Christina Cole Romance

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Tweet, Tweet

Are you on Twitter? I am, although I don’t actively keep up with tweets going by. I don’t see how anyone could. All the same, it’s almost a matter of pride with me to say that I was on Twitter before most folks — my children included — had even heard of it.

Yes, I post regularly to Twitter, but only because my account is connected to my Facebook page. Anything I post on my Facebook timeline goes out into the twitter-sphere as well. I’m also “following” a lot of folks on Twitter, but seriously, folks, who’s got time to sit and read hundreds of messages as they scroll by?

All the same, I must confess I’ve had a lot of fun on Twitter. I remember the “duck” game. Oh, how I laughed. It’s the simple game of taking a famous quote and replacing a word with “duck”.  Imagine, for example, Teddy Roosevelt proclaiming, “Walk softly, and carry a big duck.” Or, for laughs, former president Bill Clinton informing the world that he did not “have sex with that duck.”  I remember contributing Richard Nixon’s immortal words: “I am not a duck.”

We kept the game going on Twitter for days. It was great fun.

NietoAnother Twitter-fest that kept me hanging on was the time Mexico’s presidential hopeful — and now president — Enrique Pena Nieto — fumbled on a television program when asked to name a few of the books that had influenced him in his life. He couldn’t think of any other than the Bible, and he managed to confuse a few authors’ names.

But that was only the beginning of his problems.

His teen daughter Paulina turned to her Twitter account and using very offensive slang terms and racial slurs, attempted to defend her father. Her tweet went viral then spun off into thousands of hilarious tweets, such as the game of “Books Pena Nieto Should Read.” My favorite? “How to ruin your father in 140 characters or less.”

The daughter’s boyfriend also jumped into the fray, Paulina made her apologies, and her Twitter account quickly disappeared. You can read about it here.

LA Times – Reporting from Mexico City.

And then, of course, there’s Alec Baldwin. I stopped “following” him long ago after yet another of his Twitter rants. He’s still at it, I see.

Alec Baldwin Arrested In New York – Turns to Twitter

So, why am I posting about Twitter? It’s because of today’s question in my little Q & A a Day” book.

In 140 characters, or fewer, summarize your day.

Yes, technology today is everywhere, and the Internet Culture now influences virtually (no pun intended) all we do.

My day is just beginning, but I suppose I could tweet my plans…in fact, I just did. If you follow me, you’ll find my little post:

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Thanks for visiting today.

Follow me on Twitter @KCChristinaCole

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“The Entirety of Information Known to Man”

What a marvelous age we live in! I truly am grateful that I live in this modern era where technology has brought the world literally to our fingertips. At the same time, I do have to laugh each time of think of this very true little fact that appeared in the IPhone “reddit” app and went viral:

“If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about today?”

“I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in to arguments with strangers.”

Can you relate? I can. Although I’m not inclined to argue online, I definitely enjoy looking at pictures of cats. I love cats. I like sharing pictures of cats.

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So, be forewarned. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, or if you’ve followed Christina Cole’s Love Notes — my official author page — you’re going to see pictures of cats.

For now, thought, let’s take a look at the first part of this viral response, the part that has to do with “the entirety of information known to man.” Maybe the internet doesn’t quite cover the entirety of information, but it does offer us a wealth of knowledge. Sure, there’s a wealth of useless knowledge and a lot of misinformation to go along, but that’s a small price to pay, I think, for the convenient access we have to history, science, books, movies, and a host of other helpful sites.

Today, it’s possible to learn a new language through internet sites. We can use Google Earth to travel to places we’ll never have a chance to visit. We keep in touch with family and friends by pressing a few keys on a computer, a tablet, or even a phone.

We use the internet not only for an exchange of ideas, but for goods and services, too. We buy, we sell, we trade, we give. With new “crowd-funding” applications, we can raise money for new ventures or contribute to worthy causes.

The internet’s greatest assest, perhaps, is its speed. In only a fraction of a second, I can find the score from last night’s ball game (Royals beat Angels 4-2), check the weather (45 degrees F. and cloudy), or download that new recipe I put on this week’s menu (Orange Salsa Chicken).

As a writer, I find the availablity of research material a welcome alternative to trips to our local library. I still use the library, but I use it more efficiently now than in the past. I can find books online, request them, and pick them up at the library. I can read on a wide range of topics before I visit the library, then focus my research on specific questions. I can also read reviews of new history books before I check them out. It helps me choose the ones that I’ll most likely find interesting and helpful.

