Review: Vectr Online Graphics Editor

Quite often, I review various websites whose services are helpful--especially to authors. Today, I'm reviewing one of these, Vectr.

Usually, when I review a website, I receive emails from team members at similar websites, asking me to tell my readers about their online services.

When I have time, I do explore and review those websites because I like to pass on information that will help others, and most people--not just authors--use graphic design software.

At the end of this post, you can see the other graphic design websites I've reviewed with links to each.

Something To Know About Graphic Images

Raster graphics that we commonly call by their file name extension are what most of us know.

Raster images are created using a fixed number of colored pixels. Raster images are stored as image files in varying formats such as JPG, PNG, BMP, etc. Nearly all the graphic images seen online or in print are raster images.

Vector graphics are created using mathematical formulas, not individual colored blocks. Vector images are stored as file types such as EPS, AI, and PDF. (Most PDF files are vectors if they have been saved with their individual layers intact.)

(For a definitive explanation about vector and raster images, read Understanding Image File Types on the MODassic Marketing website. On that website, you'll find they offer a downloadable Images and File Types Cheat Sheet.)

Why Choose One Type Over the Other

Raster images are created using a fixed number of colored pixels so resizing them compromises their resolution. That's why some of your images look fuzzy if you try to enlarge them beyond their originally created size.

Vector images offer more flexibility. If you create an image as a vector file, you can make it smaller or larger without affecting the resolution.

Best practice? Always create a Vector file as a master and from that create a Raster image file such as JPG or PNG. That gives you the flexibility you need to use your images in different ways.

The only problem is that most of us don't have the software to either create vector files or open them to save as a raster file. There are actually several online vector graphic websites. I've not tried any except Vectr.

Review: Vectr Graphics Editor

Most recently, I received a review request from Vectr Team Member Julia.

I've just finished working my way through Vectr which has a lot to like, especially the fact that you can use it online or download to your desktop, and it will automatically save and sync your work in real-time, across all platforms. (Currently, Firefox is not supported.)

To get started, take a look at the Home Page. At the top, you'll see Menu items. Let's explore those.

User's Guide gets you started fast in case you don't like the trial and error method of creating graphics. It's user friendly. You need to read it because working with vectors means working with layers which sound more complicated than it is. This guide explains it quickly and in a way you'll understand it immediately.

Unless you've worked with layers before, please read the User's Guide.

Tutorials are for those who want some step by step instructions before they get started.

Roadmap shows what the development team is working on. One of these additions to Vectr is Marketplace where you can buy and sell products. That might be of great interest to authors or artisans.

Blog offers some great lessons like how to embed images in your Facebook timeline as well as detailing "bug fixes."

Next I registered an account. It's free. That way you can have your saved projects appear on your Dashboard.

There are different fee structures from free--which is powerful--to professional 

I was impressed with Vectr. I made the image you see at left with the online version of Vectr.

I opened the User's Guide in one tab then opened another tab to Vectr and logged in to start a New File. That way I could go back and forth between the User's Guide.

This graphic teaser about my next book was easy to make. The resolution is really crisp. I closed Vectr, logged back in, and there was my file on my Dashboard.

I liked Vectr so much that I imagine I'll use it a lot. Rating: absolutely thumbs up.

Past Posts: Online Graphic Apps

7 Websites Like Canva
Review: FotoJet Graphic Design App
Canva Free Online Digital Illustration

Takeaway Truth

Check out Vectr and let me know how it works for you. I'll pass it on to Team Member Julia.

Summer Cold

Yuk. I woke up with a sore throat this past Wednesday. I know it was an allergy reaction. Unfortunately, the sore throat "grew," and the rest is the history of a summer cold.

To that allergic reaction, add a day at the hospital. Hospital waiting rooms are notorious germ zones I think. Even though I try not to touch public objects, it's rather difficult when you must sit in a chair. Who knows? Typhoid Mary may have been the previous occupant of said chair.

Today, a killer headache joined the party. So, I'm taking the weekend off. Have a good one!

Takeaway Truth

Not to worry. A summer cold like its winter cousin will pass in 2 weeks or 14 days. Whichever comes first.

