Thursday, February 17, 2011

Facebook - The New Office Water Cooler

I am thrilled to have a good friend back on Bookin' It today. Please help me welcome author Roz Lee. She's here to talk about her debut release The Lust Boat and its sequel Show Me the Ropes that comes out March first. Today she has chosen to share her wisdom on a writers newest gathering spot. Very telling of our inner workings when you think about it. Roz is also generously giving away winners choice of either her debut release The Lust Boat or upon its release on March 1st, Show Me The Ropes. Check back Sunday morning to see who has won! You know the ropes, leave a comment and don't forget to leave your email addy to enter the drawing on Sunday.

Good Morning Roz! Take it away.... 

Originally invented to purify water by lowering the temperature enough to kill microorganisms, the office water cooler has become a metaphor for the place where co-workers gather to chitchat and gossip. No matter where you work, be it an office, factory, shop or store, chances are your place of employment has its own version of the water cooler. It might be as elaborate as a cafeteria or as simple as a coffeemaker or the cliché water cooler, complete with upside down five-gallon jug.

Once upon a time, I worked in a place like that, but now I spend my days mostly alone, sitting at my computer with a lazy black Lab for company. Betty Boop doesn’t mind if I talk to her, sometimes she even looks like she’s listening, especially if treats are involved. Don’t get me wrong, she’s good company, and if it wasn’t for her, and her inner clock, I probably wouldn’t remember to get up and move every few hours. Writers are prone to all kinds of maladies that stem from sitting in one place too long with their fingers to a keyboard. I admit, some of that time is spent staring at a blank screen, but that reason enough to get up and do something different.

However, as solitary as my work is, I’m not alone. Since the emergence of the PC, more and more people work from their homes. I can’t speak for people with other jobs, but writers tend to be okay with being alone, sometimes to the point of being downright weird. Of all the workers out there, writers are the most in need of a water cooler. We need a place to hang out, a place to interact with other human beings. We need that time away from the blank screen, or if we’re fortunate, the steady stream of words flowing from our over active imaginations to the keyboard.

I suppose we could go to the mailbox and hang around, but that’s sort of hit and miss with the human interaction. Going somewhere like the mall is a big no-no. Not only would we be spending money we don’t have, but it takes time, lots of it. What we need is a water cooler. A quick, refreshing break, and then back to the grindstone, I mean keyboard! Oops!

Enter Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Yep, Facebook- the new Office Water Cooler. Facebook provides us with a quick, refreshing break, a chance to interact with real humans, not the ones in our heads. We can get the latest gossip among our friends and, in my case, fellow hermit like writers. We can get the latest industry news, as well as a peek at what’s happening in the world outside our writing cave. The only thing missing is the burp and gurgle of that upended five-gallon water bottle.

The problem with Facebook, just like the physical office water cooler, is knowing when to throw the pointy paper cup in the trash and get back to work. In an office environment, there’s always someone to give you the evil eye or flat out tell you to haul your sorry you-know-what back to your chair and do some work. However, when you are both boss and employee, it’s all too easy to let that five-minute break stretch to fifteen minutes, or heaven forbid, an hour.

I admit I’m addicted to the cold drink of water Facebook provides. It’s my window on the world. My societal interconnect. Some days I’m able to walk away after a quick diversion, but others, I find myself with my elbow propped on top of the water bottle, eagerly chatting with whoever happens to walk by. An unlike the real water cooler, the jug never runs dry. You never have to heave another jug on top—the refreshing bits just keep popping up, an endless supply!

It’s time for me to get back to work. *throws pointy paper cup in wastebasket* I’d love to hear about your water cooler. Is it the old-fashioned kind, or high-tech like mine? Leave a comment below to win a copy of my debut release, THE LUST BOAT, or if you prefer, my March 1st release, SHOW ME THE ROPES.

THE LUST BOAT – A Night Owl Reviews Top Pick

When her fiancé called off the wedding and told her he’d had better sex with a blow up doll, Candace traded in her honeymoon cruise for a week on the Lothario, the most notorious ship to ever sail the high seas. Little does she know that Ryan, the sexy passenger who offered to be her escort as she samples all the ship has to offer, is really Ryan Callahan, the ship’s playboy owner.
Ryan Callahan is single, rich, and considered quite the catch. Two years ago he and his business partner launched the Lothario, a floating den of iniquity where passengers can indulge their every sexual fantasy, but since the ship docked following its maiden cruise, Ryan has been so scarce he’s earned the nickname, Monk, until sweet, naïve Candace coaxes him out of his tower, heats his blood, and steals his heart. But will she still want him when she finds out who he really is?
SHOW ME THE ROPES –
Available March 1st from Red Sage Publishing
He’s going to hell. Not that he’s any stranger to the place. For two years Richard Wolfe has lived in a self-imposed hell in order to prove his devotion to the woman he loves. When Dr. Fallon Enright asks for an early release from her contract with the Lothario, Richard knows his time has run out. Desperate to keep her onboard, he stoops to an all-time low, even for him.

