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Monday, August 17, 2015

Meta and Og Tags for Blogger Blogs- Og Image Works!



Ok if you have been with me since the last post I put up on 'How To Share Your Friends Blog Posts To Facebook And Twitter'

I did some research and realized that MAYBE the reason my post wasn't showing properly after going through IFTTT.com was because the facebook og tags were not reading right. Sure enough, I headed over to facebook debugger and found that my description tag wasn't working right and my og:image tag wasn't working right.


***photo credit: Broadway via photopin (license)

This meant... when facebook received the url from IFTTT facebook didn't really know what to post. (now yes... the fact that facebook was showing the entire copy of the blog post was because I had used also used (entry content) and (entry image url) .... better to just use (entry author) with a bit of introduction text...

This blog post will serve as a test to see if these changes fix the way the IFTTT post looks on facebook.


Anyway... that is all neither here nor there.

If you have been searching for the code to use for facebook's og data... here's what worked on my blog. All of facebook's errors and warnings in the debugger vanished! YAHOO! (by the way- this image is NOT hosted by my blog host- it is actually from flickr via photopin! Photo credit below)

Paste this all in your blogger template below <head>

<copy and paste meta code begin>

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;'>

<meta content='blog' property='og:type'/>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.title' property='og:site_name'/>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.pageName' property='og:title'/>
<b:if cond='data:blog.metaDescription'>
  <meta expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' property='og:description'/></b:if>

<b:if cond='data:blog.postImageUrl'>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.postImageUrl' property='og:image'/>
  <meta property="og:image:width" content="1200"/>
  <meta property="og:image:height" content="630"/>
  </b:if>
 <b:else/>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.title' property='og:title'/>
<meta content='website' property='og:type'/>
</b:if>
<meta expr:content='&quot;en_US&quot;' property='og:locale'/>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.canonicalUrl' property='og:url'/>
<meta content='Insert your number here' property='fb:app_id'/>
<meta content='Insert your number here' property='fb:admins'/>

<copy and paste meta code end>


The Bottom of this post will tell you how to create the Fb App id and FB Admin code
http://www.technohalf.com/2015/01/how-to-add-facebook-open-graph-to-blogger-blog.html


The beginning of that above post is just ONE of the many that I was using to try to find the right og tag for the featured images. On that post they have just ONE thing wrong.

They use 'data:blog.postImageThumbnailUrl' for their og image tag!

Apparently you only need to use 'data:blog.postImageURL' for it to work right! (see line in blue above in the meta code)

I'd like to thank THIS site for helping me figure out the problem! http://unidigadv.blogspot.com/2014/09/adding-open-graph-protocol-ogp-tags-to.html







*Gimme just a moment and I will report back right here to let you know if the IFTTT post works better now!


YESSSSS!!!!! It works!!!  Here's a link to the working IFTTT post example

As you can see... I only used (entry author) in IFTTT for this particular post, simply because I don't plan on using it.

BUT! The right image comes up, and the title/ blog url.  So now... in IFTTT beside (entry author) I will type something like "A post from my friend (entry author)".

Still not too thrilled that I don't get a post description out of it but from what I can see the description is working on the Og code side ;)

Thats all folks! Thanks for bearing with me through the chaos!

How To Share Your Friends Blog Posts To Facebook and Twitter

Ripples In A Social Media Pond

Testing IFTTT.com to help share my friends RSS Feeds. Since I already share most of them anyway this should help take the 'work' out of it. Please don't judge, I'm starting school full time for my associates degree in electronics engineering technology tomorrow and really need to find ways to streamline what I already do. ;)

So to all my friends out there who I already help by sharing their blog posts because I honestly LOVE your blogs... you will not be forgotten as I get busier! Promise!

I'd love to say this brilliant idea is mine... but yeah, it is so totally NOT! Instead it comes from a friend of mine, Michelle Shaeffer. I tried hootsuite as she recommended so I could connect the rss feeds to facebook but found that hootsuite will only let you do two for free... I have a good handful of friends that I routinely try to share. :( So hunting for an answer I went. Hence the test blog post to test out IFTTT.com ;)


Hold tight... I'll update the bottom of this post if it works the way I want it to!




***photo credit: Broadway via photopin (license)



 It works!!!... er well sort of...

For those wondering... I had "entry author" "Entry content" and "Entry image url" chosen ... apparently it took me literally...

