Bleeding Heart

Art by Michal Boubin. today you destroyed me; my laughter ceased. i felt the pain driven deep within my heart, as you lashed out against me in a furious rage. i stood before you rendered powerless, struck by your ardent emotional outburst. your words, like daggers - were stabbing, were slashing; tearing violently through my … Continue reading Bleeding Heart

The Nuances of Twitter

twitterimageI initially wrote “The Nuances of Twitter” in 2015, but after personally encountering, on several occasions during the last couple of weeks, the practice of Twitter users following and then unfollowing me to increase their number of Twitter followers while decreasing the number of Twitter users they follow. I decided to reblog with an added message in an attempt to get through to some of those who abuse Twitter.

One of the quickest ways of having your account suspended is to play the follow/unfollow game on Twitter. To follow someone on Twitter only to unfollow them when they follow you back to grow your numbers is shameful. You have no interest in who you follow other than attempting to make yourselves look significant for the sake of Twitter. You believe the practice of accumulating a stupendous amount or followers is your ticket to being certified by Twitter. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your shamefully obtained numbers are not going to earn you the Twitter certification you so badly yearn for. It will, however, may and should get your Twitter account suspended. You are playing dirty and shame on you.

There are multiple services available, both helpful to the honest and the dishonest to monitor the activity of your Twitter accounts. They are useful in notifying Twitter users without an agenda of those who have unfollowed them. However, using these services to unfollow a vast amount of Twitter users is going to get the attention of Twitter and when it does, adios! No one that’s on Twitter for the right reason wants to be a victim of the follow/unfollow scam.

And then there are those who purchase their followers either to raise their numbers exponentially for the sole purpose of impressing Twitter. And let me say that the practice of buying followers is not necessarily a bad thing when purchasing followers through a legitimate company for your ‘targeted audience.’ However, I don’t understand why Twitter users would pay for followers, aside from advertising needs, if you have a commodity to advertise legitimately. But when you purchase followers through the cheap bot sellers, this is a sure sign you don’t care about your followers, or who follows you. You are merely beating your chest to get the attention of Twitter, and that’s only going to lead to adios, see you when Twitter lifts their ban on your Twitter account.

I find it easy enough to identify those that have unfollowed me by occasionally scrolling through the list of those I follow. Twitter has made it much easier and less time consuming by adding “Follows You” without having to open each follower’s page, as it once was. While scrolling through those you are following, if you don’t see “Follows You” then you’ve been unfollowed. I am in no way suggesting that every unfollow is part of the follow/unfollow scam played by those manipulating their numbers; however, in more cases than not, you are a victim of the follow/unfollow practice.

I am selective of those I follow. I am a writer, and therefore I follow those who write, edit, publish, read, blog, tweet writing advise or inspiring quotes by famous and upcoming authors. I also follow artists that are genuine in what they do and why they are on Twitter. Likewise, most of us appreciate humor, and therefore I follow some comedians and funny people. I also follow some advertising Tweeters. My point is, I follow a targeted audience that shares the same interests as I do. If someone follows me, I check their legitimacy before I follow back. I’ve been around a while, and I’ve seen the follow/unfollow game played, which is unfortunate for those of us who play by the rules.

I’m not particularly fond of cliches, but I make exceptions from time to time, and this is one of those times. Remember, “It’s quality, not quantity” that gets the Twitter certification.

Book Reviews & Musings

twitterimagePlease Don’t do that! Please don’t drop your head into the palm of your hand and moan, “Oh gawd, please not another one!” because of this, I promise you, is not ‘just’ another one. I’ve been making mental notes about the activity that I have found disspiriting regarding Twitter for several months, and I decided today, after seeing something that really annoyed me, that it was time to speak up. Although I joined ‘Twitter Nation’ in May of 2012, I did not become a serious Twitter aficionado until the last 18 months or so; and during this time, I have questioned a lot, but I have also learned a lot, and namely the difference between tweeting with and without etiquette.

Some time ago, perhaps a month, or so, I read a tweet that left me feeling disheartened for the tweeter. She tweeted something to the effect that the saddest thing that…

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Writing Outside The Box

Most of us, as writers, get stuck “inside the box.” Jamie Lee Wallace (@suddenlyjamie) tells us in her blog, “There is no “always” or “never” in writing. There are some basic common sense guidelines, but, other than that, I don’t give the “shoulds” and “musts” of writing much credence. What works for someone else might work for you, or it might not. And, as the masters will tell you, even the most widely touted rules are made (once you have the chops) to be broken.”

