ellen mcbee

She's always up to something…

Hashtag Happy!

I went to a presentation a few weeks ago by the talented and knowledgeable Susan Spann, who writes mysteries in which her lead detective is a sixteenth-century ninja. And you can read all about her here: http://www.susanspann.com/

Anyway, she was presenting about social media. And I know, I’m not very active here sometimes; some days there’s just too much to do and not enough space. But I’ve decided to start using more hashtags in my social media postings.

I’ve only done one so far, on my writer’s page on Facebook. And I have learned that people like pictures! And they like hashtags!

So I’ve been trying to choose my three “areas” for things I post about. Two were easy; writing life, interesting WWII stories with an emphasis on women’s stories especially if they involve combat, and…

Vaguebooking.

You know, when people post some passive-aggressive meme that is aimed at some particular Facebook Frenemy but don’t actually have the balls to take that person on directly?

I thought it would be fun to collect them and use them to entertain people. To be content that I provide.

So, watch this space! In blogging I suppose you just use tags. But look out for #writinglife #vaguebook and #scouts in the rest of my accounts!

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I’m Getting Surprises!

Oh, I’m enjoying Diamonds!

I’m keeping up with the word quota (although I was hoping to get ahead today, but didn’t). And for whatever reason, the “Sophie” thread is coming first.

Okay. I can do that.

The way I have it set up in Scrivener, I have three “chapters,” which I will be filling with scenes from each girl’s viewpoint. Sophie has so far had only two historical characters appear. I will be adding “historical character viewpoint” scenes during the second draft, which is also when I will be putting some meaningful order into these stories. So far, I have done a small amount of background reading about each thing before I’ve started writing it.

Tonight after everyone goes to bed, I will be working on the seduction scene.

I don’t know what else to call it. Sophie’s older sister has been cut off from the Christian parents because she was married at an SS bride school, by her husband’s commanding officer, instead of in a church. And (this was the surprise) Daria was told that she shouldn’t trust Sophie because Sophie’s sister is involved in…something shady. So, when Sophie is home for a visit, she goes to find her sister.

It turns out that not only is the sister involved in something shady, her husband knows all about it and was the one who suggested it.

I know, I’m speaking in a heavy code. I’m just hoping someone will pick this book up and read it someday.

Anyway, the brother-in-law is a complete true believer (although at this point Sophie isn’t). Among other things, he believes in the directive that an SS man should have as many women having his kids as possible. And he figures that his wife’s genealogy is clean, so her sister’s would be too.

I know, it’s gross.

I’m mildly triggered by it (something similar but MUCH LESS BAD happened to me many years ago), so it’s difficult. At the same time, kind of cathartic for those emotions to finally have some meaning. I think she would be repulsed and angry with him, but at the same time flattered. She’s young enough (17) that she doesn’t have good judgment. And of course, our concepts of date rape and consent would be completely alien to both of them.

I can’t wait to see what kind of surprises Emily’s story is going to reveal!

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The Dog Ate My Washi Tape

I couldn’t resist; this phrase went through my head today because, yes, the dog ate my washi tape.

I’m really not one for bandwagons, but I think I’ve just jumped on one: bullet journals. This is a type of planner invented by Ryder Carroll, a designer from New York. The idea is that it’s a planner but you can also take notes in it.

I don’t want to re-publish the entire description; those who are interested can read all about it at http://bulletjournal.com/get-started/ , which seems to be the designer’s own page about it. In any case, I had been edging toward doing something like this but kept getting stuck in the idea of subdividing the book. For instance, last summer I tried a plan with a five-subject notebook with one section for gym, one for the pool, one for VBS. The problem was there wasn’t a calendar that kept track of all five things on one page. In a bullet journal, you can write about anything on any page of your notebook.

The main thing I was doing that was working was an index. I’ve taken to indexing my research notebooks, but it just hadn’t occurred to me to index my planner.

The notebook I’m using cost $5 on clearance at Staples. It’s a C.R. Gibson 3-in-1 notebook, with one section of writing paper, one section of graph paper, and one section of blank paper. And I’m using tape flags (which I adore) to help me see today’s lists. And I did subdivide a little; Section A has the daily notes, Section B (the grid) has the housekeeping checklists and the editing checklist, and Section C (the blank pages) doesn’t include anything yet. But it’s fun to draw.

And, I outlined some of my lists with the Washi tape. And I used my fun South Korean markers, but I’m not color coding. I just thought they were pretty.

So far, so good. I did everything on my list that I HAD to do today, and some of the things I just ought to do. And today was busy enough that when I got through making the list I nearly gave up in despair. And I added a symbol; a heart shape means that it has something to do with writing.

I can’t decide if this is making me feel accomplished, or if it’s going to contribute to feeling overwhelmed. I guess when things migrate over multiple days I will find out. Maybe putting things to do for fun on the list will work? “Lie on the deck and take a nap” or “Silently judge next door neighbor”?

Now if only smallest child would stop leaving the hose running.

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