!!

Jerks & Irks IV: The Yahoo Hullabaloo…

For the fourth installment of my Jerks & Irks series, I would very much like to rant about the excruciating process of cleaning out my Yahoo mailbox and why Yahoo must think I said something about its mother or kicked its puppy. This process is especially taxing on Mondays, since I try not to really use the computer on Sundays when Hubby-pants is home, allowing the emails to really pile up.

A little backstory: my original email address, created in 1999, includes the #69 in it. I know, I know. Feel free to judge me. I was 17 years old, a freshman in college, and having the #69 in your email address or AIM screen name was the IN thing to do, so bite me. Anyway, I recently decided to get a big-girl email address with just my first name and my new married last name. How professional! So my original, immature, kama sutra email address receives coupons, Living Social deals, Victoria’s Secret sales, travel site deals, etc. My big-girl email address receives everything relating to jobs, writing, and blogging. Thanks to all the lovely fellow bloggers I subscribe to, I receive about 80+ emails a day. Holy crap! Then, when I skip Sundays, I end up with about 200 emails by Monday morning. Here’s where my griping begins…

I should be able to simply go through my emails, one by one, and decide if I want to read more, delete it, or save it. This should be a continuous, pain-free process until my inbox says there are no more unread emails. But Yahoo apparently hates me and everything I stand for as a person. After checking half a dozen emails, it freezes. Not my computer. Not the entire Yahoo site. Just the email page. What happens is this: I decide I don’t want a particular email, I click Delete, and the email stays on the page, mocking my frustration, whispering to the Delete Button, and having a giggle at my expense. When this happens, the email counter to the left that displays how many emails remain, decreases by one! Its on MY side! Its got MY back! So I click on my friend, the email counter, to bring me to the full list of emails that remain in my inbox. And guess what? The email I just deleted is gone. Phew! So I click on the next email to be read. You know what pops up? THE EMAIL I DELETED!!! NO!More snickering and giggling occur. The emails and the Delete Button are having a field day and I am pulling my hair out one strand at a time while cursing under my breath. So I close the web browser. I reopen the web browser. I return to Yahoo. “Hi AVA” it says. Don’t “Hi AVA” me! I go to my inbox and everything works as it should and all is back to normal…Until about 7 emails later when this entire process repeats itself. So when you see a notification that says I “Liked” or “Commented” on one of your posts from last Tuesday, I wasn’t walking down memory lane; Yahoo was just being a gigantic JERK! (But not the email counter, he’s my friend, but he gets bullied by the emails and the Delete Button. Apparently, I need more powerful Yahoo friends. No offense, email counter.)


By the way, my Twitter account is STILL suspended, so “Like” me on Facebook. If you don’t, my feelings will get hurt. I’m sensitive like that. : )

Social NOT-Working! Twitter is ticking me OFF!

In January, I decided to finish my novel this year. I did all sorts of research on self publishing and learned that it was good to “build your brand” while you’re writing to ensure that there will be a group of people out there that will actually give a carnation about your book. That spawned the birth of this blog, which I consider to be mildly successful (I said “mildly,” not “wildly” because I do not suffer from delusions of grandeur). I told myself that if the blog ever got to something like 1000 hits and 50 followers -in a reasonable amount of time, not 17 months- I would go ahead and dare to create a separate Facebook page and a Twitter account. A few weeks ago I hit those magical goal numbers and had to put up or shut up: my brand apparently needed building.

Unfortunately, the Facebook “Likes” have been slow going (feel free to help with that, click the damn button!), but Twitter was really picking up. I had 50 followers in like a week. And quality followers too, like fellow bloggers, aspiring and accomplished writers, and publishing houses. I did have to block a few of those pesky porn site people with the fake profile pictures they stole from a Vogue magazine, but still I was content. Then my account was suspended a few days after I set up my account for suspected spam activity. Umm, ok. However, I was able to quickly rectify the situation by logging in on the laptop and entering one of those squiggly security words you have to decipher in order to buy concert tickets and then the concert ends up being sold out because you thought it said Phayle when it actually said Phayie, because duh, everyone knows you spell the made-up word of Phayie with an I

Anyway, I digress. So, I was able to get into my account. No problem. Then I was locked out again today. This time, when I logged into my laptop, there was no squiggly word and I was advised to appeal my suspension. WTF?! I emailed Twitter Support and received a reply that I was charged with possible “agressive manual following” which again falls under their No Spamming policy. Umm, at last count I had 70 followers and was following about 65 people. Sooo…I’m basically following the people that follow me or vice versa. I mean, once I received an Email from Writer’s Digest that suggested I follow five of their staff members and another time one of the authors I follow suggested I follow 6 other aspiring authors, but I look at neither of those instances at “aggressive.” So:

Dear Twitter Support,

Have you seen the Kony 2012 video? THAT’S an “aggressive” situation that needs to be stopped. Not my moderately enthusiastic Twitter following.