Time To Be Chic

Are you familiar with a jacques lemans watch? Uh oh, make that a Jacques Lemans watch. I'm crushing on the Jacques Lemans Ladies Watch from the Rome Collection. It's stainless steel with Swarovski Crystals set in the bezel and a beautiful brown-patterned dial. That brown watch face is the reason I like it. It's different and eye-catching. You don't see a watch like it everyday.

Times Change

You see, my daughter just bought a new watch which is pretty funny. When she was in college, she never wore a watch. In fact, she told me, with a somewhat lofty air, that watches were old school. She could always find out the time by checking her cell phone.

Then she graduated and entered the REAL world. Guess what? She discovered watches were indispensable. Now she has a wardrobe of watches so I think I need to catch up with her. What better watch to buy than one of these pieces of perfection. In fact, Jacques Lemans watches are so accurate that they're used by airlines and race tracks.

Blue Dial

I guess Blue Dial is one of those hidden Internet secrets. They're a retailer that offers free 2nd Day Shipping to the lower 48 and Free Sizing. All their Brand Names are authentic, not knockoffs. They don't sell used watches or replicas or any kind of imitation of the genuine article. They accept major credit cards and can be contacted on their website or use the toll free number on the site. Their secure website means you're safe to shop.

Takeaway Truth

A quality timepiece is essential for a woman of distinction. At least that's what I'm going to tell my husband when he asks why I bought another watch.

Positive Effect of Kindle Editions

There's been a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of offering a book free on Kindle and the other eReader devices. I accidentally proved a theory that many Kindle authors espouse: offering a book free on Kindle sells other books. I'd heard this and have read much anecdotal evidence about this positive effect, but I proved it to myself this past week.

The Fever Series

This accidental experiment started when I downloaded, for free, Karen Marie Moning's Darkfever, Book 1 of the Fever series. I was hooked from the first sentence. Feverishly, pardon that adverb, I raced through Darkfever, finishing it beyond midnight.

I could not wait for morning, and I couldn't sleep so I turned on the wireless on my Kindle and purchased Book 2 of the series, Bloodfever. I read a few pages which turned into a few chapters. Only the thought of early morning appointments forced me to turn the Kindle off and lay it on the nightstand.

The next evening, I dived into Bloodfever, finishing it in the wee hours. Did I wait for morning? No, I did not. I went to the Kindle store and purchased each book of the rest of the series: Faefever and Dreamfever. Now I've finished those, and I have to wait until January for Shadowfever if I want it on Kindle. I haven't checked yet to see when the print edition comes out.

No! All those months to wait? How can I wait when I'm in a fever pitch (pardon the allusion) to find out how the series ends?

Free Books Sell Other Books

I don't think we can make a sweeping statement that offering a free book will make readers order your other books. However, I think we can safely say that if a reader downloads the free book and loves the story, the reader will seek the other books by that author. Since I don't read much paranormal, and I certainly don't read fantasy, I'd never have pulled any of these books off the shelf. I don't even shop in those sections of the bookstore.

A free book introduced me to a wonderful series of books. From free, I sought; I bought. I don't know how I'll manage to wait an entire 6 months for the last book.

Takeaway Truth

Free is a good way to try something you'd ordinarily not select. Like me, you just may find books that are keepers and authors you will follow to other books, and you'll gladly pay the cover price.

(Parts of this were previously published on my other blog Joan Slings Words.

Jane Austen's Fight Club

I saw this yesterday and just about fell out of my chair laughing. Subsequently, I started sending it around to family and friends who are Austen fans. Then I thought, why not just put it on the blog?

Isn't that just a riot?

Takeaway Truth

Enjoy and pass it on!

Mystery eBooks Resource

Let's have a fanfare of trumpets please to celebrate the grand opening of MysterEbooks, a blog dedicated to mysteries published as e-books.

Peg Herring, author of Go Home And Die, lives in northern Michigan and has published, both traditionally and electronically, novels, short stories, plays, and articles. Mysteries compose most of her body of work and are based on her theme: Strong Women, Great Stories.

Because of her interest in e-publishing and her love of the mystery genre, Peg is one of the guiding forces behind the MysterEbooks website. Peg said: "For some time it has bothered me that there seems to be no site online where a person can read about ONLY mysteries published as e-books. With some trepidation and a lot of help, I've decided to attempt to change that."

