Tuesday, October 27, 2009

For Those Who Could Not Stand In Line For 5 Hours (H1N1)

Swine Flu - Good Advice/H1N1 Preventive Methods

The following advice, given by Dr. Oz, makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know:

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat or bathe.)

3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water, or hydrogen peroxide. Blowing the nose softly once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. *Supplement with Vitamin C tablets

6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

(Copied from an email with encouragement to share)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Google Good, HPQ... not so much

"The good news is, I'm writing you a ticket," the Hewlett Packard Technical Specialist told me last night, at the conclusion of my fourth marathon, multi-hour session in just over a month.

I bought a new Pavilion Elite on September 16th 2009, and I've had nothing but trouble with it. Two technicians have remotely taken control of it, (which is rather impressive) and pronounced it fine. But it wasn't.

Last night, another technician talked me through disassembling a tower computer to get to the motherboard. Apparently, it is routine for little old ladies like myself to have to get out the screwdriver, roll up their sleeves, take off the backs and the sides (actually, I believe it was the front, and the left side), unplug multiple plugs inside the box, remove a "cage", remove RAM, reattach plugs and wires that remind one of a bomb disposal movie, and put it all back together.

There's not a lot of room inside the box for a fist, even a feminine one, and there are some sharp bits of metal inside. I do not recommend anyone messes with this stuff, and be sure to wait for the green light at the back of your tower to go out... it takes a surprising amount of time after the pc has been unplugged from its surge protector.

It seems, the Pavilion Elite was shipped to me with a bad motherboard, which has just gotten worse within a month. It lasted long enough that they won't give me my money back, but they will let me ship it back to them for repair for a couple of weeks. I wonder why they don't simply ship me a new one?

Ah, well. I do still have my MAC.

In fairness, I do have a Hewlett Packard notebook, and it is an excellent machine which I enjoy very much when I travel. Also, apparently, if I'd purchased an extended warranty on the Pavilion (and they tried to sell me a warranty while informing me that I'd been shipped a lemon!) they would have sent a technician to my home.... (also pretty impressive) but not on the factory warranty within a month of the initial purchase from the HP website.

So, that's the bad news. The good news is that I have Google Earth 5 for Mac on my Mac. (Where else?)

When I wrote my first draft of Forced Mate, a local researcher in Great Britain told me that the most plausible place for a spaceship (a smallish shuttle) to land in the UK would be on Salisbury Ridge, close to Salisbury Plain (and Stonehenge). I've lost touch with that researcher, unfortunately, and I didn't have Google Earth in 1993.

So, now I'm on my own, trying to find Salisbury Ridge. I took a spin on Google Earth, and I recommend that you do, too. My first destination was Ridge, Chilmark, which does look possible for hiding and losing a star fighter, but is a bit far from Stonehenge. I can zoom and bank to view the terrain with a hawk's eye view or with the perspective of a galloping sauropod... one with poor eyesight.

Seriously, I can see hills, trees, fields, crop circles, overgrown gun emplacements, drone launch pads (circular). If I wish to, I can see churches, pharmacies, ATMs, Holiday Inns, roads, fire hydrants... and more. I can also view photographs taken by tourists.

While virtually scouring the surroundings, looking for places to hide a star-fighter, and enjoying images of stormclouds over Stonehenge --and very useful photos of forks in minor British roads-- I found a fitting backstory for my latest hero. Now to check it out.

There's a Google Earth Community with forums and chats and groups, not to mention a Search function that is everything you'd expect from Google. It's possible to meet a potential source in whatever part of the world interests you. This is too cool!

Google Earth doesn't stop there. You can look at Mars. It's a separate download. I haven't done that. I doubt I'd find men there, anyway. You can look at the stars, which is a great way to finally get a handle on astronomy and the placement and shapes of the constellations. Finally, there's the Moon and it has flags and icons denoting info dumps, and all sorts of good and useful stuff on its surface.

Enjoy it. And buy Apple.

Rowena Cherry
Space Snark TM

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Do not open mail from rowenacherry.com


I've been spam bombed.

Do not open any mail from rowena@rowenacherry.com
It might be a viagra pitch, or it might be a really bad virus.

Spam bombing is when some hacker decides to spoof my account and he sends out millions of spam emails every second to every email address in the internet dictionary.

It can happen to anyone with a public domain name, and there is nothing that can be done about it.

Please pass the word.

Best wishes,
Rowen Cherry

Le Mot Juste / The Right Word)

Earlier this week, Brenna Lyons discussed lamentable editing in her brennalyonsden blog.


Sometimes, repetition of a word is vital to the elegance of a sentence and the development of a thought. Repetition is a crucial component of oratory, whether it is a pattern of "Like.... like.... unlike" (Brenna's example) or "a gentleman of extraordinarily propriety.... a gentleman of extraordinary impropriety" which I misquoted from a Georgette Heyer novel.

