04/20/17

The Third Book Takes a Sharp Right Turn

Writing a series is like when a dinner guest becomes a roommate. Writing the first book is like having a dinner party with exciting and stimulating guests, carefully planned menu, atmosphere – but the guests get to go home. And you get to put your feet up and relax. Writing a series, the guests stay permanently. You have to think of exciting things for them to do, vary the menu, invite different guests for them to play with.” — Rebecca Forster

The Lynton Series so far.

Book One and Book Two

Four books set in a fictional city in New Hampshire centered around the lives of a group of women brought together by fate. That was the plan. At the time, I had no idea how ambitious an undertaking it was for a first-time writer.

I am a series reader and have been since being introduced as a child to The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and Trixie BeldenI love to follow the characters and I hate it when a series ends. I miss them.

Recently, I re-read (I think I already told you that I am a dedicated re-reader of long-standing) the Tradd Street Series written by Karen White. There are five books in the series and I am hoping she will keep going because I want to know more about what Mellie and Jack are doing. The series is set in Charleston. If you like ghosts and quirky characters, these books are a treat not to be missed.

This second time I read the books as a writer not as a reader and I learned a lot about what it takes to write a successful series. The biggest “Ah ha!” I had was the need to stay with the characters you start out with. In The Lynton Series this would be: Brid, Franny, Sofia, Neil and Brendan.

Maggie’s Girls, the story I have been writing (and fighting with) for the last year, doesn’t follow this rule. The story introduces a new main character along with her complicated family and friends. The usual Lynton ladies do make an appearance but only in supporting roles. Having read the Tradd Street Series again, along with readers often asking me what is happening with Franny and Nick, I realized this was not the right book to be number three in the series.

The wonderful thing about writing fiction is very little is ever completely lost. Writers smush things together and move them around or, worst case, shove them in a drawer. I intend to come back to Maggie’s Girls one day.

Book Three, as yet unnamed, will focus on where the relationship between Nick and Franny is going. Brid, Sofia, and Lilah will have a lot to say. As Rebecca Forster indicates in the above quote, I will have to think of exciting things for them to do and maybe sneak in a new face or two along the way. Faces that I have been writing about in Maggie’s Girls.

Meanwhile, the Muse is delighted that I have finally figured out what was she tells me was obvious to HER and I am tapping away at the keys once again.

“I could have told you…”

10/25/16

When the Writer Goes Missing

It’s Gerard,” she called over her shoulder. “St. Gerard Majella. He’s the patron saint of women in trouble in childbirth. My mother was devoted to him.  Brid Sheerin  – Francesca’s Foundlings. 

Two years ago, I wrote a story, Francesca’s Foundlings, about a young woman who developed a life-threatening complication during her pregnancy.  I try to make sure that my fiction is as accurate as possible and I did considerable research on this condition before inflicting it on my character.

Last July, in a twist of fate where life mirrored fiction, my daughter faced this same condition as she awaited the birth of her child. There are 2,986 miles between Boston and Dublin, Ireland. Never have I been more thankful to live in a time of texting and instant messaging as I awaited news of the latest scan of the baby or reading of her blood pressure.

“Do NOT come,” she kept ordering me from her hospital bed during that seemingly endless week when I learned the true meaning of words like: harrowing, terrified, courage, hope and, at last, very early on Friday morning, pure joy.

I spent the month of August in Ireland, watching the swans glide along the Royal Canal, helping one very tiny boy discover the world he arrived in so precipitously. When you are taking care of a newborn, that’s really all you do. Life stands still. It provided me with a lot of time for quiet reflection. Ideal conditions for a writer.

McCullough’s Women and Francesca’s Foundlings are stories of friendships between women. Some are related and others start out as enemies. Maggie’s Girls, the third book in the Lynton Series, continues this theme but also explores what it means to be a mother. Toward the end of Francesca’s Foundlings, the reader meets Maggie Kennedy.

Maggie’s Girls is her story. Holding my grandson, I thought a lot about the bonds that develop between and a mother and her child. I think you will like Maggie. I hope you do.

How this writer feels.

How this writer feels…

Home now, once again thankful for the videos and photos that greet me every morning, I am trying to get back on task and focus on Maggie’s Girls.

I want to thank all of you who kept checking my Facebook page for updates over the last few months. I am sorry I neglected you but as you now know, it was for the best of all possible reasons. I promise to be better about posting on the page. I am excited to get back to writing.

