Temper your words wisely… they can be a dangerous weapon


Most of us in the Indie writing community have heard about the recent drama on Facebook. There was an accusation made against someone, an Indie Designer, Lee Ching… that accusation (unsubstantiated as far as I know) led a group of 80+ people to attack the accused through messenger. The messages alledgedly ran the gambit from accusing her of being a theif, to encouraging her to take her own life. From what I understand, the attack was relentless, to the point that this talented individual tried to take her own life. Thankfully her cousin found her in time, and she is, I hope, recovering, which I’m sure will continue, at least emotionally, long after she is released from the hospital.
I don’t know Ms. Ching, but I do remember a time that someone, another Indie author, who is now one of my best friends, was attacked by several individuals on Goodreads. It occured because she had the audacity to express her opinion. I know about this first hand, becasue it occurred on my book’s review thread. A 1 star review was left, which isn’t the issue, the reviewer made mention of several incidents that didn’t occur in the book, which led several people to make the statement that if the reviewer couldn’t be bothered to pay attention, maybe he shouldn’t have left a review.
The bullies, under the guise they were defending the reviewer against bullies, attacked. But they didn’t attack everyone who had an opposing view to the reviewer, they only attacked my author friend, who only said she agreed with the assessment of a blogger that it appeared the reviewer hadn’t been paying attention. They targeted her.
These individuals attacked her facebook, her twitter, her blog, whatever they could find. They left vitrol everywhere, it was relentless. She’s a fighter,and fought back which only fueled their attack. I advised her to walk away. I’m not sure that was the best advice, but it was taking a toll on her well being. They eventually relented, and kudos to the reviewer, who actually asked them to stop. But God forbid, someone come back to the original thread and support this author. Like true trolls, they lurk in the shadows, waiting for an oppurtunity to strike, and they will.
They didn’t know this writer. What they felt they did know was that because of her profession, she shouldn’t have an opinion about another book. They felt that she couldn’t possibly be unbiased. They felt she shouldn’t have a voice. When I researched who they were, I discovered they felt it was their right to target Indie Authors, yes, target them. they wanted to take them down. Why? I could never figure it out. Eventually theses 3 individuals (yes, 3) moved on to bigger game. But in their wake, they left destruction and while I don’t dwell on it, I’m reminded of it everytime something happens in the wake of bullying. This incident with Ms. Ching is such an event.
There is no evidence that she stole anything. It’s my understanding that she used a stock photo, which most designers use, especially Indie. Quite often if the photo isn’t manipulated enough, some covers will look the same, it doesn’t mean anyone stole the cover of another individual, it just means the designer did what they were asked, or liked the image as it was. but let’s play Devil’s Advocate, what if she did steal it? Then you send a cease and desist letter, you report her to the publishing companies. You don’t go on the assault.
Street Teams are few and far between now because of the bullying tactics employed by more than one author out there, encouraging their “fans” to go after other authors.  And even if the authors didn’t encourage bad behavior, they did nothing to stop it.
Accusations are everywhere. I saw on the other day where one author accused another of publishing her book. It wasn’t true. The Publishing platform had made an error as both books had the same title. When the accused author contacted the platform, they agreed to fix immediately and apologized and when she explained to her accuser what happened, the accusing author would not relent, still accusing her of stealing the book.  To my knowledge, she still has yet to apologize.
I have thought long and hard about writing this post. We live in a society of innocent until proven guilty, yet many people have forgotten this. The pitchfork mentality is running rampant and Social media has led many people in the world to believe that because its the internet, it’s okay to do whatever you want. Those people think that the anonymity of being “invisible” gives you the right to say whatever you want, whenever you want… it’s not.
If someone has committed a crime, then report them to the authorities. If someone’s behavior is blantantly unacceptable, let your friends and family now, so they are aware. If someone posts something you don’t like, feel free to tell them in a “grown-up”, respectable way, then walk away. Everyone has an opinion, and chances are you aren’t going to agree with a lot of them. Freedom of speech is Freedom of speech, even when it’s hateful and ugly, but that doesn’t mean you get to attack and harrass someone because you don’t agree, or you feel they did something wrong. Again, if they did something crimnal, report them to the appropriate entity.
I have been a part of the Indie Author community for 8 years now. In that time, I have seen my fair share of ugliness, but mostly, I have seen the comraderie and beauty in our community. We need to get back to be professional adults. We are writers. We tell our stories. We are not in competition with each other, even though some will say we are, but we aren’t. We all have our own style. That goes for all the other professions in this community as well. Editors, Proofreaders, Marketers, Bloggers, Swag and Cover Designers. We are a family, and while we fight, and disagree, there should always be respect, admiration and love for one another.
From this day forward, temper your words wisely. Don’t fly off the handle, and say something that you might regret. Stop making assumtions about things until you have the facts… the facts, not someone’s opinion about what may or may not have happened.
And remember, words are powerful weapons, and as easliy as they can build you up, they can tear you down. They can rip out your heart, and crush your soul.
Use them wisely.
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Product Photography on Etsy


Really great way to take photos for items 🙂 – I’m reposting as I also have an Etsy shop, and taking pics is always a challenge 🙂

Through The Looking Glass

I started off taking photos on a sheet in bright sunlight when I started on Etsy and was quickly told that they weren’t very good. Then I moved to taking photos on a mannequin in front of a brick wall in the shade outside my house, and while they were a lot better, I had no idea how to improve.