Opens Monday

Peg, with the help of a friend who established a blog dedicated solely to e-published mysteries, plans to begin posting books on Monday, July 26. They're experimenting with the submission process so be patient if there are a few problems at first. They hope that authors will learn of the website and tell them about their books by following the template found on the new site.

Follow Instructions

Be among the first to be listed. If you have a book that's an e-published mystery, exactly follow the instructions on the site so that your book can be listed. Be warned: if you fail to follow the template, your book will not appear.

Their Criteria

In order to list books that provide a quality reading experience, they've made the difficult decision to respectfully refuse listing books that have been self-published since very few self-published books are professionally edited. Career writers like Peg just don't have the time to vet every submission for quality so, to me, it's reasonable to limit the listings to credible publisher produced e-books.

MysterEbooks describes mystery as a book where the solution of a crime must be the dominant theme. So if you'd like to submit a book for consideration, go to MysterEbooks. Study their sample submission, and use the template.

Then send the completed submission form to mysterebooks@yahoo.com. They'll let you know the date your listing will appear on MysterEbooks. Of course, they plan site promotion so readers will learn where they can go to find e-mysteries. If you like reading on electronic devices, visit them to find more about new options for e-reading.

Takeaway Truth

Reading a good mystery is like giving yourself a little vacation - complete with excitement, thrills, and chills - without leaving the comfort - and safety - of your home.

(Previously published on Joan Slings Words.)


Quote for the Week

We had a great time yesterday. Around noon, six planes flew in and landed on the airstrip behind our Hill Country home. Every time my husband and I see planes using the runway here, we get nostalgic for the good old days - before children - when we owned a plane.

The pilots all climbed out and walked across the street to the restaurant. We grabbed the camera, jumped in our golf cart, which we'd recently dubbed Little Jack, and drove around to the tie-down ramps. Wow! The planes were just gorgeous from the sleek solid red plane to the white Piper with retractable gear.

A couple of hours later, the pilots walked back, climbed in their planes and lined up to take off. The Piper with the retractable gear was like a bullet. Up, up, and away. As I watched, I thought about how much we'd loved flying.

Friedrich Oblessor, a pilot with 127 victories in World War II, said: "The fascination of flight can't be expressed with words. But it really lies beyond the capabilities of human endeavor. Once you've experienced it, you'll never be able to forget it."

Takeaway Truth

Indeed, once you've piloted your own plane, you never forget the thrill of flying.

Hill Country Heaven

Since my daughter has had several doctors' appointments since surgery, she and I have stayed close to home.

This has been a really wet summer, and we are completely tired of it. While I was doing errands today, I got caught in 3 rain showers and soaked. When I got home, I said, "Let's get out of town. "

I loaded up everything and drove up to our place in the Hill Country. What a treat to see sunny skies and feel low humidity. We haven't been here since July 4 weekend which is a really big deal in this small community.

Annual Celebration

The Freedom Festival, as I dubbed it, kicked off with a parade of golf carts. There were rides for kids, a petting zoo, craft and food booths everywhere - the cupcakes with blue frosting were fabulous - and a fly-in.

You see, this resort community has it's own airfield which is set down the hill from us so we get to see planes taking off and landing on a regular basis. Since we once owned a plane and flew, this is a delight for us.

That day, the pilots did a "bombing run" and tried to hit targets set up on the runway with bags of flour. Great fun. This picture is of a stunt plane that was particularly beautiful. It reminded me of a plane one of our friends had back when we flew.

Out Of Town

Since I finally got high speed wireless Internet connection, I'll be hanging my hat here until the next doctor's appointment requires my daughter and me to go home. Poor hubby has to go to work Monday morning though.

Takeaway Truth

The life of a writer can be really wonderful because you can work anywhere. I'll be keeping office hours on my back porch. Now that's priceless.

Foster Creative Energy

What happens if you find yourself wallowing in the creative doldrums? Suddenly, you realize it's been a year or two since you wrote anything new. Perhaps you're in between contracts. Maybe you know you need to write something different because the kinds of books you've written in the past just aren't being published any more. Unfortunately, I know a lot of authors who have found themselves in this situation in the last few years.