Of course, we also play games through the internet. We watch movies, read books, listen to music, and…well, yes, there are other forms of “internet entertainment” that people do enjoy. I won’t go there. Use your imagination, all right?

And there are dating sites, too. For all sorts of folks looking for all sorts of relationships. I don’t go there either — I’m very happily married to the love of my life — but I know quite a few people who have found their own “special someone” through today’s technology.

How do you use the internet? What are your favorite online pastimes? Are you totally “hooked-up” and “turned-on” or do you still hold on to the vestiges of pre-internet days — landline phones, snail mail, photograph albums, CDs, newspapers, and magazines, to name a few?

Of course, we all know the best part of the internet will always be looking at cute cats. But what else do you do online? BTW, have you ordered your starter kit yet? No assembly required!

sTARTER 2

 

 

THANKS for visiting today!



DID YOU KNOW: The technical term for a “hairball” is “bezoar”. BE WATCHING FOR MORE FUN FACTS! 

 

 

 


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Original or Remix?

Yep. I’ve got the “Questions and Answers” book in my hand. I’m sitting here, blinking, thinking, and trying to come up with an answer for today.

Are you the original or the remix?

Why?

First, let’s start by admitting one simple fact. I’m old. Although I try to keep up with today’s technology and jargon, so many concepts and ideas and new words are being flung around each day that I don’t think anyone can keep up.

For what it’s worth, I was “tweeting” long before most of my friends even knew what “Twitter” was, and I was playing around online and “surfing the internet” before my children were. But while I might have had a bit of a head start on the computer age, the world has caught up, gone around, and left me in the dust.

My point? Uh…what, exactly is a remix?

I “googled” that question, and I was pleased to see that I’m not the only one who’s asked.

What is a remix, exactly?

Video artist, Elisa Kreisinger — please, take a moment to check out her blog — explains it as follows:

IMO, A remix is made when separate media elements are joined to form a new, different piece of media with an entirely different meaning than the original. 

She has much more to say on the topic, and it’s definitely worth reading, so again, please, take a moment to check out her blog.

Of course, what would the internet and our modern world be without Wikipedia? Never mind. That was a rhetorical question. You don’t have to answer. FWIW, I checked the Wikipedia definition of “remix”, too.

A remix is a piece of media which has been altered from its original state by adding, removing, and/or changing pieces of the item. A song, piece of artwork, book, video, or photograph can all be remixes. The only characteristic of a remix is that it appropriates and changes other materials to create something new.

From Wikipedia – Remix

So, what about ME? Am I the original, or am I a remix? After reading the Wikipedia definition, I might be inclined to say I’m a remix, at least in part. I’ve certainly been altered from my original state. I’ve had eyeglasses added to correct my vision, my appendix is gone, and I’ve changed my haircolor a time or two. Yet, reading on, I don’t think I can say that I’ve appropriated anything, nor have I created anything new. As I said before, yes, I’m old.

And, when it comes down to it, I’m still the same old ME I’ve always been. Somehow, it seems that no matter how much I change, I still remain who I’ve always been. I still have the same likes and dislikes I’ve had since I was a child. I wrote my first story at age four, and all these years later, I’m still writing stories. I still enjoy music and dancing. I have fun with crayons and finger-painting. I dabble in photography and sleep with stuffed puppies on the bed. Yeah, I’m still the same, just older, and maybe wiser.

I haven’t changed so much as I’ve grown.

Where my knowledge of classical music was once limited to Peter and the Wolf, The Barber of Seville, and Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, today I enjoy the works of composers from medieval times through the modern era.

the-child-s-bath-2Once upon a time, I knew little more about famous artworks than La Gioconda and Mary Cassat’s work, The Child’s Bath.  When I was about three or four, I had a puzzle of that painting. I loved taking it apart and putting it together every night.

That’s another thing that hasn’t changed. I still love working puzzles. I still love board games. I still have fun taking walks in the park, picking up pretty rocks, and I’ll never outgrow my love of cats, dogs, and horses.

So, yes, I’m an old “original” — and the best part of that is in the fact that being an “original” means more than being old. It means being unique, being different. It means being ME.