I didn’t (and still don’t) have a lot of money to spend on photography props and lights. I was lucky enough to meet Lyndsey James at an Etsy Team Captain Summit in Berlin. She teaches product photography with her business Photocraft and set up a free webinar that I attended and learned some tips to improve my photos.

For my inside photos for small items, I went out and bought a sheet of MDF (particle board) and got it cut into pieces that I thought would work. I’d get bigger…

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My review: The Oak S. L. Dearing


A Review of my novella The Oak: A Grown Up Fairy Tale ❤

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Oak

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2sapiOb

This is the first book by S L Dearing that I have reading what attracted me to it was the cover which is very striking and unusual.
This is a story about a woman, Keitha, who lives in a forest in France. Keith uses her skills of healing to help the local villagers and harness the power of nature. The characters are likeable except the “baddies”. There is an element of cliche in the stereotyping of good guy, bad guy but I don’t think it detracts from the story at all. It is after all “A Grown Up Fairy Tale.”

The story flows beautifully and the writing is often quite poetic. There are surprises in store in this book and I would recommend reading it.

I will certainly read more by this author.

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My Daddy – Things I remember


It’s been just over five years since my dad left us, and as Father’s Day approaches (and I am feeling the hole in my heart grow just a little) I have been thinking about the past. Those days filled with laughter and adventure, and I remember how lucky I was that for over forty years, I got to have him with me. That I got to have Michael A. Dearing as my father.

I remember him teaching us to play football, how to box. I remember 4th of July sitting on the roof and watching fireworks. I remember being tossed into the deep end of the pool, then swimming back to his arms and begging to be thrown again. And he did it again and again. Backyard Bear hunts and Big Foot Adventures in the park. Running from the Goose on the Westlake Gold Course. I hated that goose!

I remember being tickled and dog piled on. I remember watching TV, eating popcorn, stealing Cheetos from his plate, which was met with total disdain. I remember seeing him couched on the floor hugging and kissing my dog when he thought no one was watching. The Dearing Roll, weeding, BBQs in the backyard. RV shows and Greek Festivals.

I remember eating at new restaurants, driving around Ensenada, watching USC football. making new friends, taking my friends to visit every summer. I remember him walking through a room and everyone watching him. He could hold everyone’s attention and mesmerize people. I know I got my ability to tell stories from him. he was a Great storyteller.

I remember all the times he took care of me, and that one time I got to return the favor and take of him. Even when the power went out for 4 days after that huge storm in Cantu. I read to him from the Chronicles of Crime by candlelight, and we laughed (don’t judge until you’ve read it yourself – Magic!) and we would watch a few episodes of Harper’s Island on the laptop.  And he got better for a little while. But you can only hold off the inevitable for so long.

And that beautiful soul left us a year later. Your exit was peaceful and everything we hope for it to be. But you’re gone and we are left with a piece of us missing. That’s was true love does. It takes a piece of you with it when it leaves.

Life is short. Don’t waste it. Tell the people you love, how much you love them. Don’t hesitate to share stories, and see your family and friends. Tomorrow is never promised. And for those of you who still have your daddies, please hug them, and tell them you love them, and laugh and make memories, so that you can remember all the glorious days you’ve spent together.

Bloodlines for free!


ilovebooksandstuffblog

BLOODLINES

Bloodlines Final eBook_webSynopsis: When Sascha and Eduard Engle flee Nazi occupied Germany and arrive at a small cottage deep in the woods of France, they have no idea what is in store for them or who the kindly old man is who is taking care of them. But on a cold winter the night, they will learn everything they have been yearning to know about their… Bloodlines.

This is a paranormal short story. It was originally published in the anthology, Paranormal Anthology with a Twist. There have been small changes to the story since its original publication.

 

Bloodlines Free

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bloodlines-S-L-Dearing-ebook/dp/B00U68QAZ0/
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloodlines-S-L-Dearing-ebook/dp/B00U68QAZ0/
Amazon.de: http://www.amazon.de/Bloodlines-S-L-Dearing-ebook/dp/B00U68QAZ0/
Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Bloodlines-S-L-Dearing-ebook/dp/B00U68QAZ0/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bloodlines-sl-dearing/1122916995?ean=2940152712964
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/600025
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/bloodlines-57
ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1056394008
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/288673211/Bloodlines
24Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=905636
Inktera: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/a2345113-dc88-41c0-9997-0fc22c96a9ab
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25030340-bloodlines

About the Author:

5808145Shannon L. Dearing was raised in Westlake Village, California and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, then…

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On Dismissive Snobs and Whatever: Be Careful What You Write


Re-blogging this cause it’s Brilliant!!

The Indie world is all abuzz it seems, and because of a poorly thought out article posted by an author I’ve never heard of in the Guardian. I’ll link to the article, because why not, right? She has…

Source: On Dismissive Snobs and Whatever: Be Careful What You Write

Things I Don’t Owe my Indie Friends.


Great post about being patient… yes fellow authors, this means you!!

Organizing Chaos And Other Misadventures

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I love art.

Especially, I love indie art. I love the spirit behind it, and I love the sassiness of artists breaking off the mainstream, staying true to their visions.

I beta read for friends of mine when I’m able.

I buy indie books, and I’ll be straight with you, I do not have a lot of money. If I get money at Christmas, or for my birthday, I spend it supporting my friends who are indie authors.

I take pictures of their books and post them everywhere, on all my social media.

I add their books to my indie book Pinterest boards.

I shout about them on Twitter.

I review their work on various sites and share the reviews.

I don’t have to do these things, and I know. I know. You didn’t ask me to do it in the first place.

And truly, I expect nothing in return…

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