How do you find the creative energy to write something new - or anything for that matter - when what you're writing just isn't selling and you feel as if you've faded into the wallpaper? Here are some ideas to help you overcome the inertia of doing nothing.

Climb Out of Your Comfort Zone

1. Whatever your "home" genre, climb out of that comfort zone and read something different. You write mystery and hate romance. Read romance and be surprised by these relationship books. You may find it enriches the way you characterize and create inter-relationships. You write romance and hate sci fi? Read sci fi, the genre of ideas and possibilities created by science. It may kickstart your brain.

Every genre offers something unique. Mystery is a puzzle. Romance is relationships. Horror is good winning over evil. Science fiction is ideas. Fantasy is the "what if" of our imaginations.

2. Eschew your favorite TV programs and record a variety of different things to watch. Again, you may be surprised at the ideas that pop into your head. Try SyFy's Eureka or Warehouse 13; USA's Burn Notice or In Plain Sight; TNT's Leverage; FX's Justified; or Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva. All of these are solidly written, expertly acted, and were different when they debuted. The networks are not creating knock-offs of these which is usually the best sign of success for a TV show.

3. Listen to a different genre of music. This is usually the hardest for someone because we are all set in our ways of what we like. Every now and then though I make it a point to listen to something I'd never choose like Techno, the occasional hip hop, a bit of country. It's surprising how music affects our thoughts. I'm not much for country or hip hop or rap, but I find the Justified Theme by Gangstagrass, "Long Hard Times to Come," an oddly compelling blend of rap and bluegrass. Weird, huh?

4. Talk to a different bunch of writers than your normal support group. Maybe you'll find someone writing something that sparks a leap of imagination in you. Talk to aspiring writers, published writers, authors at book signings, and people who don't write but who read and have an opinion about books. Listen to what they all have to say and let it filter through your conscious and subconscious.

5. Start a journal if you don't already do that. Don't think about making notes for a book or anything like that. Fill it with anything that flits into your brain. If you already journal, and it's not helping, then try a photo journal. Take your camera out for a walk. Snap pictures in your neighborhood, when you go shopping, whatever strikes your fancy. Later, look at the pictures and pay attention to any thoughts that pop up.

Takeaway Truth

Creativity is a well, and an artist draws from the well and creates. The well must be refilled, but sometimes we forget that step until the well is almost dry. Take time to refill the well.

Importance of Small Goals

Have you seen that TV commercial about investing where one guy is carting around a number that represents how much he needs to save for retirement and the other guy has a sign that says a bazillion or some such fake number.

The first guy asks the second how much is a bazillion, and the second guys basically replies that he doesn't know but he figures it'll take that much. That little commercial is a great testament to the importance of setting specific goals. It's not enough to want "something." You must want something specific.

Mile Markers

Just as important as wanting something specific, i.e., a specific goal, is setting small goals along the way to the big one. I mean, if you were driving from Houston to Dallas, you don't start out by seeing a sign that says: Dallas, 300 miles, and then you drive and drive and drive until you see the Dallas city limits sign. You see signs along the way that let you know you're still on the right road to Dallas: 250 miles, Dallas, 200 miles, and so on.

Setting a big goal is the same way. After you've set the big goal, you decide on the steps from where you are to where you want to be: those markers along the way that show you're still on the right path.

Mid-Range Goals

If you want to be a doctor, then you first have to graduate from high school, go to college in pre-Med, then medical school, then internship, etc.

If you want a publishing contract with a reputable eBook seller or a traditional print publisher in New York, that's your goal. Figure out smaller goals that take you from an idea for a book to a contract, that help you feel you're accomplishing something as you work toward the goal.

The goal of publishing, broken down into smaller goals: you write the book, find an agent, submit to publishers, and get a contract I hope.

Baby Steps

Even smaller goals in between those mid-points are to plot the book, figure out the characterization, determine your commitment to the project, get started on writing and promoting in this competitive climate.

The smallest steps involve the daily work required to meet the bigger goals, and on and on up the goal ladder. Chapters are made of pages. How many pages a day are you going to write?

Follow the chain of goals. Completion of the smallest goals leads to completion of the largest. Finishing even the smallest goal gives you the satisfaction of something accomplished that day, of time well spent.

