Monday, January 30, 2012

Real Me vs. Fake Me: Accept No Substitutes!

You know what's weird? To see yourself under "people you may know" on Facebook.

That happened to me last week. At first I thought it was a glitch, but then some of my Facebook friends started asking me why I was friending them again when we were already friends.

WTF? I think in my head, rather loudly. I'm not doing that!

A little investigation revealed that some 370455V (if you read that upside down you'll get my drift*) had set up a Facebook account using my name and my profile picture. Grrr.

Now, Linda Grimes is a fairly common name. There are over three hundred of us in the USA alone.

But only one of us is authorized to use that cigar-smoking pic of me.

At first I felt violated. Shocked that someone would pretend to be me and try to friend people from my friends list. That's fraud, people. F-R-A-U-D. And fraud ain't funny.

So, why would anyone do this? Hell if I know. Cigar fetish? They just want some attention? Their biggest aspiration is to be a middle-aged lady who's barely a blip on the internet? Really? They're too chicken to go after the big names?

Geez, get a life, Fake Me. Preferably your own.

I reported it to the Facebook powers that be, and so did several of my friends. (Thank you, btw!) FB said they'd look into it.

Then TG reported that one of his photographs (he's the one who took that pic of me) had been used by the Fake Me without his permission, and that only the Linda Grimes who happened to be his wife was  authorized to use that photo. (Well, other than my publisher. I've given Tor permission to use it however they see fit. I trust they are not setting up fake FB accounts in my name.)

To FB's credit, Fake Me's profile pic of me was taken down within hours (or at least blocked from anyone's view). So now that particular Linda Grimes is only one of many on FB, and no one should mistake her for me.

This whole episode has made me realize just how vulnerable all of us are on the web. Really, anyone can steal your picture and and pretend to be you. I imagine a malignant soul could do your reputation a whole lot of damage if they chose. Scary, huh?

How to prevent it? Heck if I know. Just keep watch at the major social networking sites, and report it as soon as you can, I guess. Google your own name from time to time and see where your image pops up. Maybe add your own name to Google alerts, and let it keep track for you.

So, has anything like this ever happened to you? What did you do about it?

P.S. If you see "me" around the interwebz acting stranger than usual (yes, I realize that would be a stretch), could you please let me know?

*Okay, with a little imagination, you'll see "Asshole." There. I said it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What's In a Name?

Well, I'll tell you . . . if you pop on over to The Debutante Ball.

(Come on. It's Friday. You know by now I spend Fridays at the Ball.)

Here's a teaser:

Uh-huh. Names matter, don't they?

Do you like your name? Does it "fit" you? Or is there a name you think would suit you better?

Personally, I've always been fond of my stripper name. You know how to figure out your stripper name, don't you? You take the name of your first pet and combine with the name of the street you lived on when you were born.

Mine? Sparky West Haven. Has a ring to it, doesn't it? What's yours?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Seriously? It's Hump Day ALREADY?


Sorry. I'm running behind this week, so you'll have to settle for a *cough* late camel . . .

(Get it? Because it's a skeleton, so it's dead? Or, euphemistically speaking, "late"?)

On a *cough, cough* totally unrelated topic, how do you feel about puns? Do they make you smile in appreciation or groan in pain?

Or, for that matter, what's your stance on euphemisms? A necessary social nicety or an outmoded convention?

Monday, January 23, 2012

And Winner Is . . .! (Plus, commenting systems suck.)

YES! We have a winner in the G-Spot Ask Me Anything contest!

Dianne K. Salerni!!!

Dianne asked: "What was your inspiration for the story that will become your debut novel?
(Just getting you ready for your blog tour ...)" 

To which I replied: "LOL! Would you believe I saw my MC's name on a vanity license plate and the whole story bloomed in my head? It's true. Just seeing "Ciel" unveiled a book that I'm sure must have already been hiding in my subconscious. If I hadn't been on the Fairfax County Parkway that fateful day, IN A FIX might have never come to be."

Come on. She gave me the perfect opportunity to blather on about the woo-woo way my book came to be. That deserves a cheezy prize, right? 