6 EZ Ways to Improve a Website

Today is crazy busy, but I prepared a short post with big impact for you. All of these are based on pet peeves reporter by frequent internet users.

6 EZ Ways to Improve Your Blog

1. Remove auto-start music.

I'm a music lover, but that doesn't mean I want to hear the music you love.Especially when it comes on at full volume!

2. Change the background to white or a light color and the text to black.
Reading text on a black background with a white or fluorescent color tires the eye tremendously. People who are online all day, reading, don't need that kind of eyestrain.

3. Remove those jumping, hopping, blinking animated gifs.
Unless your purpose is to distract visitors from your content, get rid of those animated gifs.

4. Change font to an easily read serif font
Use a serif font online. It's crisper and easier to read than fonts commonly used for print like Times New Roman.

5. Use images to illustrate your posts.
There are many sources for free images. Use them to break up big blocks of text and make your posts more interesting.

6. Use sub-headings to break up the text.
Online readers scan text vertically, looking for the facts or the gist of the content. That's why it's good to break up big blocks of text.

Takeaway Truth

Remember, the way you format something to be read online is different from the way you format it for print.

Take 5 with Loretta Wheeler

Romance author Loretta Wheeler, author of the recently released Siren's Call dropped by for a cup of coffee and a grilling by yours truly.

Loretta is a fun--and funny--lady so I'm peppering her with fun questions today, and she's giving me some answers that make me chuckle.

Giveaway Alert

Loretta is giving a Kindle copy of Siren's Call to one lucky commenter. So don’t be shy, share your thoughts!

1. What's your guilty pleasure when it comes to food and drink?

My guilty pleasure when it comes to food is anything sweet or loaded with carbs. I love chocolate, but then again, what woman doesn’t? I haven’t met one! And, second best, is any form of pasta. Both of these guilty pleasures are big no-no’s for me because I’m diabetic. Of course, I realize they’re big no-no’s to most everyone who stays on a diet, so at least I have company over here in the whining department.

2. What's your guilty pleasure when it comes to books?

I have to say, the only thing I feel guilty of regarding books, is the money I spend. I’ve become a Kindle addict because it’s so easy to click and buy.

I try to order a sample first, to make sure I like the author’s voice. That does prevent me from downloading some books I think I might like, then find I don’t. So, my guilty pleasure is downloading as if I owned stock in Amazon.

3. What's the worst review you ever received?

The absolute worst review and experience was an extremely low starred review given to me after meeting with a couple over dinner.

The wife was writing her first book and wanted to know if she could anticipate a contract of at least $500,000 for the first piece.

I searched for an answer that didn’t end in a tirade of laughter, and explained she would need to study the craft and minimize her expectations a touch.

The husband was not pleased and later that evening I found a thinly disguised name attached to an extremely negative review. I’ve never experienced anything like that, before. And I have never received such a low review before.

4. What did you do, if anything, after reading that review?

I didn’t respond to the review. The only time I respond is with a thank you or an elaboration to a question a reviewer might ask. I try to keep the focus on the positive when answering my readers.

In this case, I began screaming pretty quickly. I have to say, I raved for quite a spell. I think it could best be described as a Texas Hissy Fit.

I called a couple of author friends and said, “You want to hear a good one?” Of course they screamed and raved too, which made me feel some better. It’s that misery and company thing, you know? Then I popped a piece of sugar-free chocolate, trying to help the endorphins along. *LOL*

Sometimes authors are very vulnerable to people with really dark intentions. My advice regarding this? Buckle up, Buttercup; it’s a rough road out there in the writing world. Get ready for some hard knocks as well as all the wonderful things that await you.

Just remember wonderful usually outweighs the rough stuff. Oh, and keep a supply of chocolate around, it’s a writer’s remedy for darn near anything.

5. What's the best review you ever received and what did you do, if anything, after reading that review?

I’ve been fortunate to have a few really outstanding reviews. And as I’m sure most authors do, I read them a couple of times.

The first read gives a rush of joy. The second, I’m looking at the words more deeply. After that, I’m dancing down the hall, sharing the words with anyone who’ll listen.