Takeaway Truth

Earl Nightingale, one of the pioneers in goal achievement, said: "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal." Progressive realization. That means doing something, no matter how small, every day.

Children Visiting

Quote for the Week
We've had company since Friday which means I've done no writing. Company which includes a toddler and two elementary school age kids means lots of fun and lots of exhaustion.

I'm reminded of what Marjorie Holmes said: "What feeling is so nice as a child's hand in yours? So small, so soft and warm, like a kitten huddling in the shelter of your clasp."

Takeaway Truth

I'm also reminded of a little sign I have that says: "Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Company has gone, and I'm exhausted. But I'm still smiling.

Deadline Dinners

I always said I was going to write a cookbook called Deadline Dinners because I do my best cooking under pressure. In fact, my daughter's best friend christened me MacGyver in the Kitchen because of my ability to take a little of this and a little of that and pull it together into a meal.

This morning on Kim Komando's newsletter I read about a website that does that for you. It's such an inspired idea that I wanted to immediately share some link love and send you to FoodPair, the site that will help you use up those odds and ends leftover at the end of a week of cooking.

You just enter your ingredients, and FoodPair will generate recipes using them. Use the filters to create the type of dish you need. Their search engine finds recipes from lots of different sites so if you don't like one, you may like the others.

Takeaway Truth

With the Internet, we can all be a little like MacGyver in the kitchen.

3 Sites To Educate Writers

Here are 3 sources of information that writers will find of vast interest.

Study of Book Buying Habits

Agent Database maintained by Poets & Writers.

Of course, Preditors & Editors, A Guide to Publishers & Writing Services for Serious Writers.

Takeaway Truth

If you want to be a writing professional, learn all you can about the writing biz.

Who Writes Short Shorts?

The 11th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition is open. Short Short says it all: brief, very short fiction that's 1,500 words or less. (Don't you love their graphic image they use to advertise this contest?)

The deadline is December 1, 2010. The Grand-Prize winner gets $3,000! Now, that's grand!

For more information and to enter online, visit Writer's Digest.

Takeaway Truth

Someone will win. Why not you?


Quote for the Week

This morning I read about the record breaking heat up north. Many may think that's commonplace in my part of Texas, but the truth is that we rarely have the triple digit heat they're experiencing. So, heat inspired today's quotations - two in fact. One is about physical heat, and one is about the heat of inspiration.

Physical Heat

From A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith by his daughter Lady Saba Holland: "Heat, ma'am! it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones."

Now, that's pretty darn hot.

Heat of Inspiration

Henry David Thoreau said: "Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience."

Takeaway Truth

In truth, both forms of heat can make one intensely uncomfortable. To ease one, seek air conditioning. To ease the other, use pen and paper or a keyboard and let the words flow.

Get Lord of Always by Cynthia Wicklund

I'm pleased to welcome newly minted author Cynthia Wicklund to the blog today. Cynthia should have her portrait next to the word persistence in the dictionary. She's been a writer for a long time, but she never has been able to find an editor who appreciates her unique stories. Until now.

Her first book Lord of Always, ISBN 9781419925504, has been published by Jasmine Jade, an imprint of Cerridwen Press. I first purchased a download copy. Today, I discovered the Kindle edition had been published so I got that too. Read the first few sentences and you'll see why I wanted it on my Kindle too.

You can find this talented and persistent author hanging out at her website or on her Author Page at Cerridwen Press. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached by email at cynthia at CynthiaWicklund dot com.

First, we'll warm up our conversational engines with a couple of fun questions.

What's your fave? Star Trek (old or new) or Star Wars (old or new) and why?

Both of the older series, but forced to choose, I’d say the old Star Trek. I have a real soft spot for the original series and Captain Kirk. I have to say, though, I loved last year’s Star Trek remake. It paid homage to the 60's series while updating it brilliantly. What fun!

If they made a movie of your book, who would be cast to portray the characters?

For the hero, James Purefoy (The Philanthropist) as the character he played in A Knight’s Tale. Aristocratic in a casual way, refined, but not stuffy. Handsome without being perfect. Yep, he’d do. As for the heroine, maybe Rachel Weisz or someone like her?

