Theresa on — Tweeting with Editors… Kinda

I take back anything I have said about a different topic being difficult. Tweeting to my professional community was the hardest. First, I had to figure out who to tweet to, which I ended up choosing three editors from different publishing companies. Then I had to figure out what to ask them. I didn’t want to come across as stupid but… Who knows.

I tweeted… But alas, there was no response.

So… Let me explore this experiment, tweet-by-tweet.

My First Tweet:

Michelle Howry is an editor at Simon and Schuster, and I thought that this would be a good starting point, considering that most of my books are published by them. Now the question. What was I thinking?? Honestly, I worded it completely wrong. So hopefully, if Michelle saw it, I wouldn’t blame her for not responding due to the confusion that ensues.

What I had meant was if a certain genre was her forte more than others, much like many people prefer reading one genre to another genre. Oh boy, the pain is real. I had a conversation planned based on this Tweet, had she responded. My follow up question would have been if she edits more of Genre-X because it is her strong point. I definitely shot myself in the foot with this one.

My Second Tweet:

Lauren Spiegel is a Senior Editor at Touchstone books. Because she is senior editor, I was curious as to what she offered clients in terms of editing services. Does she work first on with the promotion of the book? Does she help develop the book? Does she work hands on with the copying editing and proofreading? While these may seem like minor questions, I was dying to know. There are editors who will shell out all and any services they can to get an author they really like on board. So is Lauren Spiegel more buddy buddy with her authors or is she more….

I guess I’ll never know…

My Third Tweet:

What the hell was I thinking with this tweet?! This question is the equivalent to going up to someone carrying a load of packages who is struggling and asking if they need help. Oh god, I suddenly feel like a complete and total idiot. Kind of like when you are in bed and pull the covers up only to hit yourself in the face and get a black eye from it. Yeah.

I want to say that this was my first question and I was just testing the waters out. I want to make up any and all excuses to cleanse myself of my stupidity. But… I can’t. Me typing this post is kicking the ass of the version of me that asked this question.

Honestly, I am not even going to expand on this tweet. I am full ashamed of myself.

However, I did learn one thing from this portion of the assignment. Since I was essentially talking to no one, I did my own research on the questions I asked and I realized that everything that falls under an editor’s job title makes me love the job even more than I already had and I know that I’m doing the right thing (for me) going into this field of work.

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Theresa’s Thoughts on… Pecha Kucha

I bet I know what you’re thinking. What the heck is Pecha Kucha? Well, you can read all about Pecha Kucha here. Basically, however, Pecha Kucha is a presentation form in which there are twenty slides and twenty seconds of speech per slide. Keeps the topic interesting, don’t you think?

My group’s whole blog concept had been about fashion and technology, so going through with different aspects to cover had been fairly easy. Amanda covered The History of Blogging, Madeline covered The Business of Beauty Gurus, Colleen covered Beauty Blogging: The Career and what did that leave me? Well… My topic tied together with Madeline and Colleen’s with the beauty gurus. Let me guess, you’re asking me how aren’t you? Well, you see a beauty guru using a product you love, but you can’t afford it, right? Well my whole topic for the class had been beauty on a budget and I covered just that.

Let’s Take A Walk…

The first slide had been the hardest for me, in all actuality. I had to have a slide that transitioned well from Colleen’s topic into the whole “Beauty on a Budget” concept. So after thinking for a while, I thought, why not use a Beauty Blogger to kick it off. So my first image had been an ad of Michelle Phan and her cosmetics line, Em. However, I actually am going to be discussing my second and fourth slides more than my first.

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The top image is a screen cap from popular YouTuber, Grav3yardgirl’s (Bunny Meyer) series First Impression Friday, in which she reviews new or popular make up products. The beauty of this series is that if the product doesn’t work, you don’t have to shell out the money to go get it. This slide had been the beginning of tying makeup and the internet together.My third slide was very similar, as it also featured Bunny, but in a different light, as it was from another popular series on her channel, Does This Thing Really Work? The reason I used Bunny as my subject was that, to me, she is real. She is not going to sugar coat if these products work because she gets endorsed by the companies.