I am also grateful to St.Gerard for hearing our prayers. My mother, like Brid’s, was devoted to him.

07/8/16

How Characters are Made: Meet Jake Kellan

It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.”  – William Faulkner

People are always curious about where my characters come from. I suspect some of them are worried they might see themselves. People are not unique and often share both good and bad traits. We often see these traits mirrored for us in the books we read without them having been stolen from us. We are drawn to characters like us and are often put off by those who are not.

Desmond Sheerin in MacCullough’s Women shares similar traits with other elderly Irish-American gentlemen I have known including my own grandfather. But Desmond is not Pa, although Pa could play the piano like Desmond.

There are a few new characters showing up in Maggie’s Girls. This is what it is like to “trot along behind” one of them.

Cookie Kennedy was Franny’s college roommate. The reader first meets her in Francesca’s Foundlings. Cookie needed a significant other. She’s a wonderful person and really deserves to be appreciated and she’s lonely– her character is based on nobody I know, in case you’re  wondering. It’s about time the right man crosses her path. Jake Kellan stood up to be that guy.

Organized writers, like my friend Sue, begin with a character sheet. And I do applaud them. Goggle character sheets and you will come up with a number of options, ranging from the simple to the complex. One example I saw was nine pages of questions be filled out for each character. Had I answered all the questions asked, I would have had a document stretching to close to five times as many pages as the original template. That’s right, for each character.

I am a “pantser” meaning that I write by “the seat of my pants.” I don’t know if Mr. Faulkner was,too, but he describes the way one writes – as he would– beautifully. I “trot along behind” the character madly typing as we go. An example of this would be that I had no idea Brendan Feeney’s college roommate had an Italian grandmother until I found him making her “gravy” recipe one night in Franny’s kitchen. That’s the kind of information you would find on a character sheet, if I had created one.

So who is Jake Kellan?

So who is Jake Kellan?


Here’s Jake talking to Cookie on their first date in the current draft of Maggie’s Girls:

             For the first time, Jake seemed uncomfortable, almost guarded. “Well, I’m a pretty boring guy. No Made-for-TV movies in my past.” Cookie just smiled and said nothing.

            “Fine. I can see this is the only way I can get back to the aunts.” He took a sip of his scotch, appearing to gather his thoughts. “Well, here are the basics I imagine most women want to know: I am forty years old, not married, have never been married, no children. And yes, I like girls. I was born here in Manchester. I have a younger brother and sister. My brother lives in Manhattan. My sister lives in Bedford. I have three nieces and a nephew. My mother still lives in the house where I grew up. My father owned his own company here. He died last spring.

I know. Boring, right? Except that Jake has a couple of definitely NOT boring twists in his past. I think he may be one of those characters interested in dragging me into writing a sex scene, too.

You’ll just have to read the book to find out.

 

 

 

07/1/16

Between the Sheets: When Characters Want to Have Sex

“In essence, a good sex scene is usually a dialogue scene with physical details.” ―Diana Gabaldon

IMG_0429

“I really liked your book,” the reader told me. “I hope the next one has more sex in it.”

The book she was referring to is McCullough’s Women. There are two sex scenes in the book. One ends abruptly and the other plays itself out, as sex scenes do, across four pages employing all the required words: naked, suckle, nipple, tongue, climax…and more. The first time I read it aloud to my Writers’ Group, which consisted of four women and two men, I had to sit in a chair with my back to them. And even then, my face was scarlet when I finished reading.

I have been a prolific reader since I was nine years old, sometimes reading as many as four books every week. I am often reading two books at the same time, picking up whichever one is closest to me. Over the course of my life, I have read across all genres. I can safely say that, starting with those first sneaked “dirty” books as a young teenager – which in hindsight weren’t really that sexy – I have read a lot of sex scenes, some of which were more pornographic than “romantic” or “artistic”. Reading them in the privacy of your bed or a secluded chair is one thing. Writing a sex scene for other people to read with your name attached to it, is quite another and not for the faint of heart.

My theory as a writer is that when it comes to sex, less is more. This explains why there is not a lot of sex in my books. I try to get the characters into bed when they really need to be there for the sake of the story. I am huge fan of Gone With the Wind. I consider it to be the great American novel. Margaret Mitchell believed in leaving things to the imagination. Here she writes the beginning of what remains one of the most romantic love scenes ever brought to the screen.