Okay, Cindy! Now let's get to the Sweet 16 Interview - that's 16 questions.

1. How long have you been writing?

Almost 19 years off and on.

2. What number book was this? 5th, 7th?

This was my 5th completed novel. I finished it in 2005 and was fortunate enough to final in RWA’s Golden Heart that year. So I felt it had potential if I could just edit it properly. The first thing I did was remove a 10 page prologue (set up) and replace it with a one paragraph intro. I began to get more interest in it after that.

3. Would you tell us something about your journey from the idea that you wanted to write a book to finally getting a contract for one?

Unlike many writers I didn’t start writing until I was an adult. It was a gradual process for me, from being mostly a dabbler, to joining writers’ organizations, to taking classes, to becoming part of a critique group and entering contests. I knew I was serious about pursuing publication when I finished my first book and submitted it to a real publishing house. When I started getting requests, that was validation enough to keep me going.

4. How did you find that title and do you have a 1 sentence blurb or log line for us?

I have this fascination with the mystical and what part the soul plays in the human it inhabits. Does it guide through intellect or emotion? Both? Who knows? I wanted to show how my hero is transformed when his soul is exchanged for another one. His memories, however, along with his understanding of who he is, are left intact. Obviously, this change creates quite a bit of chaos in his life and the lives of his wife and family.

The title was somewhat evolutionary, and to be honest I don’t remember the sequence of events that got me there. All I remember is the original title was very bland and generic, and bland can be worse than bad.

This is the blurb I use, as it’s the basic premise of the story: How does a good and honorable man atone for wicked deeds he committed when he was neither good nor honorable?

5. How many under the bed books do you have?

Everything else I’ve ever written. But I still think about those books, and, occasionally, I’ll think of ways to revive one of them. Saying that, I think it’s a mistake never to let them go. Part of being a successful writer is learning to move on to the next project.

6. What do you plan to do with them?

Nothing. I keep them to remind me of where I’ve been and where I want to go. And there’s always that vague hope that one day they’ll see the light of day. Unsold books are like your children – you love even the imperfect ones.

7. What keeps you going when you get rejected, and what's your favorite "oh crap I got a rejection" food and/or drink to soothe the savaged ego?

To answer the first part, for the first 24 hours, not much. After that, the worst of the sting eases, and I go back and look at the rejection – if I’ve received a personal note – to see if I can find anything positive to hang onto. An editor once apologized for being unable to buy my book, but she couldn’t get it past the final editorial stage. She did, however, tell me I had a great career ahead of me. That one comment kept me motivated for a very long time.

My favorite rejection food is something with hot apples and cinnamon and vanilla ice cream. Won’t fix anything but it helps. A lot.

8. Who are your writing influences?

I read a lot of Victoria Holt in the day. I think that’s where I learned to love the Gothic-style, darker, moody stories. Of course, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is top of my list in that category.

9. What are you working on now?

I have a traditional Historical (Victorian) that’s about two-thirds complete, probably most suitable for a market like Harlequin. I’m also plotting an Urban Fantasy. I know, I know, there are a lot of them out there right now. But that’s what interests me, and I have to like what I’m writing to have any hope of writing well.

10. What do you now know that you wish you'd known when you started?

The pall that trying to get published puts on the old muse. I’m not certain I’d have wanted to know that in advance, however, because I may never have written a word. And that would have been a shame because writing’s given me so much.

11. What's the best thing about writing?

The creative process. Not knowing how to put into words what you’re seeing in your head and then coming up with just the right phrase or sentence or paragraph that brings that image to life. Words can be tangible things like paint on a canvas. I love working with words.

12. What's the worst thing about writing?

The pursuit of publication. Working in a vacuum and feeling insecure. Not knowing whether you’re brilliant or deluded. Having many ideas but unable to choose a direction for fear of choosing badly because of that publication thing. That’s more than one worst, isn’t it?

13. Do you have writing goals? If so, would you share some with us?

My goals are somewhat fluid, subject to change. Probably explains why publication has been a long time coming for me. Those writers with the greatest focus, who let nothing derail them, get there the quickest. Talent is part of the equation, but talent alone won’t get you there.

