Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What's Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type?

I just took the Facebook version of the Myers Briggs personality test, and I'm a little surprised by the results. I took the Myers-Briggs test several years ago when I was working in the federal court system and the Clerks of Court arranged for specialists to administer the test to everyone who worked at the two different courts housed in the building.

At that time, I came out a strong INFJ--introverted, intuitive, feeling, and ??? Judging? Yeah, I think that's it.

Tonight, my results indicated that I'm an ENFP (Extraversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Perception)

The pop-up window with the results said:

You are warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. You see life as full of possibilities. You make connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceed based on the patterns you see. You want a lot of affirmation from others, and readily give appreciation and support. You are spontaneous and flexible, and often rely on your ability to improvise and verbal fluency. Famous people with your same ENFP personality include: Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Andy Kaufman, Bill Cosby, Robin Williams, Sandra Bullock, and Robert Downey Jr.

Now, maybe this is silly, and maybe it's not a real Myers-Briggs test. It seemed to be, but in this day of rampant online piracy, who can tell for sure? There were about 50 questions, and they were pretty similar to what I remember them being all those years ago at the federal courthouse.

The point is, I'm not surprised that my results are different. I know I've changed since I took the test all those years ago. I've been through too many things, experienced too much, met too many people, had my perceptions of the world changed, and done things that have challenged my long-held beliefs about life, about reality, and about how things "should" be.

(A nasty word, "should." I'm trying to ban it from my vocabulary. But I digress.)

The point is that I think I'd be a pretty sorry kind of person if I'd done all that and remained exactly the same.

I'm interested, but not really surprised, to learn that I've changed from someone who's introverted to someone who's extroverted. I always liked people, but it used to be that I needed a lot of solitary time to recharge the old batteries. Now . . . not so much. I may not be the life of the party yet, but I'm a whole lot more comfortable in social situations than I used to be.

I'm also a lot more open to new information and opinions than I used to be -- a direct result of serving on the board of directors of a large non-profit organization. If spending several years doing that job doesn't open a person to new information and opinions, I don't know what will.

And now, I think I'll take my extroverted self off to bed. All this self-awareness has worn me out!

Copyright © 2009 Sammi Carter

Monday, June 15, 2009

Everything is Amazing, Nobody is Happy

I've been the world's worst blogger lately, and I promise to catch up soon with a real entry -- but I had to share this video a friend sent to me this morning.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Agatha Nominees Announced

In case you haven't seen this yet ... I hadn't, but I've recently discovered that I'm seriously, sadly out of touch with the news. Malice Domestic has announced the nominees for the 2009 Agatha Awards (named in honor of Agatha Christie) for works published in 2008. Winners are voted on by attendees of Malice XXI (21): May 1-3, 2009 and will be announced at the Agatha Banquet on May 2. The Agatha Award honors the best in "cozy" or traditional mystery. The 2008 Agatha Nominees are: Best Novel: Six Geese A-Slaying by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books) A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen (Penguin Group) The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books) Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry (Random House) I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur Books) Best First Novel: Through a Glass, Deadly by Sarah Atwell (Berkley Trade) The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis (Penguin Group) Pushing Up Daisies by Rosemary Harris (Minotaur Books) Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet (Midnight Ink) Paper, Scissors, Death by Joanna Campbell Slan (Midnight Ink) Best Non-fiction: African American Mystery Writers: A Historical & Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey (McFarland & Co.) How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries by Kathy Lynn Emerson (Perseverance Press) Anthony Boucher, A Bibliography by Jeff Marks (McFarland & Co.) Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion to His Tell-Tale Stories by Dr. Harry Lee Poe (Metro Books) The Suspicions of Mr. Whitcher by Kate Summerscale (Walker & Co.) Best Short Story: "The Night Things Changed" by Dana Cameron, Wolfsbane & Mistletoe (Penguin Group) "Killing Time" by Jane Cleland, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine - November 2008 "Dangerous Crossing" by Carla Coupe, Chesapeake Crimes 3 (Wildside Press) "Skull & Cross-Examinations" by Toni L.P. Kelner, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - February 2008 "A Nice Old Guy" by Nancy Pickard, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - August 2008 Best Children's/Young Adult: Into the Dark by Peter Abrahams (Harper Collins) A Thief in the Theater (A Kit Mystery) by Sarah Masters Buckey (American Girl Publishers) The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein (Random House Children's Books) The Great Circus Train Robbery by Nancy Means Wright (Hilliard & Harris) Best of luck to all

