Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2/2/16 Random Topics Chat Transcript

For those who missed the 12pm chat- today was just random topics. I did however learn how to make the chatroom mobile responsive (You are awesome for helping me with that Michael!) and learned that another friend of mine is helping her husband with a retro gaming youtube channel! THAT ought to be really cool! Can't wait to see it!

Peruse the transcript... you might just find the secret I shared too! I will be running these chats a minimum of once a week from now on. Not sure about a sticking time yet but watch for me to make the announcement on the chat page and on social media!

2/2/2016 Random topics Chat Transcript:
I'm just gonna try this out and see if it works...
Oh! Shiny!
11 hours ago
LOL Awesome Shiny!  I love that I can log in with any of my social media accounts too! (besides just a random guest account for those who dislike social media).
an hour ago
an hour ago
HEY Michael!!! How've you been?
an hour ago
For anyone poking around  the chatroom is open... just the page itself is still under construction (not pretty)- the chat works though 
an hour ago
Yeah, need to make the chat thing wider on the desktop. 
an hour ago
I've got a one size fits all problem :/ I can EITHER set up one for mobile and use it on both OR set it up for desktop and then it is too big for mobile. :/ urg!
Hmm... OR what I might could do is copy it and put two on the same page- they'd both populate with the same stuff but hmm *tinkering*!
an hour ago
Michael... refresh the webpage and scroll down... hows that 
an hour ago
it will work. can you give the chat window a % instead of a fixed width? That should let it use up whatever percentage of the display
an hour ago
Hmm I suppose I could... I'd need to look up the html for that....It just says width=" " and all I know is to type in a number lolol.
lemme see what I can find out about using the % thing
Oh THAT was neat! I typed two different times and pressed enter both times and the chatroom combined it into one bubble! How efficient!
44 minutes ago
should be able to do width="100%" and it will fill the column.
44 minutes ago
Awesome! *Tinkering*
43 minutes ago
Hello, Virginia. Nice place you have here.
42 minutes ago
Hey Andrea! Welcome!
Michael- YOU ARE AWESOME!!!! Hit refresh screen 
37 minutes ago
I know about as much HTML code to make myself dangerous- that's about it. When I have something new I want to do I run over here: http://www.w3schools.com/
35 minutes ago
So Michael, anything new with K9? We get to work on transformers in class next week, and we are programming controllers too- won't be long before I'm building robot along with you! lol
I'm loving Electrical Engineering - even though my classes eat up a lot of my writing/ going over edits time.
30 minutes ago
cool. it looks like a fun class
30 minutes ago
robot was supposed to have an s on the end -.- darn speedy fingers
29 minutes ago
i took an electronics class in high school but it was, here is a kit, here is what the parts do
29 minutes ago
Hey V! I'm at work so can't talk much but wanted to say hi.
28 minutes ago
You'd love it! My instructors are really good at breaking things down from the beginning so you can understand just exactly what the things are doing when they are hooked up different ways.
28 minutes ago
Any cool WIPs planned for this week?
28 minutes ago
Michelle! Hi! Oh I'm glad you stopped by! Have a good day at work! Hope it isn't too stressful!
As for WIP's um... I've got two tests- make that three tests to study for and a TON of math homework :/
If I DO finish any of that early then I will be hacking away at the edits my editor sent for Visionary From The Stars-
Its slow going with my new schedule.
I promise to get back to writing my short stories on my blog once that editing is done though 
Before I fall asleep at night- and often while I am driving I am working on a sequel to The Alien Mind in my head.
25 minutes ago
The plot bunnies are bugging me though so I'm not sure how close that one is to coming to life.
24 minutes ago
OH!!! I also have a secret I can share with you guys! (no one else knows yet)
I'm working on a book with my husband!
22 minutes ago
He's busy coming up with concept ideas for pictures in it. Its sorta like a joke book concept but not quite.
21 minutes ago
15 minutes ago
Yeah- took me a long while, but I finally convinced him to work on something with me 
Its a funny guidebook for intergalactic visitors 
14 minutes ago
That's cool! I'm helping my fiance with his YouTube channel. Collabs are fun. Not sure I'd ever write with him though lol
14 minutes ago
Aww! Thats cool! Is his channel public yet? (link?)
13 minutes ago
It is, but no content yet. He's AusMAtari everywhere on the Web. It's a retro gaming Lets Play chanel
12 minutes ago
I keep telling Mine he needs to start a youtube channel with all the jokes he keeps throwing- DUDE I was in the middle of a serious conversation! (And now you made me lose my train of thought! lol)
Oh AWESOME! Retro gaming... what game is he going to air first?
12 minutes ago
Hmm... I can't seem to find it on youtube... Do you have to post something before I could find the channel? (That doesn't make much sense but who knows these days)
10 minutes ago
Not sure - probably going to launch it with five vids, and those will probably cover one from each Atari, NES, PS2, N64, and either SNES or PS1. I think Super Breakout and Adventure are two he considered launching with.
9 minutes ago
Oh thats cool! Drop me some links when he launches them and I'll help share them!
Dang... to think PS1 is retro... I HAD a PS1 O.O
7 minutes ago
I also had a Game Boy Color! Those things rocked! (I still have mine actually- though my mario cartridge no longer works  My kids play oldschool pokemon on it! lol)
6 minutes ago
Wish I could chat longer Michelle- But I gotta run (and stop procrastinating from my mile long list of math homework -.-) I'll probably do this about once a week though - not exactly sure what time is going to stick though... Probably either Tues Afternoon or Friday evening sometime after dinner 
3 minutes ago
I had one too! Only pac man though. My parents didn't let me have video games. Jokes on them lol. I spent the entirety of January in Fallout 4
3 minutes ago
HAHA! Yeah ours didn't buy us video games till we were MUCH older. I played Mario on the old nintendo system though *blowing in cartridges like a boss!*
2 minutes ago
Cool - nice seeing ya!
a minute ago
You too! I'm so glad you came over!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dancing Among The Stars on New Years Eve

