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The Warren Christmas Chronicles

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The Warren Christmas Chronicles

DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS_JEWELRY BY CHRISTY PROMO PHOTO_1A_resized

 

Christmas Shopping

During 2010, my wife, Christy Warren decided to try an online business. She made jewelry to sell over the Internet. She had a shop on Etsy. Christy diligently worked using the various stone cabachons and wrapping them in gold filled wire to create necklaces and earrings. I would photograph the various types of merchandise she had for sale in her “Jewelry by Christy” shop. This photograph is an example of one of the photographs that I took to promote and advertise her jewelry. There are many “success” stories related to Etsy. We tried different cabachons. She tried to wrap the stones in different styles. I tried many different ways to photograph the merchandise. She did sell a few items through her Etsy shop, but, ours was not a success story. In 2011, she went “off line.” The photograph is a reminder that sometimes in life you try some business ideas and no matter what you try; sometimes, you simply do not succeed. Photo by Samuel E, Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Christmas is the time of year, when writers write several stories. Often the stories range from holiday decorating and recopies to the “I remember when. . .childhood Christmas story.

 

I take pride in not being a traditional writer.

 

I try to write about events and situations that people don’t normally consider.

 

This Christmas season, I sat down at the laptop to write “a” Christmas story. I thought I would write “one Christmas story” and be done with the holiday.

 

I was not in a Charles Dickens mood. I started typing and the story started to expand to epic proportions like Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”

 

I have always been a “wordy” writer.

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Unfortunately, the story was becoming an entity. I was beginning to feel more like an expectant father than a writer.

 

The story was taking on a life of it’s own on the electronic page before my eyes.

 

The story had begun to read like a child Christmas laundry list of toys beginning at October 30, 1955 and growing before my eyes to December 25, 2011.

 

I stopped writing and read over what I had written.

 

What had started as a story was now a three volume manuscript for Encyclopedia Britannica on the word, “Christmas.”

 

Rather than post my Library Of Congress collection of Christmas novellas to my blog, I decided it was time to cut, paste and delete. Before I hit the delete key, I looked at the writing one last time.

 

Sections !

 

I realized my fingers in “type” mode and my mind on “flow” had yielded different periods of time in my life that came down to different Christmas Days in different locations at different times.

 

Wordsmith Warren word work time !

 

I read over and decided the sections were a series of articles on Christmas through the years of my life. The end result is there should be something in “The Warren Christmas Chronicles” for readers with different taste in literature.

 

The first articles in “The Warren Christmas Chronicles” are: “Have A Green Christmas”, “Sammy, The East Texas Country Boy Workaholic,” “Opal, The Business Woman Welder”, “Opal The Hog Farmer,” and “My Lone Star Christmas Story.”

 

My faithful readers should check back everyday until Christmas for a new story in the “Warren Christmas Chronicles.”

Sam

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

What Blog Editor Application Do You Use ?

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By Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In the good old days, you put pencil or pen to paper and wrote down your thoughts. Alas, it seems the days of Louisa Mae Alcott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Ernest “Papa” Hemingway are past.

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To write you still put pen to paper, but writing for books, magazines, newspapers or the local church newsletter has evolved to electronic writing.  Publication, in 2012, is often electronic.Writers and bloggers rely on their Blog Editor application to “get them in print.”  The big question is “Do you like using your Blog Editor application ?”  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Unlike Thomas Wolfe, it is doubtful any editor would puzzle over your handwritten pages in the apple crate and then try to organize them in sequence for book publication.

Blog Editor applications can be as frustrating as trying to take a hammer and chisel and pound the characters into rock.

I’m a writer.

I like to write.

I don’t want to have to try and guess if my computer and the application is going to place the words on the electronic page. The early days of Desktop Publishing should also be past.

I did my years of typing up headlines on photographic film to have them cut and pasted to large galley sheets for weekly newspaper publication. I survived the whiz wheel calculations era to determine if the picture would fit in the space on the page. My pica pole is no longer needed to determine the length and width of columns of type on the printed page.

But, I am still a writer, who loves to write.