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I Hate Windows Vista

** Note: I originally wrote this post on Thursday, but then my computer shut down mid-post, and I thought I'd lost it. I just found it buried deep in a weird folder while preparing to restore my computer to its factory settings in the hope that I can finally resolve this problem I'm having.

--- --- --- --- --- --- ---

I don't often lose my temper, but I lost it today and I lost it big. A year or so ago, I bought a new laptop computer after my old one crashed and burned. My new computer came loaded with Windows Vista, and my life took a downward turn the minute I turned the stupid thing on.

My day started out normally enough -- until the computer crashed and shut down four times in a row while I was in the middle of a document that I had to have finished early this morning. This would have been frustrating enough, but since the day I bought my computer, Windows Vista has systematically been destroying all of the other programs on my computer.

The first casualty was Internet Explorer. Microsoft Tech Support was spectacularly unhelpful, blaming everyone and everything from George W. Bush to my granddaughter for their faulty program. I limped along without IE for a while, contenting myself with Mozilla Firefox instead.

Then Microsoft Outlook started acting up. I uninstalled and reinstalled several times, to no avail. Outlook soon went the way of Internet Explorer. What I find most interesting is that Windows Vista can't even work with other Microsoft programs.

Then Firefox began to act up, and MSN explorer soon followed. Like I said, one by one, Windows Vista is exploding all of my other software, and I'm quickly losing my temper.

Today, on my fifth (no exaggeration) Tech Support call of since morning (I logged more than 8 hours talking with folks from India today) I finally lost it. The "helpful" tech support rep from Microsoft's Windows XP division decided all on his own that I was an idiot and began speaking to me in much the same tone one might use with a particularly dim-witted dog.

He started telling me that I didn't understand Microsoft's licensing procedure. Well, buddy, I do understand Microsoft's licensing procedure. I understand all about OEM licensing and all that. But would he let me tell him he could skip that part of his canned speech? No, he would not. In fact, he didn't let me get more than two words out before he cut me off and told me I didn't understand.

I would have asked how he knew I didn't understand since he wasn't listening to a d**n thing I was saying, but I couldn't get the question out before he cut me off. In the end, I did what he was probably trying to get me to do all along. I hung up in frustration. Of course, I managed to use my best raunchy sailor language right before signing off, but I doubt the tech support guy stopped talking long enough to fully appreciate my talents.

I tell you, it's almost enough to drive a person to ... well ... murder!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Future of Publishing

I read a blog post by Mark Tavani, Senior Editor at Random House today, and I was interested in his take on the current state of the industry, and also on the comments offered by other blog readers who got there before me.

Tavani suggests that the current shake-up has been caused by the build-up of past events, not necessarily by the current state of the economy. I agree with him completely, but then I don't even think the current economic was caused during the past 8 years alone. Events this big don't happen overnight, or even over the course of a decade. It takes a lot of screwing up over a very long period of time to create a mess this big, and we're being very short-sighted to try laying the blame for it at the door of any one administration.

I'm not saying the previous administration made it any better, I'm just saying they don't hold exclusive rights to the blame. But I digress ... Publishing.

Tavani also suggests that the current state of publishing might actually, eventually, in the long-run, produce positive results. I agree with this, too. Our society hasn't yet learned the art of hitting a happy medium and staying there. That's okay. Other societies have been exactly the same way, so it's just human nature. Society functions with huge pendulum swings, from one extreme to the other, passing through that happy, workable medium area for about five minutes once every century or so. Industry functions the way society does. We continually say, "if a little bit is good, a lot will be even better," and off we race to produce millions of the thing that was good, or new, or fresh, or innovative, or unique because God forbid we should allow anything to remain good, new, fresh, innovative and unique. If somebody is making money off it, we all have to chase after a piece of the pie -- present company excluded, of course. I would never suggest that anyone with the good sense to read my blog would be so crass.