With Siren’s Call, one review I received was verbal as well as written. I met the person at a conference, and he told me he had a difficult time finding the right words to describe the story. He finally wound up saying it was magical, lyrical, the words luminous. His words still stay with me and they’re what I choose to focus on when things aren’t always magical. And his words help.

Any final thing you'd like to say to SlingWords readers?

Yes! Thank you for coming by and sharing your thoughts. And please, if you enjoy a touch of sensuality in your reading, give Siren’s Call a read. Who knows, maybe you’ll find it lyrical too, and then be tempted by the siren’s call to leave a review. Just think, you know what I’ll be doing after I read the review...dancing down the hall, laughing, and popping sugar-free chocolates like crazy.

Remember the Giveaway

Loretta is giving a Kindle copy of Siren's Call to one lucky commenter . So don’t be shy, share your thoughts! Leave a comment for my guest.

Siren's Call by Loretta Wheeler

This short, sensuous story about Michael, one of the characters in the Southern Breezes series, serves as a bridge between Southern Breezes/The Verandah and Southern Breezes/The Siren’s Shop, the next book which will be released soon.

Siren's Call was originally published in an anthology and then found its home inside the Southern Breezes series.

They have been with us for centuries...beguiling us with their beauty...tempting us with their charm...seducing us...and evolving...

Legends have been with us since the beginning of time, and every once in awhile we discover these legends twine eerily with the truth, filling us with a sense of wonder and the unsettling thought that perhaps, just perhaps, the lore may be true.

Down in the Florida Keys, Michael, a sculptor and charter boat captain, is drawn back to the same area of water, over and over again...because something is pulling him there, throughout the day...and long into the night.

Takeaway Truth

The weekend is approaching. Looking for a sexy read?

Try Siren's Call by Loretta Wheeler.

Spotlight on Love Me by Sharon Kleve Kleve dropped by to tell me about her latest release, Love Me, Book 3 in A Sage McGuire Romance.

About Sharon Kleve

Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.

She is a multi-published author of contemporary romance who loves romance. She loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other's arms.

Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way. One of her favorite things to do is pick up a new book and sink into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.

When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.

Find Sharon Online
Google +: Love Me

Quirky, Private Investigator, Sage McGuire can’t seem to stay out of trouble in Love Me.

Bad-ass, Sergeant Carter Morgan of the Portland Police Department takes risks for a living—but he’d never risked his heart before. From the first flirty look Sage flashes, he is hooked and it has been a roller-coaster ride ever since.

With Carter's conniving ex-girlfriend, FBI Special Agent Mia Williams, in the looney-bin, things finally seem to be settling back to normal, until Mr. Smithfield, Sage’s old boss, appears in her dreams asking for help to avenge his death. Knowing full well it could lead to another trip to the emergency room, Sage agrees to help.

Even with Carter trailing her every move, Sage solves Mr. Smithfield’s murder, and helps put her ex-boss’s wicked bride in jail.

With all the excitement, Sage forgets to buy Carter a Valentine’s Day gift, unless you count the edible, strawberry-flavored panties and banana-flavored massage gel.

Can Carter keep Sage safe, and out of trouble long enough to get her down the aisle? Books in A Sage McGuire Romance

Book 1, Chase Me

Sage McGuire had a great job she loved. All that changed in the blink of an eye when her long-time boss, Mr. Smithfield, had an accident involving an over-sized rubber band.

When Mr. Smithfield’s semi-worthless son, Daniel, takes over Smithfield Laboratories Sage figures it’s time to turn her childhood dream of being a PI into reality.

After a night of unadulterated, mind-blowing sex Sage mistakes Sergeant Carter Morgan of the Portland Police Department for a serial killer and runs for the hills, but his sexy pinecone scent and black leather pants have her coming back for more.

Sage’s wild spirit, crazy red hair, and quirky sense of humor take Carter for the ride of his life and he’s more than willing to stick around and see what kind of trouble Sage can get herself into next.

Hold on tight as Sage and Carter rock each other’s world in KISS ME – A Sage McGuire Romance. Book 2, Kiss Me

Quirky, Private Investigator, Sage McGuire is up to her ears in trouble again in KISS ME.