Not that I didn't adore all the other questions, because I did. And I thank you all for entering. You were all enter-taining. *cough* Er, sorry.

So, what is Dianne's prize? It's . . .

. . . a bag of Hershey's Kisses (with Almonds!) left over from Christmas (but they're not stale yet, I promise) AND a THOR Pez Dispenser!!!!

Can you stand the excitement, Dianne? If you'll email me your address at linda(dot)grimes(at)gmail(dot)com, I'll get your fabulous prize in the mail to you ASAP.

And now I have to express my frustration with Blogger's commenting options. Grrrr. 

As some of you know, I tried out the Intense Debate commenting system a while back, because it had that very cool option of replying to comments individually. I reeeeally like being able to do that. Unfortunately, it was a capricious pr*ck, and wouldn't let a lot of my regular readers comment. Which kind of, yanno, defeats the purpose of a commenting system. So I dumped it. (And *bites knuckle and sobs* lost all those lovely comments!)

Then, just a little while ago, I noticed on another Blogger blog that there was a way to reply to individual comments with Blogger itself. Hallelujah! The perfect solution!

Or so I thought.

But it appears the Blogger threaded commenting option doesn't play well with all my readers, either. I think it's mainly those who use Internet Explorer who haven't been able to leave a comment, but maybe it's others, too. I can't say for sure, because they can't all, yanno, leave a freakin' comment. Argh!

Anyway, I've changed the setting back to the old, non-threaded one. Guess I'll leave it that way until I hear Blogger has worked the bugs out of the other one.

Or else I may just bit the bullet and switch to Wordpress. Any Wordpress users out there? Do you like it? Does it have any glitches that will drive me crazy? If I do switch, will I regret it? 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Advice: Everybody Has It, Nobody Takes It

So, if you could give me one piece of advice, what would it be? (I may not use mine, but it's always possible I'll use yours.)

Why, yes, we are writing about advice--both good and bad--over at the Debutante Ball this week. Why do you ask?

(If you click on that link, you'll get to read about a sizzling hot experience I had once. Hint: It involves a bikini and baby oil. *waggles eyebrows*)

Oh, and don't forget to enter the G-Spot Contest I posted about on Monday. The deadline is midnight tonight, and it's really easy--all you have to do is leave a question (not even an answer! how hard can that be?) in the comments there.

Have a great weekend, everyone! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What kind of Hump Day are you having?

Sometimes you gotta be you.  (Even Especially if you're a little different.)

And sometimes you have to be superhero you, just to cope with life's demands.

And then there are those times when you say screw it all and head for the nearest bar . . .

What kind of Hump Day are you having? A "You" day, a "Superhero-You" day, or a "Screw It All" day?

Whatever kind it is, I hope it turns out happy!

P.S. Don't forget to add a question to my Monday post for your chance to win a thrilling sur-PRIZE!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Return of the G-Spot (with a Sur-PRIZE!)

About a year ago, I did a Q & A post I cleverly named -- you guessed it -- The G-Spot!

You know, "G" for "Grimes." And "Spot" for . . . well, spot. As in place. My place. Er, this place, I mean. My blog.

Never mind.  

As I recall, I got some really good questions. To which I gave brilliant answers, I'm sure. But then the Intense Debate commenting system I was using at the time decided to blow up in my face, and made them all -- questions and brilliant answers -- disappear.

This made me sad.

So, here I am, trying it again. (The G-Spot. Not Intense Debate. Burn me once, and hell if I'm going near you again.)

Ask me anything! 

All questions (except for the spam I have to delete, or the truly obscene ones, which I will also delete) will be answered!*

The questions don't have to be about me. They can be about you. If you need any advice about anything -- anything at all -- I am here to offer it. ** And if I don't know the answer, you can trust me to make something up. I'm a writer. Making stuff up is what I do.

Best questions will be added to my IAQ (Inappropriately Answered Questions) on the sidebar, which I've been promising to update since I started this blog, and haven't gotten around to yet.