The image below is a screen cap from a product comparison site called MatchMyMakeup, where you can go and find products very similar to a brand you love. This slide was the first to demonstrate the beauty that is the internet. My fifth slide was a screen cap from a price comparison website, which I thought was the perfect way to tie everything together, considering that this is where the world is heading. Online shopping with little to no human contact.

Is this going to be society in thirty some odd years whenever people have to actually do something face to face?

What Did I Learn?

One thing that I learned is that the internet is truly Costco of the Internet. You no longer have to really do anything yourself anymore. If you are iffy about buying a product, you just have to google a video of someone testing it and if doesn’t work as you think it will, that’s it. You don’t have to waste the money. But… This makes me wonder, how lazy will society become?

Dogs… Why Did They Become “The Seasons Hottest Trend”?

Okay so I am diverging a bit from the typical technology relate to beauty and fashion posts but this is something that has been bothering me since … Forever and I want to get it out there before I take my pent up anger out on some poor unsuspecting civilian walking the streets of New York.

It sickens me that the trend of “designer dogs” is growing. 10 years ago, you had the labadoodle. Sure, they are cute, but what about the health risks involved??
Here are a few facts for you about “Designer Dogs” :
  • Designer dogs can cost way more than a pure breed dog.
  • A lot of puppy stores are “designer puppy” stores.
    • a side note on puppy stores, they are a blatant form of animal abuse and while most are outraged, a lot of people are ignorant to the matter.

Shelters and rescue groups do their best to aid in assisting these animals, but it’s a vicious circle. The designer dogs who are perfect and healthy get sold and the “rejects” are the ones sent to high kill shelters where rescue groups go to try and save them.

Arañya is a Jack Russel and Pug (Jug), designer dog rescued by Joan Marie and Art a West Orange, New Jersey couple who loves all animals and were already the “parents” to two rescue dogs, Mya and Katie Frank, a Sheltie named Raine, an African Grey Parrot, and a turtle named Alice.

To the couple’s knowledge she has only one sister, Peppermint, (Arañya was originally named Candy Cane), and the shelter was trying to have the pair adopted together. However, Arañya has an eye problem, Joan and Art were originally told that Arañya had weeping eye, but it was really the beginning of dry eye in both of her eyes, meaning her tear ducts don’t produce tears causing her to be squinting, as seen in the images below.

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Arañya was essentially blind at this point in her life

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Whoever would have adopted her was going to have to put A LOT of time (and money) into her health and well being. What eventually happened was that Peppermint was adopted and Arañya went between families and the shelter. She had spent her whole life in a crate because the families found her to be too much to handle and a cone around her neck because she would scratch at her eyes. At least before she was adopted by Joan and Art. The housing situation for her had only meant to be temporary, but the more the couple had and interacted with her, the more they wanted to keep her.

Arañya was getting three different types of drops, two of which are prescription) in her eyes three times a day and “[she is taking] two prescription drugs. One of which is an Immune depressant, that’s what dry eye is all about, the confused immune system.” Joan Marie informed me when I questioned about the medication that Arañya takes. Joan Marie also informed me that the medication for Arañya is also expensive.

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According to Joan Marie there is a nasal procedure that Arañya could undergo that would help moisten her eyes, but it rarely helps. Arañya however did undergo a surgery in which they removed some of her lower eyelid. She had stitches in her eyes and they took a long time to heal. Joan Marie commented and said she was lucky that Arañya didn’t get an infection.

Arañya, as mentioned above is a part Jack Russel, part Pug. Her new name, which is Spanish for “spider” was given to her because of her long, spidery legs. The family changed it when they found that the pup was getting herself into mischief because of how her long legs are and how they would allow her to feel out counters and whatnot in order to get human food or treats that would be on counters, out of reach of a normal leg length dog.

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Laying down Arañya looks like a normal dog. According to the family Perry Como is a common nickname when wearing this sweater.

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Arañya poses as “SuperDog” and shows off her long legs

Yes, Arañya was bred to be a designer dog. But just like Becker said, health risks may be intensified, which is what happened to Arañya. However, Arañya is with a family who is more than willing to put the time into taking care of her, and look at how happy she is. Yes, she has a defect, but she is still a perfect dog.

