Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Marilyn Celeste Morris Remains True to Her Military Brat Heritage

Although she was raised as a Military Brat, Marilyn Celeste Morris was born in her grandfather’s house in Toronto, Texas, a small Southern Pacific Railroad Section six miles west of Alpine.  Perhaps as an omen of what would be the next twenty years of her life, the railroad’s abandonment of this settlement shortly afterward left her with no “permanent” home.

Schooling consisted of Dependents’ Schools while overseas, in Seoul Korea, 1946-47 and Linz, Austria (1949-1952) and various schools stateside.  A rarity for a Military Brat, she was fortunate enough to have attended all three high school years and graduated at Lawton Senior High School, Lawton OK.  Further education was attained at Cameron University, Lawton OK, Tarrant County College, Fort Worth TX, and North Texas State University. She received an AAS Degree in Mental Health in 1995.

Morris began her writing career as a guest columnist in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and for ten years Wrote a weekly humor/human interest column for a weekly newspaper in the Fort Worth TX area. 

She has taught creative writing at Tarrant County College, Fort Worth TX, survived numerous book signings and speaking engagements; and is experienced in interviewing on both radio and television.

When not writing or editing emerging writers’ manuscripts, Morris enjoys searching for former classmates and true to her Brat heritage, she has a suitcase packed under the bed, ready to travel at a moment’s notice. 
I'm an eclectic author of eight published works who is finally settling down to focus on historical novels. Someone asked me why I chose that genre, and instead of the "same ol, same ol," "Because I like it."  I answered,"Because I've lived most of it." 
Marilyn Celeste Morris' Family, Mother's Day, 2012

Marilyn Tells Us About Herself:
I'm an old Army Brat, or Military Brat, who followed my army officer father all over the world, post- WWII, and lived to tell about it.And write about it. Once a Brat, Always a Brat is the second of two non-fiction books I have published. 

My most recent novel is The Unexplored Heart, and I am working on a sequel, After Camelot: Esther's Quest. This sequel focuses on the intrepid wife of an archaeologist who researches the history of the sites her husband Charles Wooster, is considering as his next dig. After I typed "The End" to The Unexplored Heart, Esther Wooster snorted and said, "You just think you're finished with me. I want my own book, now."

And so she shall have it. 

My other novels and non-fiction works are listed on the "Free reads of the first four chapters of all my books" status line and I invite you to check them out. 

It occurred to me that I am Esther Wooster, and that is NOT a bad thing. She and I are having a marvelous time returning to the Himalayas on an entirely different search. 

Marilyn Celeste Morris, Author, Editor, Speaker
WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/RIqtQ4; 
: AuthorMarilynCMorris.wordpress.com
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/KSq5Ya; PUBLISHER'S SITE: http://bit.ly/LIq9iy 
And now, free reads: First four chapters of all my books: 

Please leave a comment to welcome Marilyn Celeste Morris to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Phyllis Zimbler Miller Says Seniors Get a Bum Rap on Technology

I Am Tired of Seniors Getting a Bum Rap About Technology
How many times have you read an article that insists that young people “get” social media and older people do not?  Or that it is amazing that an older person uses new technology?

If you are like me, you have had your fill of such articles.

To start with, just because young people have grown up with Facebook or other social media sites does not automatically translate into using these sites effectively for business purposes.

Using something for business purposes requires understanding business, which in turn means understanding – among other distinctions – the difference between selling and making connections.  Many young people “sell” on social media while many people of whatever age use social media to create relationships that may then lead to selling goods and services.

Second, older people learn new things all the time.  The assumption, for example, that utilizing Twitter effectively is beyond us is plain wrong.

And I am equally weary of older people telling me they are too old to learn new technological things.  This is a fear mentality mindset of not being good at the task and it can be overcome.

I know from personal experience that technology can be learned at an older age – if one is willing to be frustrated and then move ahead as one overcomes the obstacles.