Sage has left the security of her old job, as an executive assistant to a moron, and jumped feet-first into opening McGuire Investigations. If only her boyfriend, Sergeant Carter Morgan’s big gun and cop's intuition could save Sage from being grazed by a bullet to the temple, and another trip to the emergency room when she steals back her best friend’s uncle’s pooch, Mimi, from a psychotic loan shark in her very first case.

Carter's scary and conniving ex-girlfriend, FBI Special Agent Mia Williams, is back in town and full of trouble. Mia is determined to rekindle her relationship with Carter and she is used to getting what she wants—no matter what the cost.

Will Sage and Carter succeed in keeping each other out of trouble while falling head-over-heels in love?

Takeaway Truth

If you're looking for a fun book, try Sharon Kleve and Love Me, Book 3 in A Sage McGuire Romance.

Review: Season 2, Witnesses, Netflix Original from France

Witnesses (Les-Témoins) is a French television police procedural drama by Marc Herpoux and Hervé Hadmar. It's also a Netflix production.

Sub-Titles? Not a Problem

I've found when you watch a gripping film, you don't even realize you're reading sub-titles!

If you watch a lot of foreign television series and movies, as Darling Hubby and I do, you may be familiar with the term Scandi-noir or Nordic-noir.

This refers to the television and film from the Scandinavian countries, most of which are extremely imaginative and creepy. I call it film noir on steroids.

Witnesses, Season 2

Season 2 of Witnesses finally joined Season 1 as a Netflix offering. Darling Hubby and I had seen Season 1 and were hooked. The series opened with a gripping scene in a real estate for sale house. That's all I'll say in case you haven't seen it yet.

Season 2 opens with an equally compelling, creepy scene in a bus. Again, no spoilers. That begins a journey through the twisted mind of a serial killer, his willing accomplice, and a psychopath who inspired it all. Creepy doesn't begin to describe this story line.

Don't Star Watching Late At Night

We started watching late yesterday when we returned from a party. We ended up binge-watching the entire season 2. We didn't turn the TV off until the wee hours of the morning. We just had to see what would happen next.

Yes, we're idiots. I'm so tired as I write this that I could fall asleep in my chair.

I must tell you that I hated the ending. It made me angry--with the exception of someone who got saved which I had not expected. The ending just seemed to come out of left field even though, in all fairness, the viewer was led to it by a breadcrumb dropped here and there.

Will that ending keep me from watching Season 3 should they make it? No. Here's why.

Great Acting, Compelling Plots

The main character Detective Sandra Winckler is believable. The thing I truly like about European productions is that they don't glam up the actors. The cast look like real people who could be hardworking homicide cops like Sandra.

She's a single mother trying to balance parental duties with homicide investigations. She has 2 kids, one of whom is a mouthy tween, an ex who wants more time with the kids, and a libido that occasionally reminds her she's still a sexual being. Marie Dompnier portrays Sandra perfectly.

Her partner Justin is portrayed by Jan Hammenecker. He's irascible and always arguing with her about her theories, but when push comes to shove, he's a rock for her.

Catherine Mouchet is Maxine Dubreuil, the woman who runs their division and holds everything together. She takes all the heat from the higher-ups and tries her best to protect her detectives.

Prominently in Season 2 is Audrey Fleurot as Catherine Keemer in the "ripped from the headlines" story that propels this season. There were times when I shouted at the screen: "You're too stupid to live," when Catherine did something stupid that reminded me of the woman who goes into the basement where the sadistic killer is hiding. Then there were other times when she did something gutsy and totally believable in keeping with her character.

The same can be said of Detective Sandra Winckler. Sometimes I felt she fell into the TSTL category. Too Stupid To Live, but she always redeemed herself.

Takeaway Truth

If you're looking for a thriller that's different from American fare, definitely watch Witnesses.

Witticisms About Writing

I'm going to a birthday party today and plan to eat, drink, and be merry.

So I thought I'd share some merriment with you in the form of funny things authors say.


I wrote a few children's books. Not on purpose. ~ Steven Wright

If Moses were alive today he’d come down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments and spend the next five years trying to get them published. ~ Anonymous

The road to hell is paved with adverbs. ~ Stephen King

Writing is so difficult that I often feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment thereafter. ~ Jessamyn West

Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard. ~ John Steinbeck

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs. ~ Christopher Hampton

Writing is a socially acceptable form of getting naked in public. ~ Paulo Coelho

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. ~ Robert Benchley

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one. ~ Baltasar Gracián

Takeaway Truth

What are your favorite funny quotes about writing?