Earth and MoonLucy was dressed in a completely inappropriate shade of pink for this formal black tie New Years Eve party. When her sister had promised to fulfill her wish to see the world she was not expecting a trip like this and had totally not packed the right outfits. Among a glittering sea of ankle length black sparkly dresses and penguin suits the breakout actress of the year was dressed in a knee length salmon strapless number that was bound to turn heads, just not in the way she hoped.

"Don't do anything stupid!" Her manager had warned her. "I'd LIKE to be able to get you a second gig!"

Now how am I going to explain this? 

Lucy blushed and stared down at her feet which while yet another couple danced past her with mouths agape. She'd tried to tone the outfit down with a string of her grandmother's pearls and dainty black high heels. Her legs were so long though that she doubted that it even made a difference.

 She'd never wanted to disappear this badly in her whole life!

"You know the trick to pulling off a bright colored outfit?"

Lucy whirled to face the person who had snuck up on her. The man sported a three day old scruff that Lucy found terribly attractive. A black semi formal jacket with a white button down shirt untucked over a pair of black kakhis added to the look that suggested that he'd been shanghaied into coming to this party.

"The trick is to act like the party is being thrown just for you." The man answered, "You're Lucy Sumter right?"

"Yes, I am." He's handsome, my luck he's probably paparazzi. Lucy wanted so badly to hide.

"You just starred in the highest grossing film this century, You should be out there on the floor as if you owned the place!" The man cooed.

The man held out his elbow and Lucy took it wordlessly.

He led her out past the center of the dance floor. Lucy looked quizzically up at him, wondering why they had not picked a spot to dance yet.

"I thought you'd appreciate the view." He smiled at her and pointed to the great big window in front of them.

"Isn't it just stars?"