I  wanted to show the author and the description using the image on the blog post (NOT my website header banner) -.-

Back to tweaking...

The Whisker Brings The Rain- Flash Fiction


tower
Henry craned his neck to stare out the window as Fred landed their ship on Unaris, the 2nd planet in orbit around a set of binary stars. Gloria had been here once before so instead of peering out the window with her crewmates she sat going over the scans of the ruins below.

 Henry threw off his harness and patted Gloria’s shoulder he passed her on his way to the airlock. 

“Well, if we are going to get this planet ready in time then we better get moving,” Henry said with a shrug.

Gloria sighed. ‘I am not looking forward to this.’ 

Due to the lighter gravity the three of them hopped lightly over the dry grassy field towards the ruins. Unaris had oxygen so they didn’t need their suits, but the air was dry and stale. Fred stopped a moment to take a drink from his water bottle.

 “You might want to conserve as much of that as you can,” Gloria said, pausing to watch him take in another big gulp of water. “The rain system could be on the other side of the planet, by the looks of things it hasn’t rained here in a while.”

 “Isn’t that your job, Whisker? To get the rain to come back?” Fred said with a chuckle.

 Gloria narrowed her eyes at him and sighed. “It’s not that simple,”

“What does the machine feel like when it turns on Gloria?” Henry asked curiously as they walked up the dusty metallic steps into a giant metal tower.

 Whoever had lived here had long since moved on. Buildings farther down from the tower were either caved in or over grown by thick dead plants.

 Gloria gulped, she really didn’t want to think about how it felt.

 “It’s a little creepy, the machine transmits impressions from the designers. It helps you feel what the planet needs and where it needs it.” Gloria answered. 

“Man that is creepy.” Henry said shuddering.

 At the top of the tower a giant machine stood in a roofless room. The machine held huge metal prongs pointed high into the sky above them. Taking a deep breath Gloria climbed into the odd control chair. At her touch the machine lit up, recognizing a living being’s electrical impulses again after so many years. A metal band lowered around her forehead and after one last thumbs up to Henry and Fred she closed her eyes.

 In her mind images of the world around her invaded her mind. Memories of the world as it once was, as well as its current state. She could see the rain system, stalled out over the western ocean. She could see the air currents, barely moving due to the lack of convection from the suns. Something inside her felt the designer’s intentions.

 ‘Bring life back.’ 

 Gloria waved her mental hand over her spot on the globe floating in her mind. Vibrations shook the machine gently as the metal prongs came to life, stirring the air into motion.



**Photo Credit: via photopin (license)


This post was part of the 52 week flash fiction challenge on facebook (somehow I never hit publish here on my blog so it is a bit late.)
Week 9 word prompt: Whisker
Word Limit: 20- 500
This one tops out right at 500 words.

Readers: Would you like to have the whisker's job of keeping the planet's weather system going? Do you think it would be stressful or peaceful? What do you think would be your favorite weather system to control?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