Oh, and how about a prize too?

I haven't had a contest in a while, so let's go for it! It will, of course, be a sur-PRIZE. You won't know what it is until somebody has won. The only thing you can be sure of is that it will be basically valueless, and possibly (but not necessarily) edible.

Contest rules: Ask me question in the comments sometime before Friday, Jan. 20, at midnight EST. If I don't have to delete it for the above-mentioned reasons, you will automatically be entered. That's it. Easy-peasy, huh?

What are you waiting for? ASK AWAY!

*Sure, the answer may be "none of your business," but what the heck. That shouldn't stop you from trying.

**Will it be helpful advice? Not likely. But perhaps amusing enough to take your mind off your problem for a brief period of time.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Oh! The thrills! (Just not here.)

I'm having a thrilling time with a bunch of half-naked men (and one exceedingly large-breasted woman) over at the Debutante Ball today. Won't you join me? 

Come on. Just click here. I promise I won't embarrass you. (Much.)

Trust me. I'm doing you a service... ;)

So, are you starting to wonder if I'll ever do another real post here on a Friday? What a coincidence! So am I.

I know I will eventually, but right now I'm really, really (note my sincerity by the use of the italicized double-really) into finishing my current WIP. Which, of course, means nothing to you, since (most of) you haven't even read my first book (In a Fix) yet. But someday, if all goes according to my nefarious plan for taking over the world writing success, you will be glad I'm doing this.

I hope. (Unless you hate In a Fix, in which case you won't care. But I hope we can still be friends. I mean, not everyone has to like it, and some people won't, and I'm going to put on my big girl panties as soon as it's released, so don't worry about hurting my feelings or anything if you don't happen to like it...)

Anyway, in the meantime, I am at the Ball on Fridays, and with one click of your mouse you can come poke me there. (Heh-heh.)

Are you really, really into anything special right now?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom...from a camel.

So, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know Wednesday -- aka Hump Day -- is all about camels. I look for amusing pictures of our fellow earthlings of the dromedary persuasion, and share them here with you.

But camels are not just for laughing at. They are dignified fellow residents of this great planet, and we should respect them for their contributions. Like, um, camel hair. And camel's milk, and camel transportation, and camel, scratch that last one.

Sure, camels are beasts of burden, but that is a noble occupation. They make life so much easier for the desert-dwelling people of the world. No other animal is as well suited for travel over the shifting sands. Sure, they'll spit at you if you annoy them by your existence, but that's a small price to pay for all they give.

There are many kinds of camels. Here, check out this handy chart:

There. I feel better now. More respectful. Don't you?

What? You're disappointed? You came her wanting a laugh?


Okay. But it's on your head...

Parting words of wisdom: Just because it fits doesn't mean you should wear it.

Have you (or, for you bashful types, one of your "friends") ever worn anything you probably shouldn't have? 

A bustier to a PTA meeting, perhaps? 

Stiletto heels to the beach? 

A ripped tie-dyed T-shirt to a formal wedding? 

Do spill!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday is a Shameless Tease

Resolutions? Ha! I spit -- *patooie!*-- on resolutions!

(What? You want more than that? Okay, click here. Because it's, yanno, Friday, and I'm at the Debutante Ball.)

May the force be with you! (That will make more sense once you read my Deb post.*)

*Yes, that's a shameless tease. Is that bad? Should I not have done that?

But, hey, while you're here, what's your position on watermelon? Love it? Hate it? Only willing to eat it so you can spit the seeds? Have you ever won a watermelon seed spitting contest? Are you wondering what in the hell watermelons have to do with resolutions?*

*Well, they're the same color as Yoda. (That will make more sense after you click on the link above, too. Yeah, yeah . . . I know. Shameless.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Humpy 2012, everybody!

Wow. 2012 really snuck up on me!

Here's something worthy of the first Hump Day post of the new year (don't worry, it's short*):

How can you watch that and not love camels? Obviously, camels are just great big puppies.

(Thanks for the link to the vid, Steve!)

*Not something I'm used to hearing around here. ;)