Are YOU the original or the remix?

Why?




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Buzzwords?

It’s been several days since I’ve picked up my “Questions and Answers” book. I’m enjoying a quiet Saturday morning here, just finished a quick breakfast, and I’m about ready to switch gears in my brain from “play” to “let’s get to work” mode. A perfect time, I thought, to open the book, ponder a question — philosophical or otherwise — and then settle down to a bit of writing.

Today’s question took me aback.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT BUZZWORD?

I have to be honest here. I’m not even sure exactly what a “buzzword” is. Of course, I do understand that buzzwords are things people talk about, or to use more modern jargon, a “buzzword” is “what’s trending”.

But…should I care? Who determines the current buzzwords? Must I keep up with all the trends, follow along, and allow others to direct my thinking? Although there’s something to be said for “keeping up”, I’m not so sure I want to follow the crowd and pay homage to the buzzwords of the day.

I just clicked a tab and switched my view over to my Twitter account — and all right, I’ll throw in a shameless plug here. Please, if you enjoy my writing or like my outlook on life, follow me @kcchristinacole.

What’s trending?

  • London
  • Walmart
  • Ruinamoviewithpoop

Ruin a movie…with…poop?  Yes. I just clicked on the hashtag, found some truly creative movie titles, and sure, I had a laugh. Twitter can be fun at times. Years ago, we kept the laughs going for days with the game of changing a famous quote with “duck”.

“Ducks? We don’t need no stinkin’ ducks.”

“I did not have ducks with that woman.”

“Speak softly and carry a big duck.”

You get the idea. It was quacking good fun if I do say so myself, and yes, I’ll apologize for the bad pun.

But poop? Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m just too old-fashioned for some of these modern-day amusements. Potty humor does seem to be popular. I hear it often on Right Between the Ears and in many other places. When I play The Sims 4, my sims — if in a bad mood — can actually take “an angry poop”. It doesn’t mean anything. So far as anyone can tell, it’s no different from…

Never mind.

But wait! There’s more to buzzwords than trending topics. Buzzwords are also words that we use a lot, words that pop up into our language, hang around for a while, and then fade into oblivion…or at least onto the pages of some website or dictionary.

There’s even a website designed to help people like me keep up with buzzwords. The most recent entry is for “TEXT NECK”.  It’s defined as “damage to the neck muscles and spine caused by frequently bending over a smartphone, tablet, or other device for long periods of time.”

So, now we know. Well, you probably already knew that one. It’s the first time I’ve heard it.

Facebook, of course, has its own listing of trending topics. Today’s popular items include “Love Your Pet Day” — poop and all — as well as Little Caesar’s Pizza. In a writer’s group discussion recently, we were advised to make note of trends and look for creative ways to tie-in our books. When it works, it works well. For me, it doesn’t work often. Since I write historical romances set in the old west, pizza parlors and pet days are out.  Thankfully, none of my characters suffer from text neck, and nobody really gives a crap about their poop. If they did, they’d be reading somebody else’s stories, not mine.

For a little fun with buzzwords, I did come across a Buzzword Game you can share with your kids, and for even more fun, try out the Buzzword Generator.

I couldn’t resist.

My buzzword/catchphrase for today is:

REALIGNED EXECUTIVE KNOWLEDGE USER.

Yeah. That’s me. I’ve realigned my thinking, am prepared to take executive action, and will put my knowledge to good use. Sounds like a plan!

Of course, just for the fun of it, I fed those words into a Google Image search box. Curious? Well, here’s one of the many images that came up. It seems to accurately capture my feelings when I contemplate all the buzzwords of the day.

dazedandconfused1

Happy Saturday!



Thanks for visiting today. I hope you’ve had a little fun here, and maybe a laugh or two.


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You Like Me!

When Sally Fields won the Oscar in 1984 for Places of the Heart,  her acceptance speech showed her gratitude and surprise.

“You like me…you really like me.”

At least, that’s how most of us remember it. According to Wikiquote, the words were a little different, but their meaning was the same. Wikiquote also reminds us of Sean Penn’s acceptance speech for Dead Man Walking.

“You tolerate me…you really tolerate me.”

Of course, life isn’t really a popularity contest, most of us will never be nominated for any Academy Awards, and if we’re “friends” on Facebook,  you probably already know where I’m going with this.

