Category Archives: For Readers

News and stuff for Romantic Shorts Readers.

Seeing Writers Grow Is Worth Everything

I originally set out on my quest to build Romantic Shorts for a slew of good reasons: for me, for my family, to build something from nothing, to help others, writers, their careers, their families, readers, to meet people… You get the idea.

As I’ve been spending more and more time back online, still wading through hundreds of email messages, some as old as three full years now, I’ve been tiptoeing gently, a little wary of the kind of response I’m going to get from people who expected a reply from me a lifetime ago. As it turns out, this is one of the most exciting tasks I’ve ever taken on.

Opting for a humble and honest approach, I’m responding to all of those emails, queries, and manuscript submissions, one by one, and, more often than not, finding myself moved to tears. You guys are amazing people!

Everyone has been so understanding, so supportive, and incredibly friendly. Having to reject a story submission almost three years after its author saw fit to entrust me with it is a daunting prospect. But all have led to short and long conversations about where they are now, what has changed, and how far life has led them. And I am having great fun learning how life has gone on while I hid. I didn’t expect this.

But the one who prompted me to write this post, young Christopher, has me smiling sunshine this morning. At 18, Christopher sent me a story that, while it showed hints of promise in the writing, was not a fit for Romantic Shorts at all. I emailed him yesterday with my reply, hoping to encourage more than not, but had to reject the story on many levels.

I woke this morning to his reply. He has since grown up. Kept writing. And has taken that awkward little story and fleshed it out into what now looks like a promising novel. He sent me the first chapter. His writing has grown far more than I’d think two years should allow. His ideas are fresh and enticing. And his future as a writer looks quite exciting. I found myself reading his update feeling a pride that has nothing to do with me.

It seems that, even in my absence, Romantic Shorts has been working away, out there in cyberspace, plugging along without me, doing good, helping others, and making a bit of a difference.

And after all, isn’t that what we all want from our children?

It’s a good day!

Alex.

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Filed under For Readers, For Writers, Just a Thought

A Quiet Return To Real Life

If I had a cottage that I had barely visited in the last three years, knowing it needed some attention, but unable to get there, I would certainly expect to arrive this week and find one heck of a disaster. Happily, not a total loss. The building was, and is still, in great shape. The grounds have gotten away with a fair bit of wanton behaviour. And it seems a critter has managed to gain entrance and make a little mischief. All in all though, it could be worse.
 
But the most difficult part of returning is finding that the municipality has repaved, rerouted, or removed all of the roads in and out of the property. At first glance, I can’t get there from here. I may have to swap out my car for a horse…
 
And so it is, with Romantic Shorts. While my neglect has spared me my worst fears, it seems it’s going to take a considerable effort on my part to find my way around again, reconnect with the neighbours, and feel like I belong once more.
 
Now, with no grandiose pomp and circumstance surrounding my return to public life, and with new digs completed and oh-so-perfectly-appointed *smile and a heavy sigh of satisfaction,* I am back to work, quietly plugging away at emails, submissions, and website revision.
 
The door is open for manuscript submissions. Although, until the actual submission page is repaired – that’s the door the raccoon broke through – manuscripts can be submitted by email attachment to submissions@romanticshorts.com
One of the plugins I have on the website is a silly fun thing that quotes a different line from ‘Hello Dolly’ every time I open the admin page. Today, I was greeted with, “It’s so nice to have you back where you belong…”
Likewise, Romantic Shorts. Likewise.

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Filed under For Readers, For Writers, What's New @ R.S.

Romantic Shorts v. Facebook

I have a confession.

I, unlike a happy half-billion other people on the planet, including most of my own household, cannot, for the life of me, master Facebook. Apparently, I did not inherit the gene that makes that facet of the Internet clear to me. I don’t understand the draw. I can’t make sense of the interface. I have no envy for those who have conquered the realm in any way whatsoever. I am not in denial of the fact that I have so few friends that I must catalogue them online. Yet I have lived a full and productive life without ever ‘liking’ or ‘friending’ anyone, much to the embarrassment and consternation of my husband and teenagers.