When a misguided copy-editor gets hold of your carefully crafted words after you've signed off on the edits and makes a change behind your back, there is nothing you can do about it. Thus, in my e-book Mating Net "her Concubinage class" became "her concubine class", and my made-up, alien, scholastic discipline became a nonsense (at least, in my opinion).

If you are writing alien romance, or even a romance set in the future, you will probably need an occasional made-up word. And, if your editor substitutes a modern day synonym, I encourage you to be ready to justify and defend your original word or wording. You might win it back.

I've worked with four editors, and they have all been reasonable when I've presented a convincing case for --for example-- the arrogant alien Tarrant-Arragon to say "unsense" although we would exclaim "nonsense!" As demonstrated with Concubinage, not every won battle remains won.

The right word is worth fighting for.

But... how do you know what is the right phrase, or sentence? Is it a bit of a toss up for you, before you decide? Or does the right expression leap fully formed and perfect from your head, like Athena out of Zeus?

"Devil!" She gasped. "What do you want?"

Forget whether it should be "She" or "she", and whether it is possible to say "Devil" while gasping, and whether a spirited heroine would gasp after recognizing a devil.

What about "What do you want?"?

(Punctuating that quoted question within a question is another can of worms, I think!)

As Jacqueline Lichtenberg pointed out in a recent blog, dialogue in fiction is not real life dialogue.

Assuming that the Devil "wants" the heroine, "what do you want?" might be the best question. If your editor substituted "What are you doing here?" (unlikely... more wordy) or "Why are you here?" would you care? Would you fight for it?

Does "Why?" always trump "What?" in character-driven Romance?

Introducing "here" into the question subtly changes it. Now, the heroine's focus is on their location. Also the Devil cannot respond as succinctly. He can't answer, "Sex" or "You."

Even the most laconic of devils would have to turn the "What....here?" question back, and say, "I've come for you," or "Abducting you." Moreover, if he clearly states his intentions, that's like seeing Jaws before the first swimmer is eaten.

"How did you get here?" isn't dramatic enough to consider, even if he did just emerge from a hole in her bathroom floor, unless it's a story about logistics, and ductwork and plumbing... a futuristic Mission Impossible. It isn't.

On the other hand, "What do you want?" is a bit rude... abrupt, familiar. That might be fine if the heroine has met this Devil before. However, "What do you want?" could be said in at least three different ways, depending where the heroine puts the emphasis.

Do we explain this? Do we use italics?

Maybe I should look for a better greeting. "What are you going to do to me?" I think not. A devil might be tempted to answer with concise, shocking vulgarity. I don't believe that such crudity should appear in the second sentence on the first page of a romance novel.

It's not the best hook. It's certainly not a "stopper". For the time being, my Prologue has to start somewhere. I can edit later. Maybe, before the heroine speaks, she glimpses fingers thrusting up through her carpeted floor. Or through a grating in the floor. Or both.

All the best,
Rowena Cherry

By the way, in a previous post, I discussed "stoppers".

Some examples of stopper:

“I don’t know how other guys feel about their wives leaving them but I helped mine pack.”

“I’ve been sleeping with your husband for the last two years."

“When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man.”

If that's the gold standard, dross might be this year's Bulwer Lytton winners

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bill Cosby makes so much sense, I think I may write him in

This is an Opinion Piece. I am a legal ex-alien. I had to pay for my plane fare to the USA and quit my job before knowing if I'd be admitted. I had to pass an interview, pass a HIV test, pass a TB test before I was allowed into this great country.

Before I could become a citizen, I had to pass a rigorous test on the history of this great country and also show an understanding of the constitution and the three legs of government with all its checks and balances, and also of local government in my township and my state.



(1). Any use of the phrase: 'Press 1 for English'  is immediately banned.    English  is  the official language;   speak it or wait outside of our borders until you can.

(2). We will immediately go into a two year isolationist  attitude in order to straighten out the greedy big business posture in this country. America will allow NO imports,  and we'll do no exports.     We will use the '
Wal-Mart 's policy,  'If  we  ain't got it, you don't need it.' We'll make it here and sell it here!

(3). When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it coming in here.

(4). All retired military personnel will be required to man one of the many observation towers located on the southern border of the United States  (six month tour). They will be under strict orders not to fire on
 SOUTHBOUND  aliens.

(5). Social Security will immediately return to its original state. If you didn't put nuttin in, you ain't gettin nuttin out. Neither the President nor any other politician will be able to touch it.

(6). Welfare. -- Checks will be handed out on Fridays, at the end of the 40 hour school week, the successful completion of a urinalysis test for drugs, and passing grades.

(7). Professional Athletes -- Steroids?  The FIRST time you check positive you're banned from sports ... for life.

(8). Crime -- We will adopt the Turkish method,  i.e.,  the  first  time you steal,  you lose your right hand. There is no more 'life sentences'. If convicted of murder, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for the victim you killed: gun, knife, strangulation,  etc.

