Thursday, May 29, 2014

Plagued by Pinterest But Pinning Something Somewhere . . .

            How can something that looks so innocuous, so simple, and so inviting, turn out to be such a hair-pulling challenge for me? I just don’t get it! I’m fluent on Facebook, well versed with LinkedIn, and comfortable with Goodreads.  Yet, when it comes to pinning something on Pinterest, everything goes wrong! In fact, even logging onto the site is a challenge. The screen behind the login scrolls down with all sorts of foods and artwork as I’m trying to type in my name and email. Carnival sideshows are less daunting! 

            My pins don’t show up, and if by some miracle, they do, they wind up in the wrong place! Start a new board? That’s easy for you to say, but when I try it, all I get is a blank space. So far, I’ve managed to create two secret boards, so secret in fact that I can’t even find them! 

            At least I had a fighting chance with “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” when I was in grade school. I was pointed in the right direction and if, by some miscalculation of space, I wound up about to stab a classmate, someone always screamed. Well, there’s no one screaming here except me. 

            I’ve tried the HELP button on numerous occasions. It’s apparently the only thing I seem to be able to push when I’m on that site. Today, I decided to give it another try and create a new board for one of my upcoming novels. I started the process at the same time three contractors arrived at my house to install five windows. They started the job at 7:30 A.M. I entered Pinterest at 7:35. They were completely done by 12:30 with fabulous energy efficient windows. I, on the other hand, lost two pins and struggled for the next hour and a half.

            I managed to post the same thing in six different places and two repetitive places before giving up. I know there has to be some trick to the whole thing, like recognizing the secret image in those paintings people always send you, but I’ll be darned if I can figure it out. 

            Meantime, I’ll keep trying. Just don’t expect any terrific results soon! However, if you hear a bloodcurdling scream, then you’ll know I was really way off with my next “Pin!”

Sunday, May 18, 2014

More Monkey Business for Time Travel Mysteries


Yep, there are no other words for it than Monkey Business, and that’s exactly what I’m about to embark on tomorrow when my web designer walks me through the latest development on my website – a fan database under the management of something called “Mail Chimp.”

Fans, followers, browsers and anyone who accidentally comes across my website and decides to stick around, will now have the opportunity to become part of a database for Time Travel Mysteries. People who sign up will get monthly newsletters and/or updates plus promos, sneak peeks and all sorts of neat stuff. Provided of course, that I am a quick learner and can figure this out by the end of the day tomorrow. 

I promise I won’t bombard you with the kind of daily spam I get: offers to lower my mortgage rate, restore my figure to the way it looked in 1986, provide behavioral management tips for my cat, help my lawn to look lush and green (Ha! I live in Arizona and my lawn is gravel!), and of course, secrets to wealth management (Must be the best kept secrets because no one I know is getting rich).

“Mail Chimp” is the third “Monkey Thing” I’ve had to deal with in the past few years. First, it was Survey Monkey for my school back east. As soon as our central administration discovered it, there was nothing they didn’t survey. (On a scale of 1 – 10, please rate the following: your child’s lunch, your child’s last algebra test, your child’s homeroom, your child’s schedule , your child’s homework, band lessons, swim time, library time, and emotional well-being while under the care of our professionals). To this day, I loathe surveys!

Then there was “Sea Monkey,” the prototype for creating your own website. We fed it data and pictures and somehow a website emerged. The best news was that it was FREE. And, it looked like it was free. That old adage held true when it came to “Sea Monkey.” You get what you pay for.

Hopefully “Mail Chimp” will turn out to be a really neat addition to my website and a great means of communication with my readers. So, make my day and please sign up! Just don’t blame me if you start to get bananas in the mail!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Look What's Lurking Around Your Website - Responsive Web Design

Got a Website? Got a Smartphone? Better Get a Responsive Website Design

I knew it was trouble the minute I had to attend a two hour class to figure out how to use it. Bad enough that the Smartphone required a whole new mindset including getting my finger to slide over something before I could even talk!

But never, and I do mean NEVER, in my entire imagination did I remotely think that this innocuous handheld device would become the bane of my website world. You see, when my website,, was developed a little over two years ago, everyone was happily using flip-phones for talking and texting, and computers for web searches and the like. All of that changed. Like switching to a microwave to boil water instead of using the stove. (At least that was an easier learning curve). 

Now, according to my web designer, publisher, editors, proof readers and the guy in the dog park who usually screams “Poop Alert,” websites need to be mobile device friendly. That’s a nice way of saying, “Cough up the big bucks, lady, because your website needs a “Responsive Web Design.”

Huh? I know. I was lost, too. Apparently, the way a website looks when you’re sitting at your desk or staring at your laptop over coffee, is not the way it comes across on a handheld device. It wouldn’t be so bad if these devices were just limited to phones, but unfortunately they include iPods, iPads, Tablets and anything where a screen can be touched. And who sits at their desks anymore? We can work standing up, getting a root canal, or even driving if your state doesn't have a law against mobile phone use.

Along with this latest technology, expect to hear such terms as “fluid layouts” and “optimal viewing experiences.” Essentially, graphic designers have been pushed into a new way of doing things. If you’re a teacher, think “Common Core” as opposed to the way things used to be! 

This time folks, I’m taking a "sit back and wait" approach hoping that it will be the phones that “smarten up” to read the websites and not the other way around. I figure a new phone will cost me a fraction of what a new responsive website will. Then again, I’ve been wrong before when it comes to this stuff.

There is, however, one last glimmer of hope. Since responsive website design is relatively new, maybe there’s a company out there who will do it for me as a promo! I would shout their praises on my website and acknowledge them in my soon-to-be released novels. Any takers?  Feel free to call me on my Smartphone.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Please Get Me to the 2014 Phoenix Comicon!

            Cinderella needed a fairy godmother. Aladdin needed a genie. And I need every single reader and all of their friends, relatives and anyone breathing in their vicinity to go to and tell them that Ann I. Goldfarb from Time Travel Mysteries really, really needs to be invited to attend. There’s no way I’ll get there without you!

            I mean, honestly, how can I possibly compete with Stan Lee, Nathan Fillion, Richard Dean Anderson, Adam West, Michael A. Stackpole and so many BIG names in authors, anime, comics and acting? It’s no wonder I was overlooked. 

            Not to worry. I don’t take it personally. Not when there’s a possibility that a back door might open for me. In fact, I’m banking on it, just like all those folks who use KICKSTARTER and all sorts of means to get themselves noticed. 
            And guess what? This won’t cost you a penny. Just a minute of your time. To make it easier, I’ve written some shameless self-promotions that you are free to use and embellish. So here goes:

            What? You forgot to invite Ann I. Goldfarb from Time Travel Mysteries? Better get her now before she slips back in time.

            Hey, I thought you guys were all about sci-fi. Where’s Ann I. Goldfarb from Time Travel Mysteries? She lives in Phoenix! How could you have forgotten to invite her?

            Where have you guys been? I expected to see Ann I. Goldfarb from Time Travel Mysteries on your line-up. Don’t tell me you haven’t read her Light Rider series yet!

            I was planning to attend but when I didn’t see Ann I. Goldfarb from Time Travel Mysteries, I decided to skip it this year.

            Please invite Ann I. Goldfarb from Time Travel Mysteries. If she gets an invitation she might stop pestering us with her blogs.

            In 2015, my first sci-fi thriller will be released and attending the 2014 Phoenix Comicon as an author would be an incredible way to pave the way for its success. Besides, it will be at least 110 degrees in Phoenix by then and I’ll need a place to cool off!

            So . . . please go to and help me save on my air-conditioning bill.