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Have Your Voice Heard Through Writing

I went to Borders the other day and the truth sunk in — Thousands upon thousands of books stacked up. How will mine ever get found? When I finish it, find an agent, and publish it, of course.

One word: Networking.

I had the misconception that writing was a solo career. On the contrary, the more people you interact with, the more chances you have at success. People, like me, constantly compare each other with renowned authors, and try hard to discover their formula. The truth is, there is none.

Sure, there are tons of resourceful books, and websites on how to become a polished writer, but no one will guarantee your success. You have to guarantee your own success, and even if you fail numerous times, never give up. How bad do you want it?

I used to have a social media phobia. When I saw the movie Wall-e, I thought “Great. This is the future of humanity. A lot of sickly, detached beings.” After countless hours of researching on how to become a published author, reading blogs written by literary agents, purchasing books on how to hone the craft of writing, and many other things, most people agreed on the premise that every writer needs to build their readership. “Oh, but J.K. Rowling didn’t do that.” “What about Stephenie Meyer?” Quoting the words of the awesome Chuck Sambuchino, quoting the coolest guy on Earth, Greg Behrendt: “You are the rule. Not the exception.”

I decided to put myself out there. I have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Brazen Careerist, a Nerdfighters account, really silly videos on Youtube, an Inkpop account, an Authonomy account… wow, I did over come my social media phobia pretty quickly.

My point is, if you want to be a published author, or simply a writer, you will always need a readership. As a reader, I love interacting with authors, and reading their latest comments/posts. It is even better if they answer their e-mails/comments, and show some love. Everyone wants to feel important. People are the ones who make or break you in the end. They decide to give you a chance or not. In a world now linked through all sorts of media, as a writer, I discovered that squeezing myself through every corner, eventually pays off.

[UPDATE: Social networking does not exclude great writing. You can have all the followers in the world, and if you don’t hone your craft… (insert ending here)

Inspired Christmas Lights

The moment you decide to try the easiest way to decorate your home/garden this Christmas- using laser lights- is the first step in getting a big weight out of your shoulder. No more long cords tangling, no more plans about how to mix your Christmas lights, no more struggle to display all your lights- in a nice way, to say the least!

as the market already learned the customers are interested in using the laser Christmas lights, nowadays you find plenty of options and combinations, for a great range of prices. This takes you to the next step: choosing your Christmas laser lights.

Are all laser Christmas lights the same?

The obvious answer is a definite “NO” and this is a great thing, as it gives you the chance to find the combination that fits your needs and likings the best.

There are some features, tips to look for when you go shopping for laser Christmas lights.

For instance, good laser Christmas lights come with remote controls that offer all sorts of features and may be operated from over 50 feet away.  The remote controller lets you select the colors, use the strobe mode (have the colors flash on and off), turn on/off the lights from a distance or set a specific display. And, let’s not forget the interval time, which helps you set the laser to turn on/off at a specific pre-set hour interval.

Some lights feature even smart electronic thermostats in order to expand their life span.

If you are the type that likes variety and getting creative a lot, choosing some versatile laser Christmas lights that combine at least two or three colors is the best option.

Try also to look for the laser lights that have an entire metal construction and no plastic parts. This makes the lights not only safer, but also longer lasting and you won’t have to buy another lights any time soon.

Another thing you should always pay attention to is the safety on your laser Christmas lights. They should be safe to use around children, no matter the complexity of the display. The internal laser diodes have a safe operating temperature that prevents laser diode failure. And, the laser lights should work in environments with low temperatures (-4 F degrees, let’ say).

Try to get an eye for the replicas and look-a-like versions of the good laser Christmas lights. The real thing should have also good power adapters that means safer use for the laser lights. We’re not trying to be skeptical, but it’s wiser to stay away from lights made in…well, we all know who are we thinking about!

Before installing your new laser Christmas lights, you should check if they fit the standard wall outlet timer (typically they all do) and never connect it to a dimmer lighting switch.

If you are always dreaming at a “white Christmas”, keep in mind you need to pay the extra buck. The white laser lights are a bit more expensive as they need three separate lasers to combine at a specific frequency and project together through the same outlet. If you want to go for the brightest, keep in mind that nothing beats green.

Good laser Christmas lights feature a movement option nowadays and you can choose from Slow/fast or static display. The remote controller is there to help you do that.

As customers ask more from the manufacturers, the laser Christmas lights are not only for Christmas anymore and they may work also on Valentine’s Day or Fourth of July. Even though you might be paying more, it’s a better investment.

Coming to the final tips

Even if you are every fond of your classical Christmas lights, it’s better not to use them together with the laser ones. Any other type of ambient lighting lowers the power of the laser lights and you bought it for the nicer display, remember?

Last, but not least, Waterproofness is another thing to look for on your laser Christmas lights. Some are IP65 rated and 100% sealed and waterproof. This doesn’t mean you can use them under water or that the connection between the power adapter and wall outlet or extension cord are waterproof. Get a “waterproof extension cord safety case” for the safest use.

And here’s a little Coldplay song for the season 🙂

How to Move Your Cakes

First thing to do when you want to move your cake in another place is to make sure it’s constructed on a sturdy base- this means at least three thick cardboards. If you know your cake is going to be heavy, place it on a fiberboard or plywood base, ½ in thick from the very beginning.

A cake on pillars should be moved unassembled and no toppers, candles or ornaments should be placed on cake before moving it around. In case of a stacked cake, it’s better to move the whole assembled all at once.