Cast The Movie: JANE (I'm Still Single) JONES

Let's play one of my favorite games: Cast The Movie. Do you play this game when you're reading a book that's totally entrancing? I do.

I also like to play Cast The Movie when I'm writing a book so I'll play with JANE (I’m Still Single) JONES, the romantic comedy that just went into Kindle Unlimited.

Yes, you can now read this romantic comedy bestseller for free! Don't worry, if you're not a KU subscriber, you can still get the book for only $3.99.

JANE, as I fondly call this romance, is a WhisperSync title so that means you can get the Audio Edition for a very low price. The book is also available in print if you prefer paper.

One of my favorite reviews for this romantic comedy said: "If you like Sweet Home Alabama, you'll love JANE (I’m Still Single) JONES."

About JANE (I'm Still Single) JONES

A billionaire, a beauty queen, a movie star--just a high school reunion, not a Gilligan's Island rerun!

What could be worse for a former high school beauty queen, who never landed the only man she ever loved, than attending--alone--her 10-year high school reunion? Not much, thinks Jane Louise Jones, resigned to spending the weekend in her hometown, just south of nowhere in the rolling hills of Louisiana.

Assured by her BFF that Morgan Sherwood, former high school geek, now a wealthy computer magnate, won’t be at the reunion, Jane is horrified when Morgan, once her secret love who broke her heart before leaving town, shows up with his entourage. He's not a geeky kid any more. He's six feet of tanned, rippling muscles, and he plans to focus his high-powered brain and use every masculine charm he possesses to seduce the lovely Miss Jones.

With a former classmate who wants to claim him as husband number four, a Hollywood starlet who shows up to party with him, and an old boyfriend intent on stealing Jane's affection, Morgan has more obstacles than he'd expected. Throw in the blue-haired matchmaking Vernon Ladies Bridge Club, lots of southern charm, and a ten-year old betrayal, and you have all the ingredients for a sexy romantic comedy. Will Jane and Morgan get it right this time?

Casting the Characters

The heroine is textile designer JANE LOUISE JONES. I choose Kaley Cuoco for this role. Of course, she'd need red hair. Or not.

Characters' looks are often changed in a movie adapted from the book.

What do you think of this practice? Have you had a favorite book made into a movie where they totally changed the main character's appearance?

The hero is billionaire MORGAN SHERWOOD. I think Ian Somerhalder would be perfect in this role.

Jane's BFF is AMBER CHALMERS. I'd love to see Mahandra Dalfino in this role.

Morgan's best friend is former Secret Service agent SOCRATES BERKLEY who has retreated from life after the death of his fiance. I think Anthony Mackie would be good in this role or maybe Noel Clarke.

Other Cast Members

PENNY TRAN: Late 20s, Morgan’s executive assistant, Vietnamese-American, single, Harvard MBA, very urban attitude. I like Elly Tran for Penny.

CARLOS DOMINGUEZ: Mid 20s, Morgan’s latest Harvard protégé, single. Let's see Diego Boneta as Carlos.

WES JONES: Late 50s, Jane’s father, long-time town sheriff. Definitely Bruce Campbell!

BRENDA JONES: Late 50s, Jane’s mother, homemaker, former flower child who married the establishment in the form of her law enforcement husband. Annette O’Toole be perfect.

JASON LOMBARDO: Late 20s, Jane’s former high school boyfriend who is manipulative and deceitful. I like Stephen Amell for this role.

GRANNY J: Early 70s, Jane’s paternal grandmother, no-nonsense with a wicked sense of humor. Cybil Shepherd would be perfect.

MISS MAMIE: Mid to late 80s, drives an ancient tail-fin Cadillac even though her license was revoked. She's the town matriarch and leader of the Vernon Ladies Bridge Club—where no one plays bridge. I've always thought Betty White would be ideal.