According to PetMD.com:

While the term “designer dog” is fairly new, there is nothing new about them. Although many people who were new to the dog world saw the pairings of different breeds as a 20th century fad that was worth noting, avid breeders had been crossing purebreds for centuries. The difference was that earlier hybrids were intended for work purposes – to make better hunting or shepherding dogs, in many cases.

I have nothing against mixed breed dogs. My own dog is a poodle/bischon mix. But she’s a mutt. And that’s all these “designer dogs” are- mutts. And if you shell out thousands of dollars to have a dog bred for you because you want to have a toy something or another, well there’s a special place in hell for people like you. Because here’s what’s going to happen, you’ll get the dog and be happy for a little while… That is until the dog starts to have medical complications and you don’t care anymore.

“Crossing two different breeds does not necessarily diminish the risk of health problems, either. In fact, crossbreeding can introduce health problems into the mix, or intensify problems such as hip dysplasia or eye disease that two breeds might share.” Marty Becker reveals in the article “Should You Get A Designer Dog?”

Now this isn’t saying that it’s always the case, that the dog will have medical complications or that you’ll end up abandoning it when you don’t want to deal with it anymore but the sad truth is that it happens. And what’s even sadder is that the dogs can’t speak up for themselves and just like anything else, if it’s damaged most people people will overlook it and go for the shiny, pretty, nearly perfect version.

Dogs are people, not some fashion accessory. So next time you see an add for a “designer dog”, actually do research on it and see what the possible risks of having one is. The sad thing is that breeders aren’t going to stop breeding these “designers,” because there is a high demand for them. But if you want to help make a change, don’t get a “designer dog,” the minute you see the ad. Go to a local animal shelter and adopt one. Chances are, it may just be the best decision of your life.

**All photos used in this post are copyrighted to Joan Marie Domino and are being used with the owner’s consent.**

One Week Without Facebook… Did I Actually Survive? Theresa Baran

The assignment was to log off of Facebook for a week. Delete the apps from any device and stay signed off from the computer. I somewhat succeeded, but at the same time, I feel like I failed.

First off, I don’t use Facebook for communicating with friends. It’s mostly just scrolling through the newsfeed and picking up different stories that pique my interest- anything from BuzzFeed to YouTube that gets posted. I also use Facebook to feed my Tetris addiction. So a week without Facebook had me doing two things:

  1. I downloaded the BuzzFeed app onto my phone and was constantly going through BuzzFeed’s … Feed trying to get my daily dose of news, cuteness and awes.

  1. I downloaded a (horribly made) Tetris app, which made me want to break my phone. I love my Tetris and the app that I got was absolutely horrid.

So when the clock struck midnight, the first thing I did was go to Facebook and click the Tetris Battle link on the side of my newsfeed. I spent the next three or so hours going through Marathon mode of Tetris Battle. I hadn’t realized that it was going to be such a relief to play again. It was like taking your hair out of a tight pony tail and feeling your roots sigh in happiness.

But did I actually survive a week without Facebook?

Wednesday – February 11, 2015 —  my alarm blares in my ear, jolting me from a deep slumber. I groggily push myself up from the mattress, my hair a mess and grab my phone from my nightstand. I grumble as I shut off the alarm and go to open the Facebook app when the calendar notification pops up. No Facebook for a Week. Starting Today. A small string of explicits exit my mouth. I wasn’t feeling well and I had just wanted to go on Facebook, complain to my family- like I typically would do. But no. I couldn’t. So I put music on and got my day started, thinking I could easily do this.

But man oh man was I wrong.

First of all, I’m an avid Candy Crush, Pet Rescue and Farm Heroes player. Not only did I have to disconnect from Facebook for the week, but within 2 days, I had beat the episodes of all three games and couldn’t ask (and by ask I mean bombard) my aunt and best friends for tickets to the next episode.

I couldn’t do it. I did do it, but I was more often than not tempted to go on. I missed two engagements and a birth announcement during that week. Oh goody.

The bright side however, is that I was able to keep in touch with my Facebook only friends through messenger because messenger is NOT Facebook. It doesn’t have the games, the photos, the status uploads or the links that Facebook has. It was like texting my friends, but through an app released by the company whose main app I could not use. Yeah….

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Let’s just say that I am glad that the week is over. I missed Facebook more than I thought possible and I am glad I won’t have to do that again.