Fallon knew it wouldn’t be easy to walk away from the Lothario, and the man she loves, but she never dreamed Richard would stoop to blackmail to keep her onboard. Worse, instead of leveling charges of sexual harassment, she’d agreed to his asinine plan. For the next week, she would submit to Richard, in all things. The possibilities sent a shiver down her spine.

About Roz Lee- 

Roz Lee has been married to her best friend, and high school sweetheart, for over three decades. These days she splits her time between their home in rural New Jersey, and Southern California, where her husband works. Even though she’s lived on both coasts, her heart lies in between, in Texas. A Texan by birth, she can trace her family back to the Republic of Texas. With roots that deep, she says, “You can’t ever really leave.”

Roz and her husband have two grown daughters they couldn’t be more proud of, and are currently raising a ten-year-old Labrador Retriever, Betty Boop, who isn’t aware of her canine heritage.

When Roz isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traipsing around the country on one adventure or another. No trip is too small, no tourist trap too cheesy, and no road unworthy of traveling.

Click to download Roz's bookmarks for:
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Don't forget to check back Sunday morning to see who has won! ;-)

10 comments:

  1. Talina - Thanks so much for having me over today! I know today's topic is a bit different than what you imagined I would come up with, but I promise to return in a few weeks and tell you all about how I came up with the idea for the Lothario Series! *grins* I'm off now to the water cooler to see what's going on in the world. Catch 'ya later!
    Roz Lee

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  2. so true! FB is the new water cooler. great analogy.

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  3. Wonderful post and so true. I have a lot of family that I dont' get to see very often. FB gives us the chance to communicate. For some, it's the only way they've gotten to see my 2 year old.

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  4. Facebook--twitter as well and dare I say other social sites more related to male female interaction (all in the name of research of course...lol) I like My Yearbook and used to have some great convos on My Space though it seems that has been largely abandoned to people trying to make a sale versus a friend.

    Instant chat is the biggest time suck IMO. It is why I seldom allow myself to get caught in its web. I must admit I do talk to my critique partner on IM, but then commuting to Greece might be just a tad more time consuming...lol!

    Love making the e-quaintence of people from all walks of life from around the globe. Isn't the internet fabulous?

    Thanks for the very entertaining post, Roz.

    Best,
    Christine London
    www.christinelondon.com

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  5. Great post and you are so right about what a time-suck FB can be. I think it takes a great deal of discipline to yank yourself away from all the friendly interaction and get back to your WIP - especially if you've written yourself into a corner or you're stuck in a difficult scene.

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  6. FB is my little getaway where I can see what everyone is up to and have a little fun at the same time. By the way, I love your stories! They give me a laugh, give me something to think about and very entertaining! I look forward to reading what you've posted every day.

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  7. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has to pull myself away from the chatter! Christine, you are so right about IM. I rarely go on FB live. When I do, someone will IM me and then I have the devil of a time breaking away. I prefer to read and post incognito! That way, I can duck out anytime and no one notices.
    Kim - FB is a wonderful way to keep in touch with family and friends. I wish it had been around when I was home alone with two little girls. I could have used the adult interaction then!
    Maeve - LOL Yeah, it's a great excuse to step away from a writing snafu! Guilty as charged!
    Daisy Mae - Sweet friend that you are! It makes my day to hear you say that!
    Thanks for stopping in friends!
    Roz Lee

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  8. It's been a struggle, but I have actually kept myself from starting up on Twitter or FB. I know that once I started, I would be hooked, and I would rather use that bit of extra time to read a great story.

    It was great getting to know you Roz, and congrats on your upcoming release.

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  9. Hi Roz! So nice to see you here - this is a great post because we are in a different age as authors with all the social networking. I love it because I feel so connected with everyone, but my actual writing has suffered because of it all. I guess, like everything in life, we are in the pursuit of balance!

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  10. Sorry to be late responding!
    Cathy - I'm impressed! It's too late for me, I'm already hooked, but kudos to you for resisting temptation!

    Jennifer - Yes, things have changed in our little world. Thanks to technology, it has expanded to include the entire globe. Best of luck with the balancing act!

    Roz Lee

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Sorry I've had to turn on word verification! I hate those darn things as much as you probably do but the bot spammers are eating me alive! We still want to hear from you IF you are a valued reader of BIR. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and enjoy my post!