The following excerpt is taken from Gone With the Wind:

 “He swung her off her feet into his arms and started up the stairs…Somehow, her arms were around his neck and her lips trembling beneath his and they were going up, up into the darkness again…

 And after that, Mitchell leaves you, the reader, to imagine the rest.

We live in a world were every human act is documented and displayed for the world to see. You don’t believe me? Check your Facebook newsfeed this morning. Sometimes it is hard as a writer to resist the urge to put in “more sex”. Everyone does it after all, or if they are not doing it now, they most likely have. And readers certainly seem to want it.

There are two complete sex scenes in Francesca’s Foundlings. And there are four couples in Maggie’s Girls who would love to climb into bed together. I guess you will have to read the book to find out who makes it there. I suppose this must mean that my writing is getting steamier.

I have been told I do good job writing about sex. The problem is whenever I finish writing one of these scenes my first thought is, Thank God my mother is dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

03/7/16

Where the Names Come from

“A rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” –  William ShakespearePicture of a rose“So where do you get the names for your characters?” People ask.

The answer is, I beg, I borrow and I steal them. I also make them up.

Here are some examples:

Desmond Sbeerin

I love the name Desmond. We have a dear friend who lives in Dalkey, Ireland with that name. I borrowed the name from him and he was gracious enough to let me. I chose Sheerin as the family name because, while not as well-known as Murphy, or even Malone, it is an Irish name. Once again, I borrowed it. My maternal great-grandfather, Patrick Sheerin, owned a bar or “saloon”, not unlike the original Ceol agus Craic, in Boston around the turn of the last century. From the first moment I envisioned this character I knew his name was Desmond or Des Sheerin.

Francesca Chiesa

Francesca Chiesa was my paternal great-grandmother, my father’s beloved Nona. I always loved the name.  I asked permission of the “senior” cousin on that side of the family to use it. I am happy to think that Nona’s name lives on in my novel.

Nick Benincasa

Nick’s name is stolen, from a saint, no less. Di Benincasa is the family name of St. Catherine of Sienna. I thought it was a perfect name for a plumber of Italian descent.

Drew MacCullough and Lilah Patch

Two examples of names that I made up from thin air. I wanted a Scot name as a counter-point to Brid’s name, which is Irish, and I liked the sound of MacCullough. The character was neither an “Andy” nor an “Andrew” and thus Drew McCullough was born.

Lilah was conceived in a moment of whimsy with a nod to a dynamic lady I once worked for whose name was Lilla. I liked the way the name sounded and I think it fits this character.

Here are some general guidelines I use when choosing a name:

  • Match the name to the nationality or ethnicity of the character or use names popular at the time the character was born.
  • Don’t use weird names unless you want the character to be viewed as weird, in which case, a weird name fits.
  • Make sure you offer an explanation if the name is unusual or out of time or place. An example of this would be Franny explaining to Nick why her name is Francesca.

I was still working in corporate training when MacCullough’s Women was published. My boss congratulated me on my great pen name. I laughed and asked, “What do you mean?”  He said, ” Your name, Ferrari. Like the car. Great choice.” I said, “I am Kathleen Ferrari.”  He said, “I know. Great pen name.” I tried again. “No,” I said,”I was born Kathleen Ferrari. It’s my name.” He couldn’t get over that.

I have been married twice. Both times I have taken my husbands’ surname as my own. Shortly before I was married the first time, I needed to get a passport in a hurry. This required a trip into Boston to the federal building for immediate processing. My father drove me “in town” as he, a Boston boy, always referred to the city. The plan was for me to take the train home. At the last moment, my dad decided he would stay with me. Luckily, as it turned out, because the birth certificate I had with me did not have the seal of the city where I was born embossed on it.  “This won’t work,” the man behind the counter told me. At the sight of my dismayed face, he looked at my father standing next to me and asked, “Is this your daughter?”  He then explained that if my father signed an affidavit swearing that I had been born where and when the birth certificate I had with me said, they would accept that as sufficient proof to process the passport request.

We then had to wait for them to make the actual passport. I fretted that my name on the passport would not be the same as my soon-to-be married name. My father’s patience was wearing thin. He turned to me and said, “Listen. You’ll always be Kathleen Ferrari.”

I smile when I see the name on the books covers. He always believed I could be a writer. Using the name he bequeathed to me is my small way of thanking him for having faith.

 

My Dad

My Dad

 

Is there a fictional character whose name you particularly like or will never forget?