No.1 rule

When you plan to move the cake, it’s wiser to take some of your decorating tools with you. Keep the final touches with the airbrush for cake decorating for the final destination of your cake.

If your cake combines stacked and 2-plate construction, take tiers apart and keep the stacked tiers as single parts.

The easiest way to move around your cake is boxing it. This protects the tiers and also keeps the dust, dirt and bugs away from your perfect cake. It’s better to place the boxes on carpet foam or a non-skid mat on an even surface in your car so that the cake doesn’t shift. Try to keep the box flat and never place the cake on a slanted car seat.

When the weather is cold enough, you can always transport the boxed cake in the trunk of your car.

It’s also better to give a call to find out about the place you’re taking the cake to. This gives you a hint on the setup you’ll need to do once you get to the destination. Ask also about the weather, the placing of the room (first floor is ideal!) and where is the easiest access for the room. You need to minimize as much as you can the distance to transport your cake and…don’t forget about the possible car jams!

The right fit

Use clean, sturdy, covered boxes that are sized to the base board of each cake. This helps your cake not to shift within the box nor crushing its sides. A box too big needs some roll pieces of masking tape sticky side out, attached to the inside bottom of the box. This way, the tape holds the base in place.

When a tier cannot be boxed, you can use some large pieces of non-skid foam. You simply foam on the floor of the car and place the tiers in the middle of each piece of foam.

Are we there yet?

Walk all the way down to the set-up sit from your car, without the cake. Pay attention to any bumps along the way and keep in mind any tight spaces or problems you might encounter when carrying the cake.

Check for yourself the cake table-it has to be level – and you can bring along your level to double check it.

Get some help from a cart on wheels to move the cake into the reception area. It’s safer and easier like this, for obvious reasons.

Take out the cakes from the boxes on the reception table by cutting the sides of the boxes and sliding the cakes out.

Remember to take the repair kit, the extra icing, the detailed small decorations and the airbrush for cake decorating- for safety.

Once you’re done… take a picture and enjoy the moment!

Path Plans

My eyelids are heavy. Today was a very productive day, but equally tiresome. Funny how once I decided to quit my job and pursue writing, mysterious doors (and windows) began to open. I am eager to work with several amazing new projects. Hopefully, I’ll earn enough to help my husband pay the bills, while writing my book and blog.

I’ve had incredible experiences lately. During this process of  rewriting (the dull one where I leave my manuscript hidden beneath a rock), I opened my eyes to a new world. A world where for the first time I enjoy what I do, even if my chest pushes toward my spine when I think about money.

I am on what Marcia Wieder calls a Dream Quest; doing whatever makes my heart happy, and feels right. It’s incredible how all the things I yearn for involve other people. I will never forget the movie Into the Wild, because it gave me this quote: “Happiness is only real when shared.”

I wanted to write today, even if it’s late on this side of the world. Not as a chore, but as a reminder that I let go of comfort to achieve success. Maybe I won’t live in New York City this summer as I wanted, but I am definitely onto something here. Non-conformity. Aaaahhh… Can you feel it? Priceless.

I have been pondering for some time the idea of writing a blog.
Conversations inside my head:
Voice number 1 says: “You’re a writer. You should write a blog.”
Voice number 2 says: “No! That will take too much time off your book.”
Voice number 1 says: “Yeah, but! She needs to forget about her manuscript for a while and write other things.”
Voice number 3 says: “I’m tired. Shut up!”
Then there’s a voice number 4, and many other voices inside my head yapping, and it gets way too crowded in here.
*Scratches throat*
Finally! Hooray! I did it. ‘Tis here, my beloved worldly friends, the one space on the internet that is my own thanks to godaddy.com, and my credit card.
I will write about my trajectory as a writer, wife, and other “conditions” that clearly depict me as utterly insane.
Thank you for being a part of my journey. I wish you all my best and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Inspired mornings

Good morning, everyone. I am hunched in front of my computer, and have a really intense coffee breath, making it a great moment to write. I took several pictures a little earlier, to share with you my morning routine.

First things first. These are my essential morning items:

I don’t like this type of milk so much. “I love meself som’ good ol’ fresh cow milk! Argh!” *Twitches eye* The sugar tastes delicious though. I hope it’s organic. After watching Food Inc., I ended up sucking my thumb for a week while sleeping. And the coffee, well — it is Puertorrican coffee so, who can beat that? Even the Vatican chooses our scrumptious coffee, which I am totally aware that it is very bad rep at the present time. These three ingredients combined at a ridiculously high temperature create *fanfare* :

My perfect cup of coffee.

I also tried photographing my cats, whose cute whiskers and annoying scratch habits inspired one of the characters of my upcoming novel.
These are the pictures that came out:

Yes, my cats are deranged. This one insisted I cook her for dinner, since I’m not receiving any income right now, she fears for my health. Don’t worry PETA affiliates, I assured her we’re doing O.K., and she decided to live a long healthy life.

The following pictures are not a product of Photoshop. This is my backyard, and my beautiful Puertorrican sky.

I love mornings. Every day I wake up like a zombie, feed the cats, or brush my teeth and go to the bathroom (whichever I feel like doing first, depending if they are making crazy hunger noises). I brew fresh coffee, sit in front of the computer, and write. Occasionally, I go outside and look at the mountains in search of a little elf, or strange creature that might provide some sort of inspiration. So far, I’ve gotten a stray dog licking my fingernails, and birds chirping.  I love writing!

Do you have a sacred writing ritual, or routine?

Oh, I almost forgot. An awesome flower my aunt gave me yesterday… For you ^_^