Surviving Fashion Trends in College… Theresa Baran

Three things female college students always seem to worry about is fashion trends. This includes: makeup products, actual clothing, hair styles and nail designs. The majority of the female population feeds off the season’s trends the way a parasite feeds off of it’s host to live. (My apologies for the morbid image.) But the problem is… 

How do I get this season’s looks with my bank account looking the way it does?!

Well, that’s the beauty of the internet. The internet is filled with bloggers devoted just to this. One of the more popular blogs Broke and Beautiful posts whenever something new seems to hit the fashion scene, or they are just reviewing some product that you might be interested in before going and shelling out the money for it.

Now, if you have gone to the site, you might be freaking out and internally cursing me because you have fallen in love with a product you have seen, but it is just a little bit out of your price range. Don’t fret. Remember: The Internet is a Beautiful place. 

Personally I clicked on the posting In Bloom Vintage Botanical Print Wallets, because quite frankly, I am getting sick of my Yoshi wallet. I need something … more classic. And I fell in love with the images littering the page. The poppy one being my personal favorite.

I was all ready to pull out my debit card and go to the website when I noticed the price. $39.99. My heart sunk in my chest. Sure forty dollars might not seem to be that expensive, but with my student loans piling up and bills that have to get paid, I can’t splurge on a wallet like this.

Thus, I went to the internet. Sure, I couldn’t find one exactly  like the one imaged above, but I had a general feel for what I was looking for at this point and thanks to sites like Google (a general spring  board) you can find almost anything through eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. Using eBay, I found a wallet that gives me the same feeling as the Poppy wallet does. The best part though? It’s only $16 and it’s free shipping.

That’s 60% off. Which, in my mind is a way better deal than $40, plus with the second wallet, I get to keep my money (the rare times I do have cash) wrinkle free.

Atwood by Theresa Baran

Twittersphere…. It really is an unusual word for someone that really never uses Twitter. Well if you are like my parents, I know what you’re thinking… You’re 21 and don’t use Twitter?! Well…No. I don’t. But thanks to Margaret Atwood I can’t even really say I have a good excuse as to not be using it, because honestly if that grandmotherly woman can use Twitter, well why can’t I?

Before I start, I want to comment on something in the article that made me laugh.

My first problem was that there were already two Margaret Atwoods on Twitter, one of them with my picture. This grew; I gave commands; then all other Margaret Atwoods stopped together. I like to think they were sent to a nunnery, but in any case they disappeared. The Twitterpolice had got them. I felt a bit guilty. 

The fact that when you try to sign up for Twitter (or any other social media in which it requires a username) it really is a pain when you can’t get the one that you want, but when you try to get the username as a “celebrity” of sorts, well.. sometimes life is a little bit harder for you.

The fact that Atwood states that she felt a bit guilty caused me to crack up laughing, because I feel like that is a typical grandparent response. My grandmother felt guilty when she got the last gallon of milk or the last carton of eggs at the grocery store. One time she even paid for the last whatever it was she had, went up to the person and gave them it, stating that they could get better use out of it than she would.

The term “Twitterpolice” though evoked a more … recent feeling of frustration of sorts. Like when you are trying to teach an older family member how to use certain Social Media outlets and they just aren’t understand that they can’t have a certain URL because some thirteen year old in Nevada already has it. And no she will not change her URL just because it’s the name of your business. And no, reporting her isn’t going to do anything about it! (Trying super hard not to derail and yet…)

No mom, this doesn't exist!

No mom, this doesn’t exist!

Atwood proves in her article that old dogs can learn new tricks. So in all reality there is no reason that I can’t be part of the “Twittershpere” and tweet on a daily basis…. Which I haven’t really been doing on a daily basis…. Oops…

Yes, I know. Don’t rub it in,  Rachel.

Honestly, when it comes to Twitter I just have no desire to be commenting on my daily in 140 characters or less. I’m an introvert of sorts. I like being alone. This isn’t saying that I don’t socialize, I do. But when the day is done, give me a book and the quiet that is just my thoughts and I.

And it has once again happened. Thought derailment.

Atwood’s article made me think of my grandmother in many ways. My grandmother never really understood the concept of the internet. She did, but at the same time she didn’t. My cousin and I set her up with an email address and a Skype account so she could keep in touch with her family out West   and we told her she could have access to hundreds upon thousands to upon millions of recipes her response never changed: “The internets is just a phase!”