Until now.

I have discovered my achilles heel and, given my now excessive ineptitude, flagrant mistakes, and hopeless potential, I am now confessing publicly to my humiliation.

Because now, this matters. And it matters because, though I never personally had any interest in participating in the Facebook phenomenon, my position regarding Romantic Shorts is a complete contradiction. I recognize the value and necessity of presenting Romantic Shorts via Facebook. I understand, and truly desire the benefits of such an interaction. I have every intention of introducing Romantic Shorts to the world through its very own FB page, and welcome the potential and possibilities that can result.

Unfortunately, for all of the learning I’ve done over the past almost two years – SEO optimization, HTML coding, WordPress.com/WordPress.org, site migration, posts, comments, ping backs, stats, tweets, domains, media files, CSS, tags, and ram – none of it has adequately prepared me for the world of Facebook.

Surely, I cannot be this stupid. How – head in hands in frustration – could my kids, at the age of eleven and twelve, with such a diligent mother as myself, not only conquer Facebook, but keep it all a big secret from me? Okay, wrong question – duh. How then, can my husband, who asks my help with every single document, file, photo, download, and song, have such a rich and fulfilling Facebook experience, while I struggle so painfully?

Do you see my point? He is an online dud. I am a master by comparison. And yet I cannot seem to match his proficiency. And though I detest the use of the ‘F’ word – I warn you, here is comes:

It’s not ‘F’air!!!

He doesn’t need Facebook! I do!

Okay, enough whining. But I did need to vent.

And so, I commit to my attack. I will win this little war that Mr. Zuckerberg has forced upon me. I will prevail, and Romantic Shorts will enjoy a long, happy, and productive Facebook life. I will look back at this obstacle and laugh. Out loud! And I will wonder why and how I could have been so very challenged by what will inevitably become a mere hiccup in my journey. And all of Romantic Shorts’ friends/fans will surely think that I am just a writer with a keen sense of humour, since, obviously, Romantic Shorts will then have the most amazing Facebook page ever! Ahh ha ha!

I am off now, to learn more about my problem so that I can succeed where I have yet to be successful. Time is no barrier. I will keep at it until I win. I am strong. I am woman.

I will go warm my cup of coffee first… This will likely take a while.

Alex.
(In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions, I am certainly open to a little guidance?

I started a FB ‘page’ – (blue logo) –  because I didn’t have a personal ‘profile.’ And a company – Romantic Shorts  – must have a ‘page.’ The ‘page’ (blue logo) did not seem to be ‘doing’ what I expected it to do… So I finally created a personal ‘profile’ – (Alexandra Brown) – and then attached a ‘page’ – (Romantic Shorts – red logo) – to that. That seemed okay, but it’s terribly confusing as to whether I’m using ‘Facebook as Romantic Shorts’ or ‘as Alexandra Brown.’ I was going to delete the ‘blue logo’ ‘page’, until I realized that I then lose the 24 ‘likes’ it has – which would allow me to create a Facebook name (or almost). I also just happened to Google Romantic Shorts today and discovered a whole bunch of links to the ‘blue logo’ page, and a new ‘purple logo’ page that I don’t recall ever setting up but seems to be part of The New Writers site and pulls my Facebook feed from the ‘blue logo’ ‘page.’ So I cancelled the delete on the ‘blue logo’ ‘page.’

Now I have three bloody pages and no clue as to what to do with them. Is it any wonder I’m confused? Really, can you blame me? And, if you do have suggestions, while I welcome them, please keep in mind that the mere mention of the words Facebook, page, profile, like, and friend, have the same effect as someone pointing a gun at me. Complete shutdown of all things rational. Except that I’m pretty sure I would lose my self-control and bitch-slap the guy with the gun…)

 

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Filed under For Readers, For Writers, Just a Thought, What's New @ R.S.