OTHER ROLES to be Cast: Steve Chalmers, Amber’s husband; Felicia Banks, high school friend who is a multi-married and divorced fitness diva; Verna Wright, high school friend with a career as a backup singer; Serena Maria Estevez, Hollywood starlet.

Takeaway Truth

Many readers have told me that JANE (I’m Still Single) JONES should be a movie.

That would be amazing. You can find this book on audio. Leah Frederick, the narrator, does a great job of bringing it to life in all its southern charm.

Starfish Writers Conference: Registration Open

The 2017 Starfish Writers Conference, hosted by the Houston Bay Area Chapter of Romance Writers of America is now open for registration.

Conference Details

The conference runs from Friday, September 22 through Saturday, September 23, 2017. There will be Raffle Baskets and door prices.

Location: South Shore Harbour Resort, 2500 South Shore Blvd., League City, Texas 77573. This is just a short hop south of Houston.

Times: Friday, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Friday evening is a poolside gathering featuring Melinda VanLone, owner of Book Cover Corner with a cash bar.

Saturday morning kicks off with a light breakfast, followed by workshops with Tracy Brogan, Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

A full lunch will be served at mid-day.


$50.00 for  Houston Bay Area RWA Members.

$75.00 for Non-members

No refunds will be given after September 7, 2017

To check out the workshops, click here.

To register online, click here.

Takeaway Truth

This writers conference is a good one. Plan on attending.

14 Agent Questions to Ask

For those authors seeking literary agents, here's a list of questions to ask prospective agents.

Things A Writer Must Always Remember

When shopping for representation, an author is actually screening applicants for a job.

The author is the Employer seeking to hire an Employee, a literary agent to work FOR HER/HIM.

This is a business. Never forget that. Be business-like. Ask the right questions.

At the very least, here are some basic questions a writer needs a prospective agent to answer when an offer of representation is on the table.

14 Important Questions

1. Does the agent maintain separate escrow or trust accounts for client funds?

2. Does the agent have a separate signatory for the client account in case of death or incapacitation?

3. How do you get your money if the agent is incapacitated or dies?

4. Does the agent have a surety bond?

5. Does the agent maintain some sort of error, omission or fidelity insurance?

6. Is the agent a member of RWA or other professional organizations? If so, check with that organization to see if there are any comments or complaints against the agent.

7. Does the agent offer a written contract?

8. Does the agent also package books?

9. Does the agent also write books? Is there anyway this could be a conflict of interest for you?

10. If you ever have to return an advance, does the agent forfeit the commission?

11. What fees are charged? Courier, copying, telephone, postage, flat "Office Expense" fee, etc.?

12. Are you sent an accounting? If so, how often?

13. Does the agent send a year-end statement of activity or some other kind of report?

14. How can the agent be terminated if he/she doesn't work out?

Takeaway Truth

Read these questions carefully. If you don't know what some of these things mean, look them up.

Educate yourself. This is a business, not just a creative pursuit.

Getting Rid of Weeds the Natural Way

This picture to the left isn't my house--thank God! I'm using it to show how weeds can get a toe-hold and take over your yard before you can say Roundup!

Actually, this post is a short lesson in controlling weeds without using the dangerous chemical Roundup, now implicated in autism and auto-immune diseases.

I'm talking weeds because it's Saturday, and I'm at my house in the country tackling this weedy issue.

Vinegar, Believe It!

The best time to kill weeds is when your lawn has grown dormant in winter. Otherwise, you have to be careful not to get this vinegar solution on your jewel-green grass or other plants.

Plain old vinegar is a natural herbicide that kills with exceptional speed. Here's what you do.

1. Add vinegar (white is probably cheapest) and a squirt of liquid dish soap to a spray bottle. The dish soap helps the mixture stick to plants.

2. Spray a few times over each weed or several times over weed patches.

3. Remember, like a chemical herbicide, this is a non-selective mixture. That means it will kill any green growing thing it gets on.

That's it. If it rains or the sprinklers wet the sprayed weeds, repeat the spraying.

Takeaway Truth

Natural ways often work as well as the chemical.

Must See YouTube Videos

I really do love my job--especially the sharing part. I get to read, write, watch videos, and so many other things.

Then I tell you all about what I've done. Love the sharing!

This week, I'm sharing some fascinating videos I think you'll find interesting.

