Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Phone Call With Google

Google and I have been fighting.

funny workout picture, working out. strengthening my muscles
I have been working out. Google better watch out!
I am ready for them!
I have never fought like this with Google before, in fact, I would rather stay on good terms with them. After all, Google is kind of like the parent and I, as a blogger, am like the child. Whatever Google says goes and I am stuck with their decision.

So - you are probably wondering what went happened?

Well, at the end of March, I woke up to the nastygram saying there was invalid activity going on with my account.


I was nearly in shock. I thought I was going to cry. And then I remember, I don't really care because my writing is about my writing, not necessarily the money I make from my blog. So if you are wondering why I have been absent lately, it has nothing to do with my Google Adsense ban.

Anyway, I have tried to be nice and calm about the situation, appealing to the Google Gods. Only, it doesn't matter what I say or do, I just get a canned message back.

Do they think I am stupid??

If you message me back within 4 hours, I can pretty much guess you did nothing to evaluate my account.

This of course went on through the course of several different appeals. I know they say one shot is all you have, but I like to be annoying. So, what does it take for me to sit down and write them a letter every single day until I get some attention. Not a whole lot of time, in comparison of where I could waste it elsewhere. (Do you notice how much I update Facebook?)

Well, I got sick of remembering to write to them, and I got sick of trying to reword the facts so it sounds like I am coming up with new evidence. However, I don't have any new evidence. I don't know what might have caused them to see invalid activity.

money, spare change, change, counting change
Good-bye spare change. I probably
won't get to spend you anymore.
This is what I do know though. At the beginning of March, I started to actively promote my blog. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of spam comments coming in. I turned on Captcha to deter the
spam. My traffic tanked. Right after I did that, Google took away my account.

Days later, I found out my writings have been being copied on other websites. So yeah - how happy does that make me? I can't make money off of my stuff, but other people can copy it and at least make money. Google frowns at duplicate content.

However, it doesn't matter how much I study the stats, I can't seem to find anything that jumps out as unusual.

And Google... well they are equivalent to a parent saying... "Because I said so."

They are a bully. That is really what it comes down to. If any of the small guys start making money, they quickly do an update to change those numbers. If people click on your ads, even though the ads are matched toward what they should be interested in, Google will call you out for fraud. Why - because God forbid if the advertisers have to actually pay for their advertising!

So as a small fish in a big ocean, I am the little guy, barely making pennies, and they choose me to lay down their wrath. So while I actually care very little about the money, I have this problem of wanting to know.

So right now, I am sitting on the phone, calling Google. I waited on hold for 30 minutes before accidentally hanging up the first time. The second time....
sitting on hold, phone call, waiting
If I knew this was going to be such an exciting
date, I might have gotten up and tried to
look presentable. 

.... well, I have already been on hold for an hour and a half.

What can I say... I don't give up easily!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Brain Drain: Online Education Does NOT Equal Easy

Many of you (ok - maybe only my imaginary friends) may have been wondering where I have been hiding lately.

Truth is, I haven't been hiding. I have been right in front of you this whole time. However, I have recently decided to go back to school to get my degree, and let me tell you, it is exhausting work.

As if I wasn't busy before. Now, not only do I still have all my wifely and motherly duties, and my nearly impossible deadline set to have my book Mother's Day to be published May 12, 2013. (Yes - I know - publishing a book called Mother's Day on Mother's Day. I couldn't resist!), I have added a "fast-paced, no hold backs" online course to my full plate.

clock, time, never enough timeI have often times heard many people describe online courses as easy. Being that this isn't the first time I have taken an online course, I already knew what I was getting into. But when you are actually doing it, you forget how much time is actually used up by the sheer amount of reading, researching, and writing you must do. In fact, online courses are actually harder because you need to be more accountable for your work, and even teaching yourself.

I know finishing my degree is the right thing to do. I only wish I would have started it sooner, so I didn't have to waste some of my valuable Veteran's Benefits that will expire before I get a chance to completely exhaust them. But in the end, I know finishing my schooling will be the right thing for me.

Getting back into the swing of things has been difficult. It is the first class I have taken in several years. I am not used to studying, I am not used to writing thesis statements, and I certainly not used to those exciting textbooks with 300 pages worth of material to memorize.

Brain drain, brain fart, tired brain
When your brain seems drained,
even those tasks that often seemed
simple become difficult, like writing
a blog post.
I have been falling behind in my blogging, I have been falling behind in my online networking, I have just fallen behind.

So, if you have been wondering where I've been lately, I am still around. But I have found between my book and schooling and family, most of my time has been sucked up. Not to mention, after all the mental tasks I have had to do lately, my brain is drained.

Even writing this blog post was difficult!