14. What advice would you give someone just starting out?

Listen. Don’t take everything you hear as gospel, but be willing to learn. No matter how good you are, you don’t know it all. A little humility goes a long way. And make writer friends. They will understand and be there for you (thank you, Joan!) when no one else will.

15. Anything else you'd like to tell us?

Know your strengths and play to them regardless of what the newest trend is. I think it’s rare for writers to get published chasing the market unless they’re already established. Besides, if you’re writing something you don’t love, it’s most likely going to be obvious, and you’ve spent all that time writing the supposed next big thing and nobody wants to buy it.

16. Since this is the last question, I'll make it a two parter. First, name a book or 3 that you were forced to read in school that you think are a time waste and why. (In school because that means dead authors and we don't want to hurt feelings.) Second, name 3 books, any genre, that mean a lot to you and why.

Okay, I’m going to expose myself as one of the unwashed masses by admitting this, but I’d have to say the works of Shakespeare for books that I was forced to read. Truth is, I’m not all that intrigued by having to struggle to understand what an author is saying to me. I want to immerse myself in a story, not fight my way through it. And his works are just archaic enough to make them more work than fun. Having said that, I’m not denigrating his brilliance. Not for me in no way means not great.

Second, books that mean a lot to me. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was transformational for me as a young person. I asked a lot questions I’d never thought to ask before after reading that book. And the movie with Gregory Peck was just as exceptional.

The Warrior’s Apprentice (and subsequent Vorkosigan novels) by Lois McMaster Bujold. Ms. Bujold took a deformed little man (Miles) and gave him the mind and heart of a giant. To me that character is the poster child to the concept “bigger than life.”

The Jane Whitefield series by Thomas Perry. A strong Native American woman with a little James Bond in her. She fascinates me.

Cindy, thanks for visiting today and good luck with your book!

Okay, SlingWords readers. The rest is up to you. If you'd like to read some reviews of Lord of Always by Cynthia Wicklund, visit Single Titles and Night Owl Reviews.

Takeaway Truth

If you like a romance novel with heart and soul, Lord of Always is your kind of book. Get it today

3 Free Utilities To Clean PC

These applications are all free. I've used them all, and they are very user friendly and work great.

1. Delete With EraserDrop

Kim Komando mentioned this in her tech newsletter today so it definitely bears repeating if you haven't heard of it before. Just about everyone knows that when you delete a file by dragging it over to your Trash Bin that it really isn't deleted. It's still there on the hard drive and can be recovered. It remains on the hard drive and can be accessed until that space on the hard drive is either wiped clean or overwritten with another file.

The proper way to delete is with a software app designed to do this. Try EraserDrop which is free from PortableApps.com.

2. Clean With CCleaner

I've been using CCleaner and the other free utilities offered by Piriform for a very long time. CCleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC, and it helps protect your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more securely.

3. Recover With Recuva

Sometimes we computer users do dumb things like accidentally deleting a file. Sometimes computers crash, and we lose files. Try Piriform's Recuva to recover deleted files from a Windows computer, your Recycle Bin, your digital camera card, or MP3 player.

You usually have to create an account on these websites in order to access the free download, but these sites are reputable so they're safe.

Takeaway Truth

Free utilities that work great and are easy to use. What could be better?

Studying Trends

A lot of authors want to know what trends are affecting the public consciousness. They hope to tap in to a hot trend with a book that will create immediate interest in the buying public, whether that be a fiction or nonfiction book.

Popular "trendist" Faith Popcorn has created an entire career from pointing out trends.

An easy way to dip your toe in this murky water is to check out Google trends and/or create a search string of your own, plug it into your favorite search engine, and take note of the results.

Takeaway Truth

By the time most people recognize a trend, it's ebbing. The trick is to be aware when it's building momentum.


Science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein said: "You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once."

After having lived through Vietnam and the Gulf Wars and having traveled rather widely, I'm afraid that Heinlein is correct in his judgment.

If you live in this country, thank a vet. They've been the thin line between you and your freedom and those who would take every freedom from you.

Takeaway Truth

Happy Independence Day!

True or False: CFL Light Bulb Warning

I have no clue as to the truth of the story below. I received it in an email with a photo of a burned out CFL light bulb. It was one of those a friend of a friend of a friend said this happened.