For my 60th birthday I decided to self-publish my 20-year-in-the-writing women’s friendship novel MRS. LIEUTENANT, based on my own experiences almost 40 years before.  I said yes to this new publishing experience because POD (print on demand) had eliminated the need to stack hundreds of self-published books in one’s garage.

At the same time I entered MRS. LIEUTENANT in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition, and MRS.  LIEUTENANT was named a semifinalist.

Each semifinalist was given a page on Amazon, and this led to my discovering that one author had something called a blog.

Now while I was an early adopter of computers and email, I will admit in the spring of 2008 I did not know what a blog was.  But when I found out – it was like Alice falling through the rabbit hole.

I started out in my adult life as a newspaper journalist, and I knew what it was to wait for someone to say yes to something I had written.  Here was a free opportunity to write whatever I wanted without waiting for anyone’s okay.  And suddenly the ability to write well for purposes of information sharing had again become handy.

The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.  I took free and paid webinars, bought online courses, and threw myself into online relationship building.

At the same time my younger daughter, Yael K. Miller, was finishing an internship in the corporate communications department of a major Hollywood agency.  Instead of looking for a job, she agreed when I asked her to form an online marketing company with me.  I then introduced her to what I had been learning.

Now for the purposes of full disclosure, it is true that some things come easier to her than to me.  But then other things might come easier to me.  Thus the combination of two different age mindsets works well.

In the meantime, back to my book writing.  When I self-published MRS. LIEUTENANT, Kindle had just been introduced.  I found someone to convert the novel for Kindle almost as soon as the physical book was available on Amazon.

Five years ago not that many people had a Kindle reader, let along other electronic devices that run free Kindle apps.  But as ebooks have become more and more popular, I have expanded my book writing into nonfiction titles as well as more fiction titles.  And I have just encouraged Yael to publish her first Kindle ebook – the Middle Grade novel JACK STROM AND NEW ORLEANS HOODOO. 

Lo and behold, those old copyediting skills of mine honed going to the printer to okay a newspaper edition before it went to press have also become handy.

These days hand coding a Kindle ebook can ensure the best possible formatting.  But due to the addition of Kindle Fire, this type of coding has become quite complicated.

Yael did the research of what I needed to do, and now I use my old copyediting skills when I code my books.  I actually enjoy the coding – formatting my books exactly as I want them.  (I hand coded Yael’s book too.)

Before I did the coding myself, I accidentally lost control of one of my ebooks when a company I paid to do the coding uploaded my ebook to the company’s Kindle account instead of my own.  I immediately negotiated to get the rights back, recoded the book myself, and now completely control all my ebooks – see www.ZimblerMillerbooks.com.

And perhaps the best part of all this utilization of online technology is that I have made marvelous online friends throughout the world (as long as they speak English).  These are people with whom I share many common interests. 

In fact, I have created a triad of former military spouses who have written novels inspired by their experiences.  You can read a Digital Book Today article about our triad at http://budurl.com/whoserve.

Phyllis with Hubby, Mitchell, Coronation
Ball, at Michigan St. Univ, 11/18/67, sponsored
by Cadet Officers Club & Arnold Air Society

Phyllis with hubby, Mitchell at USS Midway
aircraft carrier in San Diego, 2/1/07, after
US Naval Institute Conference

In conclusion, as spunky seniors we need to disabuse people of the notion that we cannot use new technology the way younger people can.  With our years of experience, we have a lot of valuable wisdom to share online – and we can do this via utilizing new technology!

Phyllis and her hubby twrote
Lt. Commander Mollie Sanders

Connect with me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ZimblerMiller or visit my author website at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com to find my other social media info.  And let’s show the world that older people using online technology is not an anomaly – it is the norm!

Phyllis Zimbler Miller has a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University and an M.B.A. in finance from The Wharton School.  Her fiction and nonfiction books include TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and she is also the co-founder of www.MillerMosaicLLC.com

Please leave a comment to welcome Phyllis Zimbler Miller to
Spunky Senior Authors and Talents.