02/29/16

The Hard Part of What I Do

A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down. If it is a good book nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book nothing can help him.” ― Edna St. Vincent Millay

IMG_0420

For me, what happens now is the hard part. Francesca’s Foundlings, the second book in the Lynton Series, is available for order on Amazon. And I am supposed to market the book. I looked up “market” to be sure I understood what the verb form of the word meant. The dictionary gave this as the definition: to advertise or promote.

This is a great segue into two things I definitely did not discuss in 2011 when I published my first novel, MacCullough’s Women, although I am sure observant readers have already figured it out. If, however, you have not, here is the great reveal: I self-publish my books and I will be sixty-five in June. As I will explain, they are interconnected.

Five years ago, I began querying agents in an attempt to find someone willing to represent MacCullough’s Women in order to publish the “old school” way. Many books and blog posts have been written on how to write the perfect query letter. More than one writer has been known to say, “Writing the book was easy compared to writing the query letter.”

The world of publishing was changing at a rapid-fire pace when I was ready to publish MacCullough’s Women. There was less money available in traditional publishing and the competition for it was fierce. The role of social media was moving to the forefront taking the writer, who once was a black and white photo on the back page of the book jacket, with it. It was harder to sell a book, especially a first book by a sixty year-old writer. As one independent bookseller told me, “Ageism is rampant in this industry.” Well, I’m sixty-five and I’m okay with that. I hope my readers are too.

The Muse and I

The Muse and I

My husband attended a conference on independent publishing and came home convinced self-publishing was the way we should approach this. We would set up our own publishing company and produce the book. And so we did, creating Roskerry Press.

Along the way I learned that many traditional writers resent writers who self-publish because they feel these writers have “cut the line”, and not paid their dues. Part of me understands but self-publishing is evolving rapidly leaving the stigma of “vanity press” behind. Increasingly, we learn of traditionally published writers who have left their publishers to publish their own books or backlists simply because they can and at the same time retain far more control of the profits and their books.

For me, the major downside of being a self-published author is that the “advertising and promoting” aspect of selling the book rests squarely on me. There is no marketing person at the publisher doing this for me.

I “advertise” and “promote” the book on Facebook, Twitter and here on this blog.  None of it comes easily to someone who spent eight years as a Catholic schoolgirl being told “Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.” I recently gave a copy of MacCullough’s Women to a classmate at Tai Chi. She said she loved it.

Having finished Francesca’s Foundlings, as well as becoming both older and I hope wiser, I have discovered that what I really love to do is write the books. I enjoy my characters and discovering what they will do next.I have received enough feedback from my readers to know they like the books, too.

If you have enjoyed reading MacCullough’s Women, and Francesca’s Foundlings, I am asking you to take the time to tell your friends about them and — this is me “marketing” — please review the book on Amazon and “like” my author page on Facebook.Every review and “like” helps me grow my platform and increase my readers.

I really appreciate it.

02/3/16

To-ing and Fro-ing

“How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Seuss

I have been doing a little research and have discovered writers in general are infrequent bloggers. Who knew that? I follow the blogs of several excellent writers in my genre and I assure you it’s true. The underlying reason has to be more than the simple fact writers are busy. Who isn’t? I wonder if it is because we so often are making things up that we find it difficult to write about our real worlds. I am not the only writer who breaks the first rule of blogging (Show up when you say you will.)  and goes for long stretches without posting. Writers who actually write their own blogs, (and the really big names usually do not) on a regular schedule are rare.

I have been busy “to-ing” and “fro-ing” and somehow December and January skipped away. I won’t bore you with the details but in addition to the usual holiday madness, we had a couple of other significant life events going on. One of which included answering the question: “On a scale of one-to-ten, what is your pain level?”

We ran into a problem with the paperback version of Francesca’s Foundlings. The issue was with the spacing of the words on the printed page. This required a page-by-page scrutiny to find any and all errors. Unfortunately this was sandwiched around everything else going on during that time and took a while to complete.

Francesca's Foundlings

The Series Continues

Roskerry Press was founded with the purpose of publishing my books. My husband and I are the only two permanent “employees” but we do use a professional artist to do the covers, as well as a professional editor. In addition, there are two dedicated copy editors who read the books when they are still in beta format.