Just know, I will be back and I will be smarter. Ok - maybe just more sarcastic due to being tired. But hey - at least that means I've gotten something out of school.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Words Mean Everything

As many of you may already know, I have been working hard (or hardly working) on my book that I have planned to release to people everywhere on May 12, 2013. On top of that, I have also returned to school... mainly because I want to make it sound like I am smart on my author page. (No one said it had to be a good reason!)

Needless to say, I realized I was coming up on crunch time. Between my book, my blog, and my school work, I knew I needed to get cracking.

So yesterday, I decided to open my book again to make edits from the suggestions of my beta readers. It is a tedious process. I feel like I am looking at a million computer screens and trying to condense them into one valid document.
editing, working, computer work, laptop
Working between a printed copy and a
computer copy is enough to make anyone
want to take a nap!

Ok - it really isn't that bad. But I do have to keep looking from hard copy to laptop. Pain in the butt.

And it's a daunting task. It might even be more daunting then writing the damn book. After all, I didn't know how far I was going until I got there. Now, as I sit on page 35... I noticed there is still 378 pages left.

That number 413 keeps flashing at me. 

Once I got into the swing of things, it wasn't really all that bad. And the reality is, I only need to do 22 pages a day to be ready for the final read through on May 1st!

But meanwhile, it can't be all work and no play. That is when I started to realize how funny it is to look back at my work with a fresh pair of eyes. After all, when it comes to your own work sometimes it can be hard to pick out things that are just wrong.

In this case... I realized that my main character likes to run around commando, sans undies, freebuffing, going regimental.... although it wasn't really my intention.

The reality is, when you are writing, you need to describe everything. In this case, I would describe her as finishing up her shower and throwing on a pair of pants. Most people would assume she is wearing her undergarments, but I can't assume here. So, I have to read it like it is. She doesn't wear underwear.

I don't know about you... but I think my main character would be a lot more comfy in her undies!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Theta Healing Rythm For Finding Your Perfect Weight

I have a confession. I am addicted to Self Help books, especially those that deal with other, lesser known modalities which may not be the norm in today's culture, at least the one I know.

Since I am always on the search for ways to be healthier, when I found the book "Theta Healing Rhythm for Finding Your Perfect Weight," by Vianna Stibal, I knew I had found a winner. It was a fast an easy read which kept my attention right away.

weight loss, Theta Healing Rhythm, health, spiritual journeyThis book wasn't just about losing weight; it is about a journey within your mind. At first I was looking for a the gimmick it was trying to sell me on how to quickly lose those last few stubborn pounds, but what I found was something which has truly been able to turn my whole thought process around.

The book, in a nutshell is about finding your perfect weight by changing your beliefs. Remember though, it says nothing about being skinny or being fat. Whatever you are comfortable with is perfectly fine. The lesson in this book is found a little bit deeper. It is about finding out what kind of person you are, and loving that person regardless of what size you are.

It is common sense to realize you can't lose weight without limiting your food intake and without participating in some kind of exercise. But what if you could trick your mind and your body to thinking everything you do for it is something beneficial and good? That is what Theta Healing is about. Yet my first intention of reading this book was debunking a myth. After all, how do you lose weight by just thinking about it?

This book itself does not sit alone, even though it can be used by itself. Personally, I think belief work takes time to get used to, and this is a little on the advanced side leaving me confused at the very beginning. However, by the time I got to the end, I felt comfortable in my abilities to be able to perform a small level of belief work myself. However, author does have other books available if you would like more information on the subject.

Even alone, this book can be useful. It opens your mind up and really makes you think. It teaches you how to love yourself, love the food that you put in your body, and even trick your body into thinking you did exercise while driving in the car. Amazing? Right?

It will take time, but the power of the mind is a powerful one. How many times have you told yourself that you gain 5 pounds just looking at that brownie? Well now that you have implanted that thought into your mind, chances are good it is going to happen. But if you tell your body you can have that treat and not feel guilty, it probably won't effect you. If you tell your body to reap all the nutrients from the food you are about to eat, your body will do what it should by taking advantage of what you put in your body.

Of course, everything is better in moderation, but this book will help you get along with your body and your feelings toward food.

For me it became a personal journey. All the negative talk I have had in my head for years, has finally found a way out. I am not a new and transformed person just yet, but this book really made me think. I realize I have a lot of work to do on myself so I can become happy with who I am. And ultimately, it isn't really about weight loss at all. It is about the person inside me.

Who would have ever thought I could have pulled so much out of a book looking for a quick weight loss fix?

So if you are feeling a little down on yourself, this is a must read. It made me think hard about what I wanted out of life and let me dive in a litter deeper into my own personal feelings. But I will admit, if you are just looking for the quick weight loss fix, this isn't for you. Reading this book will not take off the pounds itself. That is something you will have to do on your own.

If you would like to purchase this book, click here to be redirected to Hay House, Inc.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Virtual Mirror