New Enemy- Flash Fiction

Submitted by A.K. Stein, a fellow author and Facebook friend, inspired by her 6 book werewolf romance series. Werewolves were supposed to be myth. Right. Now I know differently. And now I am one, too. And now we have an enemy who is much more terrible than Faris, the evil werewolf, was. Vampires. And they are invading the US.
And both my mates are out on a hunt. And thinking they might bring home deer afterwards for dinner. We were not to be werewolf. The crystal could have changed all that but for Faris. His cowardliness prevented Nathan, my mate and the alpha, from changing to human. Evan, my other mate, was changed back to human, but since Nathan couldn’t, he became werewolf again. And so then did I. And it turns out we are needed. We’re the only ones who can fight the vampires. “My lady!” One of the other werewolves has come running into the room. “What, Eric?” I say. “Nathan has ordered a lockdown. He and Evan will be back here shortly. The vampires are on the move and it looks like they’re coming here.” My stomach hit the floor. “All right. I’ll get Nathan Jr. You round up everyone else and we’ll meet in the dungeons in two minutes.” “All right.” He runs out the door as I go into the other room to get my little two-year-old son. I’ll have to wake him from his nap. He won’t be happy. “My lady!” the man yelled again as I entered the dungeon area. “The vampires are at the door. Hurry!” “Where’s Nathan and Evan?” My little son is crying. I feel like it, too. “I don’t know. They haven’t contacted me again.” Now my stomach has really hit the floor. He ushered me into the hidden room and shut the door. I flipped on the light so I can see where the bed is to lay my son down. He’s still crying. I don’t blame him. My tears are at the gates, too. I laid him down and smoothed out his beautiful blond hair. His father’s hair. And his father’s gorgeous blue eyes look up at me in fear. “Everything will be all right, sweetie.” I lie to him. But maybe not. I hope. An explosion occurred. Sounded like it was just on the other side of the house. The rumble shook the house. Was it the vampires? Trying to get in? What do they want here, aside from killing all of us before we can turn werewolf again in the next full moon? Those thoughts ran through my mind as I sat on the side of the bed, trying to comfort my son. My fear is for my son. He’s too little, and not a werewolf, to survive an encounter with the vampires. But what they evidently don’t realize is it doesn’t matter if we adults are not in the full moon phase. We are still strong enough to fight them. But where is Nathan and Evan? Running footsteps started just outside the locked door. I felt I should be out there helping them, but I’m needed here for my son. Nathan has commanded it. I listened, but I didn’t hear anything else. Wondering, I went to the door and listened again. Nothing. My urge is to open it but Nathan has told me that when I’m in here I am not to open the door until I hear the special knock. But the waiting is unbearable and I don’t know where he and Evan are. Where are you my darling mates? I need you. Need you safe. Another explosion happened. It shook the room. My son is crying again, frightened of the noise. I hurried to him, but my mind is on my mates. Where are they? Running footsteps are outside the door again. Only a few this time. Whose are they? I heard a scraping sound on the other side of the door. I watched the door handle move. The door is locked, but. . .To my amazement, the lock slowly clicked. The door handle moved again. And then the door opened. A man peered in. No one I know. But his curious look morphed into a sneer. “Well, well. What have we here? I believe it is Nathan’s wife and progeny. What good luck I am having.” I could smell him. The rancid odor of vampire. I knew what he wanted. But he had not considered the equation of me. I slowly laid my son down and rose from the bed. Faced him. I had no fear at this point. Only anger. And I knew what I intended to do. He smiled. Came into the room. Peered at my son, then grinned at me. “You are beautiful, my dear, but I’m afraid I need to eliminate you. Payback to Nathan, you see.” My brows rose. “Really?” “Yes. Now how is it going to be? Nice and easy or difficult and nasty?” “How about you tell me?” I didn’t give him time to answer. I pounced. My hands became claws seeking to rip his skin. The surprised look on his face gave me confidence. He countered, but only after I slashed his face and neck. Vampire blood spewed over my shirt and ran down his. His attack was less than I expected. I supposed it was because of his surprise. Because when he came back around, he smacked me so hard I went flying across the room. Hit hard against the wall, then tumbled to the floor. But I wasn’t done. I jumped up and sprang at him again. This time he was ready. He batted at me, but I dodged his aim and came in under his arm. Slashed at him again, across his midsection. More blood. I heard my little son crying in the background. Then the room erupted with werewolves. Nathan was in the lead. Fairly snarling as he leapt for the man. Evan was right behind him. Relief whooshed over me. I let them handle the situation now and went to my son. Grabbed him up and held him tightly. It was over within minutes. The man lay dead close by the door. The other werewolves dragged him out while Nathan came over and grabbed me up in his arms. Evan came up beside me, put his arm round me. “Well,” Nathan said. “I guess we married a powerful woman after all.” He kissed me hard. Evan rubbed my back. “I guess we did.” I smiled at that, but my insides were scrambled. I couldn’t speak for a moment for the shaking my insides were doing. But I took a deep breath, let it out, then said, “So. . .what’s for dinner?” They burst out laughing.


Ms. Peck (aka AK Stein) has written stories since she was in the 3rd grade. She started out writing about horses. She loved horses, you see. But it was during that time that she discovered science fiction and fell in love again. Literally. Has daydreamed science fiction ever since. But along the way, she discovered fantasy, with magic and myth, and so added that to her list of loves. The result of all this are her books you see today. Some being this FULL MOON werewolf series. She hopes you enjoy them.

Find out more about Ms. A.K. Stein at http://www.goldframeromance.com

Friday, August 7, 2015

So Apparently Its My Fault

Hearts Over Mind – It’s Virginia’s Fault!
By: Karina Fabian


I have a lot to thank Virginia for, and not just for hosting me today on the Mind Over All tour. It’s her fault that this trilogy actually ends with a fourth book, a novella called Hearts Over Mind, which is available free with the purchase of the Mind Over trilogy.