The Rice Video: Carbon Dioxide by The Galileo Movement
(global warming myth or fact)

How to Draw Cartoon People by DrawStuffREalEasy

Quadriplegic Drives 2016 Z0 Camaro by Jay Leno's Garage

10 Most Unforgettable Singing Auditions

How to Use Gimp, Beginner's Guide

Top 10 Life Hacks with Vinegar

The REAL Reason Apple Cider Vinegar Works for Losing Weight

30 Movies That Are Going To Blow Everyone Away In 2017

Takeaway Truth

YouTube is one of my favorite sites for entertainment and education. You can find videos on everything from taking off a Cessna to making an apple pie.

Review: American Anarchist

A week ago, Darling Hubby and I watched American Anarchist on Netflix. (You can also find it on Amazon.)

I think just about everyone has heard of this infamous book, but you may not know the author.

William Powell was nineteen years old and obviously rebelling against parental authority--all authority in fact, as many young people did in the 1960's.

American Anarchist is about Powell, the author of The Anarchist's Cookbook which has been used by those who have committed horrendous acts of terrorism.

Compelling Documentary

The documentary is compelling as Charlie Siskel, the writer and director (and the nephew of the late film critic Gene Siskel), unfolds the narrative with photos from the counterculture period of the late 60's and early 70's and interviews with Powell and his wife of many years.

First Thing That Struck Me

Two things struck me about this film. The first was Mr. Powell's insistence that he was ignorant of all that had been done, using his  infamous book, which he had compiled mostly from free booklets obtained from the Government Printing Office.

Ironically, Mr. Powell had become a teacher, serving in third world countries where he and his wife tried to make a difference. They were both well-respected as educators and as people. Until a fateful day when the officials who ran the school where he was currently employed were notified of his connection to a book that had figured prominently in terrorist bombings.

In all the years since The Anarchist Cookbook was published in 1971, the Powells claim they knew nothing about its connection to the bombing atrocities. I suppose that could be true since they lived abroad for decades and didn't own a television, they said.

I believe they wanted to be like an ostrich with its head stuck in the sand--oblivious and ignorant--because the alternative was soul-crushing to a man and woman who had devoted their lives to teaching young people.

Second Thing That Struck Me

When I watch a documentary, I'm expecting an insightful story, presented fairly, about a particular subject. I'm not expecting an example of hard-nosed investigative reporting, but that's what this film seemed to be.

Charlie Siskel, the writer and director, seemed determined to make William Powell admit his sins. He kept throwing statistics about various atrocities at Powell. In today's world of video journalism where interview subjects are slapped in the face with "how does that make you feel," Siskel seemed intent on making Powell take responsibility for each and every single maiming and killing.

Would it have been better if that book had never been published? Maybe. Who is to say? The information was already out there. Anyone could have ordered the pamphlet from the Government Printing Office. My goodness, the blueprints for the atomic bomb were once available for free to the public also. (I don't know if that's still true--probably is.)

Takeaway Truth

 I found the documentary interesting and...sad. I felt sorry for Powell who did a stupid, rash thing when he was an unhappy, rebellious kid.

He grew up to be a good person, but everything good that he did in life will always be overshadowed by that horrible book.

Is it any wonder he died suddenly, a year after the documentary was completed?

Get Ready for Amazon Prime Day

I hope you have your Amazon Wish List populated because Amazon Prime Day starts tonight at 9pm Eastern.

I like to take advantage of Prime Day to buy some Christmas and birthday gifts. When I've added the items I want to my Wish List, I can go to my Wish List as soon as Prime Day starts, add to cart, and checkout fast. That way I don't end up with things already sold out.

If you're not familiar with Amazon Prime Day, here's an Insider's Guide to help you out.

If you go to the Insider's Guide link, you can click to start a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime so you too can take advantage of the great deals. There's even a link to get a 6-month free trial. You can also find out ways to get notified of the best deals.

There's a wealth of information in the Insider's Guide so you can even have a portion of your purchases go to the charity of your choice.

Now, I've got to go and update my Prime Day Wish List that I set up just for the event.

Takeaway Truth

Seriously, I've found some amazing deals on Amazon Prime Day in the past, and I think you will too.