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Yes, sometime last night my official Facebook author page, Christina Cole’s Love Notes, gained its 1,000th fan. It is a much-anticipated milestone, and I’m thrilled to have reached it at last.

Thank you, readers, friends, fellow authors, and fans of all genres of romance for making this happen.

You’ve made my day, have put a bright smile upon my face, and as promised, I want to do something to show my gratitude.

I’m going to keep it simple. As an author published by a small press, I’m not rich and famous. I can’t afford to give away thousands of dollars in gifts and prizes. What I can offer is what I hope you like best.

Books. Romance Novels. Stories of life and love in days gone by. I’ll give away three complete sets of titles from “The Sunset Series” — ebook format, Kindle, Nook, or PDF files. And I’ll add in one $50.00 Amazon Gift Card for one lucky reader.

Three winners will receive the following ebooks:

Good Collage

Note: If you already have one or more of these titles, I will “gift” you an ebook of your choice from another western romance author or you may elect to receive a $5.00 Amazon gift card in place of a book from the series.

This giveaway starts NOW and will run through the end of the month. It’s set up as a “Twitter” campaign to help spread the word about The Sunset Series. Tweet once, tweet twice, tweet three times — every day. You can also enter by following me @KCChristinacole, and by leaving a comment on this post.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER CHRISTINA’S 1,000 LIKES GIVEAWAY

Thank you for sharing in my excitement. Good luck!


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Happy New Year 2015 – What’s Your Mission?

It’s been forever since I’ve posted any updates to my site. I’m so sorry for falling so far behind. Life’s been busy, and although I don’t expect things to slow down too much in coming months, I do hope to arrange things so that I have a little more time to spend online. I want to keep up with my friends, enjoy social media, and share news and information about the stories I’m writing.

I recently picked up a copy of a fun little book. It’s called “Q & A – A Five-Year Journal”.

Each day it asks a short question and provides a bit of space to record an answer. I’ve browsed through the book and have, in fact, answered a few questions, but with so much going on lately, keeping a daily journal — even with short entries — proved to be a challenge. I decided to set it aside until…yep, you guessed it.

New Year’s Day 2015

Hey, that’s today! So, yes, eager to begin, I opened the book and here’s the question I found:

What is your mission?

A short little question, and in many respects, a simple one with a simple answer.  My mission? To write. To share my stories with readers. To share, too, my beliefs about the incredible power of love.

Yet the answer didn’t satisfy me. It’s not that I don’t love writing. I do. It’s just that maybe the answer was too simple, too predictable. Coming up with the best answer required a little thought.

Yes, I plan to do a lot of writing in 2015, and I hope to reach more readers in the coming year. For me, though, the real mission is to do what I love in ways that bring joy and happiness into my life.  I intend to fully enjoy the experience.

In today’s world, writers not only have more opportunities through self-publishing and promotional venues, but also far more pressures and responsibilities than ever before. Thousands of authors are vying for readers, clamoring for attention, and spending every possible moment hawking their books, online and off. There’s a lot of noise out there, folks. Sometimes it’s hard to even hear myself think.

I don’t want to get caught up in it. I don’t want to fill my Facebook pages or Twitter feed with frantic pleas to buy, buy, buy. I want to talk about my stories, yes. I want to share excerpts, talk about themes in writing, and exchange thoughts with readers about love and romance, home and family, and all the things that give true meaning to our lives.

But I don’t want to cram my books down anyone’s throat. If I have to beg you to buy my books…well, something isn’t right.

I want readers to buy my books because they share my beliefs about the power of love, because they like the sort of old-fashioned stories I tell, and because they enjoy the characters I create and the settings I bring to life as I write.

My mission is to focus on bringing pleasure to my readers, to give the best of myself to each story I write, and to fully enjoy all that I do. That’s what I’ll be doing. On the other hand, I won’t be doing a lot of promotions. I won’t be running too many contests or sending out too many newsletters. I won’t be hounding readers to visit my website or badgering them to please, please, please grab a copy of my latest love story. Most of all, I won’t be stressing myself out by trying to do too many things at once. I won’t be rushing to keep up with appointments, interviews, advertising deadlines, and emails. I probably won’t sell a lot of books, but I’ll still enjoy telling my stories.

2015 1

 

Here’s wishing YOU the best in 2015.



 

What’s YOUR Mission?