Some people just don’t care about the Internet I suppose. But is there really ever a way to change them?

Bolter by Theresa Baran

This post is a response to Bolter’s Introduction Writing In the Late Age of Print as well as Writing as Technology. I will admit, I do jump around in my thought process though.

As the years progressed, so did the “technologies” for writing. Each new medium for writing was considered a new technology, even if to the modern man of the twenty-first century it seems primal.

  • Let’s take a quick look at the Evolution of Writing:
    • 3100 BC – Inscribed in clay (Mesopotamian)
    • 3000 BC – Papyrus (Egyptian)
    • 1500 BC – Bamboo Books (dates back to Shang dynasty)
    • 5th Century BC –  Wax, leaves and wood (Indian)
    • 2nd Century BC – Pergamum and parchment (Mediterranean)
    • AD 105 – The Discovery of Paper (Chinese)
    • 12th Century – Paper reaches Spain
    • 15th Century – Paper reaches Europe 
      • Printed books now available.
    • early 19th Century – Rags
      • Late 19th century – Wood Pulp

So where does this leave us now? Yes, the compiled list above is the medium in which the words were transcribed to, but in terms of actually writing, where are we now? The majority of the US population writes using some form of electronic device- whether that be a computer, a tablet or even a cell phone is completely up to the person using said device. Go back almost six hundred years. There was no such thing as a computer. It was the all handwriting. Calligraphy is now a lost art to the age of novelty fonts. “…The printing press, the typewriter, and the Linotype machine [are] technologies. These industrial-age means of book production were complex and to a degree of  self-activating or self-directing.” (Bolter, J.D. 2001.) The advancements of writing technologies over the years assisted in making lives easier due to the ease of duplication. But with each great idea to hit man-kind someone is waiting in the wings with an even grander idea. Take the typewriter for example. There were several variations of that itself,  each one developed by someone who figured out how to fix the flaws with the model before it. But from the typewriter we got computers, which in turn opened up a whole new world of electronics to be marketed and make the “modern man’s” life easier. “As we look up from our computer keyboard to the books on our shelves we may be tempted to ask whether ‘ this will destroy that.'” (Bolter, J.D. 2001). And the answer to that question, in my opinion is that yes. Technology is destroying physical printing. My friend has a little sister who is eight years old. When I was eight years old, I was starting to learn cursive hand writing in school. My friend’s sister, however, is not. In place of cursive lessons, students are getting typing lessons. Yes, typing is an important skill to have, but by the time a child is six or seven, they seem to know more about electronics than a third of adults do. Cursive is soon going to be a lost art, like calligraphy. Ever since the .com industry exploded, newspapers across the country have either been making cutbacks or closing due to the lack of employees needed, keeping only the bare minimum because computers can do so much more than a person can in half time. “The Late Age in Print.” Books to E-Books. Everyone has their personal opinions on this. This girl, however is not pro-ebooks. In case you are interested, I own nearly 800 print books (and that number grows a little every day.) The only reason I have the Nook app on my iPad is because I have it loaded with guilty pleasure books, the ones I would never be caught dead reading in print. These are the books that maybe society says I’m too old for or maybe it’s books that are being made fun of by all my friends, but I enjoy the easy flow of the read. Other than that, I have no desire for E-Books.

Everything that is Wrong with E-Books According to Theresa:

  • You don’t get that new (or old) book smell
  • you don’t get the satisfaction of turning a page.
  • You definitely don’t get the satisfaction of slamming the book closed when your favorite character does something completely stupid
  • You don’t ability to throw the book across the room when your favorite author kills off your favorite character (Thanks John Green!)
    • I mean, I suppose you could throw your device across the room like a frisbee and risk cracking the screen, but when you pay upwards of 700$ I wouldn’t want to risk it.
  • (Stereo-typically females only) You can’t take a bubble bath and read with an E-Book. You drop the device, boom. Dead.

While I know that print books are on their way out and libraries, as well as small business book stores, are making closings, it comforts me that print books won’t become obsolete for a long time. All I can hope for is that print books don’t go out of style until after I’m six-feet under. (Sorry for the morbid picture)