The editing component of this work is not for the faint of heart. It is made even more difficult by the fact that many of the old editing rules no longer apply. The expression “Oh, that’s old school.” is true for all writing/editing today. There is also room for human error. Even the best editors are human. I recently read a novel by a well-known writer where suddenly in the second chapter, the name of one of the main characters changed. It took a second read through the previous chapter to wrap my mind around this. The editor should have caught it. But I understood how it happened. Characters may start out with one name and the writer for a variety of reasons changes it. In MacCullough’s Women, Neil Malone’s name was originally “Raymond”. I lived in terror that, despite obsessively doing a “search and replace”, I had somehow missed an occurrence in the manuscript. I did not. My fault seems to be a tendency to leave off the closing quotation marks when a character is speaking. I am pretty sure all writers are guilty of something.

The good news is, I am, indeed, back to work as requested this week by a reader on my Facebook page. The paperback version of Francesca’s Foundlings is once again being formatted. The online proof looks clean. I should have the physical proof in my hands by the end of the week. I am hoping it will be ready to go and available next week on Amazon.

The third novel in the Lynton Series, Maggie’s Girls, is a work-in-progress. I will be blogging more about that book in future posts. The novel explores the relationship between mothers and daughters, both biological and stepdaughters. When I worked in the development of technical training we had often used what we called, Subject Matter Experts or SMEs to insure the content was accurate. Having been a mother and stepmother for forty-three years, I considered myself to be an SME on this topic. I am excited about where this book is going.

My plan is to blog regularly about my books, my characters, my writing practice and The Muse, an indolent Tibetan Terrier called Arleigh Burke. I have also set myself the goal of learning how to use Scrivener described as a word-processing program and outliner designed for authors. Stay tuned. This writer is finding it a challenge.

 

The Muse

The Muse

The Muse

 

09/16/15
Francesca's Foundlings

At Last: Francesca’s Foundlings

“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to a develop a thick hide.”  Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird was first published in 1960. The book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and gave to American literature, Atticus Finch, one of the most beloved characters ever imagined by a writer. A reported forty million copies of the book have since been sold.

Harper Lee never wrote another book after she wrote To Kill A Mockingbird. Her recently published Go Set A Watchman is the original draft of a story that evolved into the book so many of us first read in school and came to cherish.

I realize it might seem very presumptuous of me to compare myself to Harper Lee. However, if Harper Lee hesitated, you can only imagine how hard, indeed, terrifying, it is for the small indie writer to “do it again.”

I have wanted to be a writer since I was in the fourth grade. My father, always my champion, urged me on. Life and a lack of courage intervened. I wrote and published MacCullough’s Women four years ago to see if I could be a writer. Enough people told me they enjoyed it for me to feel good about having written it. I had written a book. “See that, Dad!” I told my long-dead father.

While I was working on MacCullough’s Women, the idea of creating a series of four books set in my fictional little city of Lynton, New Hampshire began to grow. My novels are character-driven and I love my characters. They are almost real to me. As much as I was happy and relieved to finish the book, I also felt a sense of loss. What was going to become of Franny? Were Brid and Neil going to have more than a fling? Would Sofia ever grow-up?

I am happy to offer you Francesca’s Foundlings, the second book in the Lynton Series. Francesca’s Foundlings is the story of an unconventional family, complete with an imperious cat and a grieving Tibetan terrier, created from need and bound together with love. In today’s global world, where individuals often live far from the families into which they were born, you will discover more and more families like this one. Maybe even your own.

Cover for Francesca's Foundlings

Cover for Francesca’s Foundlings

The Lynton Series is about women and the men they love. Women who though flawed, prove themselves to be resilient and willing to change in order to meet the challenges life throws at them. Women very much like those who read my books.

Roskerry Press has just launched the e-book version on Amazon (link to Kindle version).  If you do read it soon, please post a review.

The paperback version will be released later this fall.

Thank you all for your interest and support. My readers (you!) are the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

01/6/14

Writing Into the New Year

If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” – Hilary Mantel

People tiptoe around me. A few brave souls actually do ask me brightly in a tone that suggests I might have forgotten I am in the process of writing it, “Hey, where is that second book?” I thought I would let you all know. The answer is, I’m writing it. I am at the point where I am moving people and scenes around in order to determine if the story has been told. Last week out of the blue, the perfect last line dropped into my head when I was standing in the checkout line at my local supermarket. Oh happy, happy day.

I always wanted to write four books in what I think of as The Lynton Series. Not necessarily four books about the same people but four books about the same place – Lynton, New Hampshire. A small city I conjured up in my head along with all the  people living there. This second book, (the one I really am writing) Francesca’s Foundlings, is a follow-on to MacCullough’s Women and has many but not all of the same characters in it. Francesca’s Foundlings introduces a few new ones, too, like Cookie Kennedy and Georgia Deluca. They will have a much bigger role in the, as yet unnamed, third book.