I tried to check it out on Snopes to no avail. I plugged a keyword phrase into Google and got lots of hits and stories about similar incidents so I suspect there's some truth here. Do the same and reach some of the articles that warn of the possible dangers of these bulbs.


I hate to say it, but I hate CFL bulbs! I made a huge investment in these suckers and put them in all my lamps in the house. Darkness came, and I turned on the lamp by which I usually read. I couldn't see well enough to read with the one lamp. I could when I had an incandescent bulb in it. I ended up in turning on 3 lamps in the room and finally the overhead lights, thereby using more electricity than I would have used with the 1 lamp with an incandescent bulb.

These bulbs simply don't yield enough light to sew, read, do needlepoint, or any other activity requiring good lighting. I felt like an environmental failure, but I ended up in taking out these "green" bulbs and putting in the old light bulbs. I risk eye strain every day so I certainly don't want to add to the problem with inadequate lighting.

I've bought the highest wattage bulbs available, and they still don't give the same light as a lower-wattage incandescent bulb. Sure, I have middle aged eyes, and I'm aware that at my age, you must have significantly more light in order to see well. I'm one of millions in this age group.

Now we're told to dispose of them as if they are hazardous waste because of the mercury content of them. What's environmentally friendly about that?

Anyway, here's the story that came with a picture of a burned ballast on the CFL bulb. The image didn't allow for copying.

Below is a picture of a CFL light bulb from my bathroom. I turned it on the other day and then smelled smoke after a few minutes. Four inch flames were spewing out of the side of the ballast like a blow torch! I immediately turned off the lights. But I’m sure it would have caused a fire if I was not right there. Imagine if the kids had left the lights on as usual when they were not in the room. I took the bulb to the Fire Department today to report the incident. The Fireman wasn’t at all surprised and said that it was not an uncommon occurrence. Apparently, sometimes when the bulb burns out there is a chance that the ballast can start a fire. He told me that the Fire Marshall had issued reports about the dangers of these bulbs. Upon doing some Internet research, it seems that bulbs made by “Globe” in China seem to have the lion’s share of problems. Lots of fires have been blamed on misuse of CFL bulbs, like using them in recessed lighting, pot lights, dimmers or in track lighting. Mine was not in any of those. It was a normal light socket. I bought these at Wal-Mart. I will be removing all the Globe bulbs from my house. I have not decided yet if we are going back to incandescent bulbs at this point. Just thought you should know.

Takeaway Truth

Don't take my word for it. Do your own research and be prepared for problems if you choose to use these bulbs.

Random Friday: Let's Laugh

Remnants of Hurricane Alex are making for a wet start to the July 4th weekend so here's something funny to get you in a holiday mood.

Thanks to my pal Frank who sent this to me.

Baker's Dozen Of Jokes

1. When I die, I want to die like my grandfather - who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car. Author Unknown

2. Advice for the day: If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two aspirin and keep away from children." Author Unknown

3. "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar." Drew Carey

4. "The problem with the designated driver program, it's not a desirable job, but if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house." Jeff Foxworthy

5. "If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base." Dave Barry

6. "A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: 'Duh.'" Conan O'Brien

7. "I think that's how Chicago got started. Bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west.'" Richard Jeni

8. "If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead." Johnny Carson

9. "Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography." Paul Rodriguez

10. "My parents didn't want to move to Florida , but they turned sixty and that's the law." Jerry Seinfeld

11. "Bigamy is having one wife or husband too many. Monogamy is the same." Oscar Wilde

12. "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain

13. Do you know why they call it PMS? Because Mad Cow Disease was taken. Unknown, presumed deceased

Takeaway Truth

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Good advice.

3 Sites: Make Long URL Short

Here are 3 websites that will help you shorten a long, prone to break, URL link to a short, easy to manage, link.


Tiny URL

I use this one all the time because the shortened link that is created never expires, and it's a very user friendly process. This site can take English, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish. There may be others that take languages other than English, but this is the only one I know that does.


This is also easy to use, and the link never expires. You can also label the shortened link with a nickname.

Not Long

This site is another that's easy to use, plus it lists other websites that offer the shortening service.

Takeaway Truth

Shortening a long URL makes it easier to handle, especially when sending a link by email.