I love to post articles to my blog.

Unfortunately, blog editor applications are not always as advertised. In the early days of desktop publishing, working with Ventura Publisher and Aldus PageMaker on the floppy disks, I had to endure the learning curve and divide my time between learning and actually writing newspaper stories. Even then, the magic letters were WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get..

Today, in 2012, Blog Editor applications are like politicians’ promises, “What You See Is What You Get ?”

When I play with a computer; I play with a computer. When I get all geeky about an application or piece of software – then I get all geeky.

 

BLOG EDITOR PHOTO_9672But, when I go into my Mark Twain or Stephen King mode – I’m ready to write. When I’m write to do My Great American Novel and go for My Pulitzer – I don’t want to worry that my blog editor application is an Artificially Intelligent Entity that has decided it has determined the best layout for my words.

Therefore, is there any reader or blogger who has a blogging application that allows you to write without getting a doctorate in the latest fad computer language ?

I want an application that installed knows my computer setup and network setup.

Some programs tell you to talk to your Internet Service Provider, which is like commercials that tell you talk to your doctor. How many people really get to sit down and talk to their doctor about a pill they might want to buy ? How many people are really going to call up their ISP and ask them for information like server addresses and geeky technical stuff ?

I want a program that installed has default picture and layout options that are pleasing to the eye and if you make a change then the application understands it ?

I don’t care if the application’s language is Pearl, Ruby,Suzie Q or Mandarin Chinese.

I want a blog editor application that has a quick learning curve. You install it and it works.

Some programs have all these server questions, FTP questions, email client questions of POP or whatever. If I wanted to be a Systems Administrator for a business network, then, I would go back to school for it.

Your blog editor application should not have to be an electronic diplomat that has to present its’ credentials to every device on the Internet and get an Act Of Congress blessing just to be able to electronically publish.

Diplomacy is for the Real World. Cross platform compatibility of blog editors should be like sunshine as in global and unrestricted. Think about it. The sun doesn’t care about “No Fly Zones” and the ocean doesn’t give two raindrops about “Territorial Waters.” A few things in life are still universal.BLOG EDITOR PHOTO_9672

I have used Post2Blog, which I loved as a blog editor. Then, I upgraded my Firefox and my Post2Blog quit working.

I installed Chrysanth Web Story. But, a box came up with a series of geek questions that took longer to fill out than a US Passport Application. Exit program.

My initial examination of Blog Desk and Bleezer also activated the instant geek boxes that wanted me to fill out all the data. Exit Program.

I have tried Deepest Sender, but the version I tried did not offer many blog services to post to and my super duper version of Firefox is apparently too sophisticated. Exit Program.

I have used the Word Press editor, but it doesn’t seem user friendly to me and it does not always post to my Word Press blog the way I expected.

For now, I use Windows Live Writer 2011, which I like. It seems to be fairly smart for a computer program. It has many geeky plug ins that allow you to do a lot of geeky stuff.

My biggest glitch is some times it seems the program adds more spaces between the lines than I had intended.

I’m an old newspaperman, so I like “the creative use of white space,” but when the white space seems like the program is adding a half page or a page between one paragraph and the next, then, I think, “wasted space.”

Blog Editors do not always seem to understand pictures. You have to grab the box and drag. Or you click Large and it seems like the program is counting picas andBLOG EDITOR PHOTO_9672 pixels like a coupon shopper at the supermarket. I click Large I want a Texas response,”Head’em up ad move ’em out.” Some programs you click Large and you get the April 15 IRS response – two more pixels here and two more pixels there

Blog Editors seem to think cutlines or captions under pictures are the illegitimate children of text and photos. Some programs want to automatically default back to the body text and with the word wrap it seems that the program can’t decide if the caption text is a leper or a suicide bomber because the program can’t decide how close the text should be to the picture, especially, beneath photos.

Is there a blogger or writer anywhere on the planet that has a blog editor application that really does do What You See Is What You Get ? If you do have a useable blog editor that you like, please, send me an email at samuelwarren55@gmail.com with the name of the program.

Thank You Sam.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
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