Writing a series has proved to be challenging as it requires telling readers just enough back story for the new book to make sense but not enough that new readers won’t want to go back and read the first one. A task I have discovered is not as easy as it looks. 

The last four months have been hard. The last blog I wrote was about losing Grace. I am constantly reminded of where she isn’t: greeting me in the morning, impatiently waiting for her banana, curled in her basket and waiting for me at the door. It is likely you, too,  have lost someone you loved and you know there is no way to hurry through the process. Grief moves at its own pace and ambushes you when and where you least expect it.  

There are days when my characters cooperate and I know exactly what they are doing and saying to one another and, even more importantly, where they are going. Those are the days I type as fast as I can. Then, there are other days when nothing I write makes sense to me. I stare at the screen and I ask, now where is this going? This is the way the writing life works. It is an affliction that spares neither fame nor talent. Ernest Hemingway is believed to have said, “Writing is easy. Just open a vein and bleed.”  While I have not been driven to self-mutilation, I find myself opening my mouth and putting food in far more often than I should.

I am looking forward to finishing and publishing  Francesca’s Foundlings this year.  All I can say to those of you waiting to read the next book is, “Be patient.”

 

07/15/13

Facebook’s Siren Song

“One can be absolutely truthful and sincere even though admittedly the most outrageous liar.”  – Henry Miller

It is considered a “Best Practice” of blogging to end each post with a question. The point being, if you end with a question, you will stimulate your readers to make a comment. I admit that I haven’t had much luck with that, and as was recently pointed out to me by the anonymous blog reader I live with, I haven’t been doing it in my last few posts.

Today, in an effort to change things, I am going to start with a question. How soon after you get out of bed do you log onto Facebook?  You get up, brew your coffee, and log on. Right?  Okay, maybe you don’t, but the chances are great that you are “on Facebook” at some point because you are reading this blog.

Writers are funny. We are just like you, each with our own unique pluses and minuses; we also are constantly observing and taking notes.  What I have noticed is that Facebook provokes a whole spectrum of reactions. From what I have observed, people fall into three general categories: Love, Indifference, and Terror.

People who love Facebook are “on” it constantly. “Wait, just let me check my Facebook.”  Do you say that?  Are you one of those people who live your life in fear that you might have missed “liking” something? Have you ever said, “I can’t believe that she or he didn’t like that!”? Do you often push poignant, patriotic or religious requests to “please like this page or picture” out to you friends?  If you answered yes to these questions, then you love Facebook.

Indifferent Facebook users are people who originally got “on” to please someone else.  They are told, “You have to get on Facebook.” So they do. These people can by spotted instantly when they have no profile picture. You often hear them saying, “Nah, I’m never on that thing. Who has time for that?”  However, they often know or even better, live with, someone who loves Facebook and that person or persons reports back to them all interesting developments. My husband falls into this category. He misses nothing but remains pure. Sometimes these people even check Facebook out themselves. The difference is, they don’t hear its siren song.

Terrified peopled are those who believe Facebook will steal their souls, their spouses, children, pets, home, money, etc. I know some of these people. They believe Facebook is out to destroy them and all civilized society.

My Facebook story began with little fanfare five years ago. I had a friend who was battling cancer who asked me to join and be friends with her. I would have done anything she asked me to; it was not a big deal to signup. I made the usual mistakes like posting what should have been a private message on my page. Fortunately, the message was pretty tame, so no harm was done.

My daughter moved to Ireland in 2009.  Facebook provided me a way to know what she was doing in real time and also chat with her spontaneously. I saw pictures of her new friends and the neighborhood where she lived. It was a wonderful way to stay connected.I have two nieces in Arkansas I have never met, but because their mother post videos of them on her Facebook page, I feel I know them.  After I published my book, MacCullough’s Women, I set up an author page to connect to my readers.

Facebook is not without drawbacks. Like most powerful tools, it should be used with care. The information you place on your Facebook page can be seen by others and may be remembered. People both stalk and lurk, so security and privacy is critical.

I think, used correctly, Facebook is a good thing and brings people closer. I do check Facebook everyday, sometimes before I have my coffee.  What about you? Which category do you fall into?

 

My Facebook Page

My Facebook Page