We should ask ourselves if we are stuck “inside the box” and as Jamie suggests in her blog, “…step outside that box – outside your comfort zone and into the place where the magic happens?”

Jamie’s blog is by far one of the best blogs for writers, by a writer, that I have read. Do yourself a favor and take the time to read Jamie’s entire blog.

Happy writing!

Live to Write - Write to Live

“Think outside the box” has always been one of the phrases I love to hate. In my agency days, it was something that echoed up and down the corridors, usually tripping lightly off the tongue of some overpaid creative director-type who couldn’t come up with a more helpful way to articulate his “vision.” The writers and designers would cringe in unison and wonder exactly what the hell they were supposed to do. Most of the time, they weren’t even aware they were in a box, never mind understanding how to get out of it.

Still, getting “outside the box” does have some validity in the world of marketing if you think of the box as the “shoulds” of marketing.

The myth of “best practices”

I have some bad news: there is no silver bullet, no 100% guaranteed roadmap, no one-size-fits-all solution. I also have some good news: there is no…

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Generating Page-Turning Momentum -Characters & The Wound

Whether you are a seasoned, an intermediate, or a new writer that is just starting to get your feet wet and you do not know Author Kristen Lamb; you must get to know her, and she has a great blog you can follow to become acquainted with. Kristen Lamb is the #1 best-selling author of We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me. Writer, Kristen Lamb is quite witty. If you’re anything like me, you tend to tune in and retain more from those who are intelligently humorous and believable.

Let’s face it, the writing industry is confusing, and especially if you do not have a background in English, Journalism, or Communication. If you are reading about your craft, and hopefully you are, as well as reading other writer’s books, blogs, etc., the terminology, method of putting a story together can be overwhelming. Writing a book is a lot like putting a puzzle together. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, let me tell you, it’s not. Like pieces of a puzzle, our stories have pieces too, and if you fail to put the pieces in the right order, your novel will not work. You may be scratching your head, rolling your eyes and thinking what I’m writing is psychobabble fluff, but I promise you it’s not.

Let’s talk about some of the confusing write-speak just briefly. When it comes to writing, if you are a writer, you know what a plot is, hopefully, but what do you know about log-lines? Characters sound natural enough, but there are many elements to your characters too. The emotional connections, and distinct wounds, and how you tie these problems and dramatic events to your characters? What about generating story tension and timing the introduction of your characters and their problems/wounds? There are many pieces, but the timing for introducing these pieces is critical to GOOD writing.

I am traveling; the truth is I am camping, and I am without the luxury of my 24 hour Wi-Fi, so I am remiss in re-blogging Kristen’s excellent blog post, Generating Page-Turning Momentum—Characters & The Wound. Unfortunately, there was a give-a-way that accompanied this blog post that expired on July 31st, 2015. Personally, I believe the blog itself is a give-a-way. Kristen’s blog lays it ALL out better and more concisely than I’ve yet to see it explained. It was a great refresher for me. Anyway—read, giggle and take notes. I guarantee Kristen’s blog will allay some of the confusion that writer’s encounter.

 

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 10.17.54 AM Hmmm, what’s the story behind THIS?

Can we answer the question, “What is your book about?” in one sentence. Is our answer clear and concise? Does it paint a vivid picture of something others would want to part with time and money to read? Plot is important, but a major component of a knockout log-line is casting the right characters.

Due to popular demand I am running my Your Story in a Sentenceclass in about two weeks and participants have their log lines shredded and rebuilt and made agent-ready. Log-lines are crucial because if we don’t know what our book is about? How are we going to finish it? Revise it? Pitch it? Sell it?

Once we have an idea of what our story is about and have set the stage for the dramatic events that will unfold, we must remember that fiction is about PROBLEMS. Plain and simple…

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In Loving Memory of My Aunt Veronica Lynn Parker July 5, 1954 – July 18, 2014

A year ago today, my Aunt Veronica (Ronnie) Lynn Parker passed away from colon cancer after cancer spread to her lungs and her liver. She had just turned 60 on July 5th. My Aunt Veronica’s sister, my Aunt Dana, was in the hospital when my Aunt Veronica passed. Aunt Dana had Stage IV lung cancer; … Continue reading In Loving Memory of My Aunt Veronica Lynn Parker July 5, 1954 – July 18, 2014