So what do you think? Will the publishing industry survive today's economy combined with choices made years ago? Will books as we know them today cease to exist and be replaced by something else? I don't know about that one. I hope books as we know them never disappear. I love the feel of a book in my hands. It pleases me in a way no computer screen ever has.

I love the sound of pages turning, and I don't believe anyone could produce a satisfying electronic sound to take its place. I love bookmarks with beautiful pictures or thought-provoking quotes on them. Electronic bookmarks don't even come close. I love the smell of a book. I don't know about yours, but my computer does not have a pleasant smell. For as long as I've had a career as an author -- more than 15 years now -- people have been predicting the demise of the paper and leather book and the rise of the electronic one. I have yet to see anything that leads me to believe in either extreme.

Sure, electronic book sales are on the rise, but we're heading into our second decade of the soon-to-hit electronic book tsunami prediction, with little more than a few waves lapping on the shore. Some of my own books are produced in electronic format these days, and I think it's great. Frankly, I don't care what medium a person chooses for the stories s/he reads, as long as s/he's reading. I'd like to see us stop quibbling about the unimportant things that will have relatively little important impact on society and start focusing on the things that will actually make a difference -- like teaching our kids to love stories in whatever format they find most pleasant. Educated kids with broad vocabularies and vivid imaginations are our best hope for a bright future.

The Selling Synopsis

February 2 - 27, 2009
Registration Fee: $40 (includes critique)
For more information, or to register, go to DancingOnCoals
THE SELLING SYNOPSIS: A synopsis is one of the most valuable tools in your writer’s toolbox, but to write a successful one, we need to shift gears and forget almost everything we've learned about writing a great novel. Learn how to show editors and agents that you can put together a compelling story filled with sympathetic characters. That you understand motivation and know how to work with and layer conflict.
In this workshop you'll learn:
  • How to format your synopsis
  • How to decide what to include and what to leave out
  • How to write a functional query letter
  • How to establish conflict
  • How to present motivation
  • How to pace your synopsis to keep the editor hooked
  • Thursday, January 08, 2009

    Thirteen Random Things from My Week

    1. My oldest daughter went downstairs for something the other night and discovered that the sewer was backing up into our basement. 2. We discovered the sewer issue at about 7:00 in the evening. The plumber left at 2:30 in the morning. 3. While the plumber was here, he asked my daughter to fill the washer with water and then drain it so he could see if the drains were working again. While the washing machine was trying to pump out the water, it began smoking. Badly. 4. The fix for the washer we hoped would be minor isn't, so it's new washer time for me! I could give you 13 reasons why this is very bad news, but I won't bore you. 5. I learned that my oldest niece, who is pregnant with her fourth baby, is having another boy, leaving Miss Jade as the only girl in the family. Sorry, Jade. 6. I learned that my youngest niece is pregnant with her first baby. I'm very excited for her because this is something she's wanted for a very long time. 7. My granddaughter, who is still in diapers, and who woke up before her mother this morning, decided to paint her bedroom. Three guesses what she used for paint. 8. I popped a bagel into the toaster yesterday, only to discover that the toaster doesn't work anymore. It still doesn't work this morning. 9. I'm not even going to talk about the mold we found growing on the basement walls, but I will mention that apparently our neighbor spent several weeks in the hospital with pneumonia thanks to mold growing in her house, and another set of neighbors moved out of the house on the other side when they discovered mold. 10. I'm going to RWA's national conference in July. This year, the conference will be held in Washington DC, and I'm excited since I've never been there before. 11. I've been invited to teach at the Low Country Romance Writers Jumpstart Master Class in 2010, and I'm very excited. It looks like it should be a fabulous experience. 12. I finished judging 2 writing contest entries sitting on my desk and hard drive. Each one took over two hours by the time I'd read and commented on the manuscript and filled out the judges' score sheet. 13. Finished chapter one of my new work in progress, a paranormal mystery. 13 1/2 ... I tried going to the Thursday Thirteen site to post that my post was up .... and it's gone Confused