(9). One export of ours will be allowed: wheat; because the world needs to eat. However, a bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.

(10). All foreign aid, using American taxpayer money, will immediately cease and the saved money will help to pay off the national debt and, ultimately, lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we'll ask The American People if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision as to whether, or not, it's a worthy cause.

(11). The Pledge of Allegiance  will  be said  every  day at  school and  every  day  in  Congress.

(12). The National Anthem  will  be played at all appropriate ceremonies,  sporting events,  outings, etc.

My apology is offered if I've stepped on anyone's toes .... nevertheless....


Sincerely,  Bill Cosby  

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"The Good Guys Of Romance"

A list done in haste  With apologies... also thanks to Brenna Lyons, Marly Mathews, Lillian Cauldwell and many others.

Helpful Blogs:

Michael P Geffer

Mike's Writing Workshop group- 9055...great group for all types of writers, fiction and non-fiction...run by Mike Geffner and including big authors from both indie and NY conglomerate publishing, like Lynne Connolly and Maya Reynolds
Mike's Newsletter Blog

Maya Reynolds' blog...great industry articles...

Alien Romances

Brenna's blog

Helpful Websites



IWOFA (website)

Author Marketing Expert


EPIC-eWorkshop list- 318 members...learn about indie/e publishing and writing, in general...Karen Woods does her yearly tax class for writers on there

EPIC-eWorkshop list- 318 members...learn about indie/e publishing and writing, in general...Karen Woods does her yearly tax class for writers on there

EPIC- 714...a worldwide industry group ($30 per year dues) for e-published authors and industry professionals...while you're there, check out the e-book competition, the cover art competitions, the New Voices teen and pre-teen writing competition, the articles, and the model contract and red flags
EPIC's industry blog...complete with great articles

Broad Universe...$30 per year membership fees...for female writers of spec fic, horror, paranormal, etc.

Erotica Readers & Writers Association- mailing lists with great erotic writing and general writing/industry information...calls for submissions...a monthly newsletter posted on the site...the site alone brings in more than 83,000 unique visitors per month

Amazon Author Central...for any author with books available on Amazon

Charlee Boyett-Compo

Charlee's Writer Pages

Charlee's Links

Erotic descriptives WARNING...NUDITY... ADULT WORDS


Copyright Alliance

Letter to President Obama

Groups Mentioned:
LinkedIn.com   Authors Of Romance Helping Authors Of Romance


IWOFA- 431...mailing lists, tagging, group ads, exposure on the site, anit-piracy and industry articles

Manic Readers site...complete with a ton of exposure opportunities and author pages

e-Book Chatters group- 825 members...promo free-for-all

Authors Against Copyright Theft group- 138
Authors Against e-Book Theft group- 261
Bookworm Bags group- 54...a wonderful promo sharing group that lets you fill up those promo packs from various authors
e-Book Community group- 3643...especially good for self-published authors and publishers with e-books...great industry list
Fiction That Sells group- 1211...formerly the Chick Lit group...great all-around author group
Marketing For Romance Writers group- 706...for those who need help marketing or want to network

PN Writers group- 822...for writers of spec fic romance, of all types...good for pre-published through multi-published
pod_publishers group- 1397...great for self-published authors and publishers with POD-printed titles
Write Publish Market group- 323...good all-purpose group

Marly Mathews

Brenna Lyons
Brenna's blog
Brenna's site

Rowena Cherry

Deborah Macgillivray

Dawn Thompson

PIVTR on youtube

Karen Fox

Samplers Mentioned

Do you write with or for Children?

For my author friends....

Danielle Hampson of The Authors Show writes:

We are now booking authors for guest spots on the RADIO version of The Authors Show, for authors in the CHILDREN and CHRISTIAN genres only. We also welcome children authors (with parental permission and supervision during interview).

Interviews are conducted by telephone and broadcast respectively on TheChildrenAuthorsShow.com and TheChristianAuthorsShow.com
Interested?  please reply to this email and include:
  • Book title+ subtitle
  • Book genre& ISBN #
  • Book synopsis(100 words max.) This will appear on the show page when your inteview is featured
  • Year book published
  • Your phone #
  • Your website address - Note to publicists: this must be the author's website 
  • 3-4 preferred interview dates
  • A photo of your book cover, and (optional) your photo - headshot preferred
Reply to this email ONLY if you write in the Children or Christian genre.We will resume interviews in other genres in November.All requested information must be provided with your email.
Interviews are done at no cost to participants, with optional affordable marketing opportunities available for purchase if you wish to maximize your exposure beyond the initial broadcast. The optional program will be emailed to you with the guest selection confirmation.
Danielle Hampson
Executive Producer
With each show, a new author & a new book!

KDResources Inc, PMB196 - 8711 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, USA
My own experience with a radio interview was very good indeed. Don MacCauley was a sensational interviewer, Danielle does a splendid job on Twitter and in other places of promoting shows and guests.

Rowena Cherry