Change: The Only Constant

I'm trying to be the warrior, not the worrier.
There are some unsettling changes going on in my life. Like most humans on this planet, I don't like change. I've decided that's because too many of the changes I've experienced aren't for the better.

I looked up some online articles about how to survive change--as if I'm a novice in the change department. Most of them basically say to re-frame the way one looks at change or to celebrate what's new and good in the change.

Yeah, well, I'm working on it. (If this were a line of dialogue, I'd be forced to write it this way. "Yeah, well, I'm working on it," she grumbled.)

So I looked at some inspiring quotes. I made a list. I think I'll read and then write a quotation about 10 times every day until it soaks into my subconscious. Then when I'm upset, I can't repeat it like a little parrot to myself.

Let me share some of them with you.

I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. ~ Jimmy Dean

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. ~ Maya Angelou

Change your thoughts and you change your world. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays. ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. ~ Stephen Hawking

We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game. ~ Randy Pausch

Takeaway Truth

Change comes whether we want it or not so we might as well learn how to deal with it. I'm working on it. I truly am.

3 Pages Your Website Must Have

A website doesn't have to be huge and complex. It can be small and simple.

However, every website, no matter how small or large, must have these 3 pages.

If you start your website with these 3 pages, you can add more later.

If you fail to have these 3 pages, it's going to put a serious crimp in your ability to build an audience for your blog or website--as well as for your product whether that's a book or another kind of physical product. 

Here are the "must have" 3 pages.

About You Page

Always include a page that tells about you, the website owner. Give a short bio. Give credentials that establish your expertise as an author, a plumber, or whatever you may be. Include a photograph. Readers like to know what you look like.

Contact the Author Page
Get your duckies in a row.

Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to contact a blog or website owner and not finding a way to do so.

I've literally spent dozens of minutes searching a blog for an email address or a Contact Form. Always have a way for a reader to contact you other than by public comment on a post. That's just professional etiquette.

List of What You Offer Page

If you're an author, you should have a picture of each of your book covers, a short blurb, and all buy links for that book.

If you don't, you're losing a valuable marketing tool that could be working for you.

That's it! The above along with a short Introduction to the website gives you a simple, DIY site. You'll have a static website that works for you.

Takeaway Truth

When you want to have a more elaborate site, add anything your fan base would like to know about you and a page or two of entertaining content that readers, not writers, will find intriguing.

Or, just save that stuff for a blog you post to frequently.

On the Rebound: June Posts

Back up! Read posts missed in June.
I can hardly believe the first half of the year is over. I've heard that protest from many people this past week.

I've said it far too many times. I'm sure Darling Hubby is sick of hearing me bemoan all the things I didn't get done.

In June, there were a lot of good posts--on SlingWords and other blogs I read.

June was crazy busy. I Just didn't have an opportunity to read much nor did I have the chance to pass along links through social media of the posts I'd bookmarked.

So let's back up and take advantage of the great information offered by blogs. Here are links to some really good posts you should read. Warning: there are quite a few links here.

On The Rebound

Don't Advertise With Amazon Until You've Read This by Nicholas Rossi.

Review: Kindlepreneur's Free AMS Tutorial and KDP Rocket

A Book Takes As Long As It Takes

7 Ways to Build an Email List for a New Ebook

If Only I’d Known: Be Passionate by Anna Lores

Writers Reading Vs. Readers Reading

How to Customize Banner Image on Blogger

If Only I’d Known: Change is the Only Constant by Loretta Wheeler

If Only I’d Known: Write What You DON'T Know by Elaine Raco Chase

If Only I’d Known: The Value of Networking by Caroline Clemmons

Goal: Be Sticky - Make Your Website Attract Readers

Creating Romantic Conflict by Patricia Rosemoor

3 Simple Rules About Contracts

Handbags Through History by Carra Copelin

How Many Words Make You Salable

TechTalk: Alphie

Why Book Trends Come and Go

Amazon Has a Fake Book Problem by David Gaughran

Indispensable Tool: Character and Space Counter

Takeaway Truth

There's a lot of knowledge available on the Internet. It's easy to miss a great post. Check these out. You will be glad you did.