"Well, yes, and no... Look down,"

Lucy's heart gave a terrible jolt as she saw the large blue orb of the Earth hanging below their feet. She was terrified of heights!

"Awesome! I was hoping you two would get along!" Lucy's sister Nancy announced as she approached the pair of them.

Lucy looked first at her sister in complete shock and then blushed as she realized she was clutching the shirt of the man she had just met.

She peered nervously once more at the glittering swirling blue planet beneath them.

"You know, I don't think you told me your name." Lucy quickly brushed the wrinkles from his shirt.

"Um," He managed.

"Andrew. His name's Andrew," Nancy exclaimed with an impish chuckle.


**Photo Credit: Mother Earth via photopin (license)
First sentence prompt: 'I was dressed in a completely inappropriate shade of pink'
Protagonist Prompt: Laurie, the famous actress
Goal Prompt: To see the world
Subject: New Years Eve
Word Limit: < 500
This one tops out right at 500 words.

My 2016 resolution is to publish one flash fiction post a week. Help encourage me in this endeavor by subscribing to be the first to receive my stories directly to your inbox!

Find The Alien Mind on Amazon!

Did you like this post? If so you might enjoy my book! Different characters than this flash fiction piece, but still just as entertaining!

For adults and teens alike, it is truly a science fiction adventure for the whole family!

If you'd prefer an autographed copy straight from the author you can buy one here as well!
Autographed Copy:$13.00 + Shipping

Friday, December 18, 2015

I need your help! Name that program!

I need a name for a program that checks the chemical and elemental composition of an object in space. something that would check to see if there were any lifeforms or potential for life forms... any ideas? If your idea is chosen I will be sure to add your name to the acknowledgement section of the book when it is published!

8554367793 ed17a7277f

Visionary From The Stars, sneak peak excerpt for reference: (Bare in mind that this is a non edited excerpt)

Jean realized in awe that a comet was coming slowly into her view. She spared a few seconds to peel her eyes away from the viewscreen to make sure her instruments were recording the comet’s majestic passing. Sure enough, they were all doing what they were supposed to do. Crediting the [previous to this passage] strange signal to her bored imagination, Jean welcomed the chance to observe the passing comet. 

Jean crossed over to another window to get a better view and realized the “comet” didn’t look quite right. It was round, but instead of the usual comma tail, five spire-like objects extruded from its sides bending backward to meet and produce a fiery tail. Uneasiness filled her stomach. Jean jumped as the (Insert Name Of Program) sent out an alarm. She ran around the center circle and rounded on the culprit computer console. Jean frowned as she realized what the huge load of information scrolling down the blue glowing screen was trying to tell her. Horrified and mystified, she turned to the viewscreen across the room. 

What is this thing? 

Slowly the comet’s pace slowed until it matched her own ship’s relative speed. The comet turned slowly towards her ship, beginning its approach. Confused, Jean looked back and forth between the nearest computer terminals. One of them began screaming a proximity alarm. Six others sent out computerized voice messages meant to alert Jean to the comet’s possible time to impact, probable future course, and various choices of evasive actions to choose from.

 “Impossible!” She exclaimed, aloud, to the viewscreen. 

Comets just don’t change direction like that!

##End Excerpt##

photo credit: Comet C/2011 L4 Through Telescope via photopin (license)
Photo is not intended for the book.


Find The Alien Mind on Amazon!
And wherever else books are sold!

Did you like this post? If so you might enjoy my first book (while you are waiting for Visionary From The Stars to be released)!

For adults and teens alike, it is truly a science fiction adventure for the whole family!

If you'd prefer an autographed copy straight from the author you can buy one here as well!
Autographed Copy:$13.00 + Shipping

And remember! If you liked this excerpt or any of the other flash fiction pieces on my blog... you can sign up to get them straight in your e-mail box by plugging in your e-mail in the box on the right hand side!

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"/>
<meta expr:content='data:blog.title' property='og:title'/>
<meta content='website' property='og:type'/>
<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

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

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?