Mind over all trilogy!

The Mind Over Trilogy follows Deryl Stephens, a human psychic whose powers drive him insane. With the help of an intern, Joshua, he learns to control his abilities. Eventually, he recognizes the alien minds that are trying to manipulate him and breaks free of their influence. He travels to their world, falls in love with one, heals and befriends the other, and eventually saves both their worlds. Through it all, Joshua is there to guide him, advise him, and slap some sense into him as needed. They become great friends.

Joshua has his own strong storyline as he falls in love with a nurse at the asylum where he helped Deryl. He and Sachiko have a rocky relationship because of their careers and the secret she kept hidden from him for too long. In Mind Over All, Deryl is horrified to return to Earth to find them in the middle of a fight that might end their relationship. He’s had a premonition that they must be together and help him save his new homeworld or else he will fail. He recruits Joshua, hijacks Sachiko, and on Kanaan, the two are able to heal their relationship. They finally set a date for the wedding – just in time to save the world.

Virginia is not only a good friend, but also likes my books and proofs them for me. When I gave her Mind Over All, she wrote back how disappointed she was that she didn’t get to see the wedding. In truth, I had too many loose ends to wrap up that I could not fit in a wedding scene. I had long had a great idea for a disastrous bachelor party for poor Joshua, but had been content to just imagine it and giggle now and again.

Thanks to her encouragement, I decided to write a short story about the days leading up to the wedding and the wedding itself. It would start with an argument, include the failed bachelor party where Josh falls off a boat, and end with a happily-ever-after wedding and a kiss to rival Princess Bride. However, when it would not work from Joshua’s POV, another friend suggested I try it from the POV of the bride. After all, it was her big day, too. Soon that led to a deeper exploration of the issues they’d faced, her own insecurities, and a whole lot of fun as she deals with everything from a half-drowned fiancĂ© to a wedding kimono that’s psych-ward pink. The short story became a novella, and my publisher was only too happy to produce it.

So thanks, Virginia, for making me do more than daydream about a funny scene.


My response: To let you all in on a bit of the background to this article... I signed up to help Karina with her book tour and asked her for a guest post. I had no idea that I would open this in my e-mail box when she sent her files. I was surprised! Ha-Ha! You are more than welcome Karina, I am thrilled and honored to have inspired you to continue with the story! I can't wait to read it!

Karina is right- I have read her books. I have been entertained by and loved every single one of them! I encourage every one of you to go out and get a copy of all of them! They are fun, family friendly, and an over all sci-fi roaring good time! You WON'T regret it!



Karina Fabian headshot Aug 2013Karina Fabian

By day, Karina is a mild-mannered reviewer of business software and services for TopTenReviews.com. After hours, she’s a psychic intent on saving the world; a snarky dragon who thinks he saves the world all-too regularly, a zombie exterminator who just wants her world clear of undead vermin, and nuns whose callings have taken them off our world. Needless to say, her imagination is vast, her stories legion, and her brain crowded. When she’s not converting her wild tales to stories, she’s enjoying time with her husband, Rob, their four kids, and their two dogs.    





Find Karina at:

Trying Out My New Printer

I bought a new printer from a nice lady in my local For Sale or Free Yard Sale group on Facebook just a day or so ago. Since then I have been trying it out, putting it through its paces. I'll be attending Kaboom Arts And Crafts monthly second sunday festival in Garner NC This sunday from 12:30- 5pm. (Find out more about Kaboom Arts And Crafts)

For this event and for my future events I decided to create a name tag just for the fun of it:

Author tag2

I also pulled together a flyer helping to show off all the other events I will be appearing at. I love spreading the word about these events because they are all so much fun! Come bring your whole family!
VL Jennings Flyer

Then afterwards, on their request, I took some time and whipped up some name tags for some of the other PDMI Authors. I wish paper could support clickable links... QR codes are close but only those who have smart phones AND QR readers can access those links. 
So... in the mean time, you can click on the badge pictures here- all three of these guys are wonderful authors! 



DavenclayBrian3Brian2

If you have a moment... come by for a post by Karina Fabian... Come find out what she blames me for O.o

I also have another friend that will be sharing a short story on my blog here in the next few days. While I'm at it... I really need to get back to writing some more shorts again myself! Stay tuned!