Living 140 characters at a time #outofthestoneage

Drumroll…I’m on Twitter.

Here’s what happened. I was working a night shift a few weeks ago (for those who don’t know, I work as a bookseller ant Barnes and Noble) and started having a conversation with a very nice lady who mentioned she was a writer of Historical Romance. I mentioned I was a writer too, and she started talking about how much she loved the whole process, particularly the Facebook-ing and Tweeting. She has over 1200 followers on Twitter, including other Romance authors, and then she was telling me about a virtual ball they had involving all of Jane Austen’s crowd, and it suddenly sounded like fun.

So I asked her about her book. Well, it hadn’t published , but she’d was thinking Random House or Penguin Putnam. Neither of those houses had actually accepted it, because it hadn’t been sent out yet. It seems that although she had several agents interested, she didn’t really have an agent. Or even a book. See, she hadn’t finished writing it yet.


So. Here was a woman who had 1200 people ready and willing to buy her book, and she didn’t even have a final draft. Maybe this whole Twitter thing really was worth looking into.

When we ended our conversation, she gave me her card, invited me to a Writers Conference in March, and said if I had any questions, I should send her an email and she’d be happy to help me out.

Well, lucky for me, I have a 15 year old daughter, so the whole Twitter tutorial was covered. Then I got the flu, had to work a few Sundays, had to clean the house, took the dog for a walk, so the actual going on Twitter and, you know, Tweeting was delayed for a while.

But now I’m here. And you all can follow me a @Dernst1. I’m still trying to figure out how to add the button to my website. That may involve several emails to all sorts of people, because my daughter – surprise – didn’t know how to do that. But be patient – if I don’t throw something at the screen in total frustration, I’ll find a way to do it eventually.

In the meantime, the real challenge is the Tweeting part. I’m following a few people who I admire – Neil Gaiman, Susan Orlean, and the very nice writer lady I met in Barnes and Noble. I actually replied to one of Susan’s (may I call her Susan?) tweets, so I’m sure she’ll jump on the Dee Ernst bandwagon right away. See, that’s the trick – finding people willing to follow me. Let’s face it – I’m not quite famous yet. And then the actual Tweets – I’m limited to 140 letters – God, I have to COUNT and everything? I’m a writer – condensing is not really part of my make-up. And what do I Tweet about?

I probably shouldn’t Tweet about the insanely stupid things that happen at work. If I did, I’d have people hanging on every one of my 140 characters, because you can’t make this stuff up. But B&N has a very strict policy about their employees and Social Media, so that’s out. I could Tweet about my everyday life I guess (Just found a great deal #cancansale) but that how boring would that be? I can make fun of my husband and daughter, but then I’d have less to blog about.

So I’ve settled for wry and biting observations about the world around me (Sorry Obama can’t fix in 4 yrs what it took GWB 8 years to break). Wait. Is that 140 characters? Do spaces count? Is this being monitored by some secret government organization, and is it possible I’ll end up on a ‘List’ somewhere?

Hmmm. Never mind. (Eat at Jimmy Buffs #yummyhotdogs)

Yeah. That’s better.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Yuknevitch
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 18:28:55

    Hey, you’re famous to me! From now on, I will be a slavish follower, if I can only figure out how to do it. I’m also thinking of following several of the men I’ve dated, almost dated, want to date, and finally, talked to and figured they don’t want any part of me (think Mr. Big!) Lots of fodder for a book there.

    My first tweet? Perhaps (No crying in middle-aged dating!)


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