"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~ Dame Agatha Christie

Saturday, March 24, 2012

FOCUSing on Social Media

Remember how I said my word for the year was "FOCUS"?  Well, between my day job and my part-time job as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I am trying to learn more about social media.  Marketing my SU! business more effectively would be wonderful, but the main reason for studying the various platforms out there is because once my novel is ready for publication, I will need to market both the book and myself. 

I'm preparing to attend my first-ever writer's conference in May, and the classes cover both the writing aspects and the publishing/marketing aspects of being an author.  Since my novel is still unfinished, my focus for this conference will be classes on craft; however, I would be totally remiss if I refused to take any class on the use of social media for authors.

I've posted here before that I don't have a Facebook page or a Twitter account and some of my reasoning behind the decision of not participating in those forms of social media.

Face it, I'm not always the greatest at keeping a schedule with this blog, and I am ashamed of that fact.  It's not that I have nothing to say (my friends will attest I am seldom quiet LOL), but I feel I have too many things I want to share. 

For instance--I managed to cover several notebooks lately, but haven't found the time to get out the camera, take the pictures, crop and edit the pictures, and then post them here.  They are really pretty--I'm not ashamed of my work--and yet they still sit at the table awaiting a post.

I wanted to post something for St. Patrick's Day, and the first day of spring.  On both occasions, once I was off work, general living took precedence over the blog.  Looking back--I haven't posted since my March 1st rant--so we can see no focus on social media here :-(

There are several books I have finished this month that need to be added to my 100-book challenge at Goodreads and also need to be listed here (preferably with reviews)...

Anybody else see a pattern here?  How could I reasonably expect to interact with multiple social media platforms if I cannot even  stay consistent with this personal blog?  So, until I learn more discipline and begin to focus more on improving this platform, I choose not to string myself out any further.

Baby steps...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Time Warp or The WABAC Machine? Childhood Memories and Fear of the Future

The WABAC Machine

I started to write a Leap Year post on February 29th and then found myself overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings and disjointed disappointments.   WARNING:  Part of this post is my memory of my past, but some is a rant brought on by the news feeds of the day.  Feel free to (respectfully) disagree with me, but I hope what you read will at least make some folks stop and think...

I never read the sports section, but was drawn into a headline regarding Darrell Royal, the legendary football coach for the University of Texas during my youth.  As a die-hard SMU fan (and former student at that school), Darrell Royal was not someone I appreciated at the time, but looking back, he taught many young men wonderful life lessons like, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."  His family has now started the Darrell K. Royal Fund for Alzheimer's Research.  Hearing that he no longer remembers his long career in football is heartbreaking.  May a cure be found for this dread disease soon...

But as heartbreaking as Alzheimer's is, the thought that we are collectively--as a country--suffering historical forgetfulness is scaring the hell out of me.  The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. said it much better than I can:
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

Why do I feel that way?  Look what shows up on today's news feeds--yet another attack on our President--a federal judge forwarding e-mails to buddies that disparage Barack Obama's parentage and an Arizona sheriff continuing to denounce the Hawaiian birth certificate...come on folks--just admit your racial prejudice and move on.  Attack his political record as President and I will listen, but attacking any human being for his race, sex, religion????  Does anybody really read the Constitution or the New Testament any more--and I mean read for yourself the entire document, not just listen to soundbite versions???????

Speaking of attacks based on sex, Rush Limbaugh is now equating the use of birth control pills with prostitution??????  The same pills are prescribed for multiple health issues today, unlike (dare I say it?  Yes, I do) male enhancement drugs which are covered routinely by health insurance.  Margaret Sanger must be spinning in her grave as we say here in the South.  Despite some of her racist attitudes, her American Birth Control League philosophy gave hope to women that they would no longer be seen as nothing but mothers  (I see nothing here about using birth control equals being a prostitute) :

"We hold that children should be (1) Conceived in love; (2) Born of the mother's conscious desire; (3) And only begotten under conditions which render possible the heritage of health. Therefore we hold that every woman must possess the power and freedom to prevent conception except when these conditions can be satisfied."
And I won't even start on all the new voter's registration restriction laws being passed throughout the country that are no more than thinly disguised poll taxes designed to restrict the electorate...

Lordy, it's beginning to feel I've warped back to the late 50s and early 60s.  These are the same civil rights my heroes struggled, marched and fought for--and we are struggling all over again...thank the Creator we are living longer so even us Baby Boomers can continue the fight for equal rights for all Americans!

Whew.  Breathe, Linda, breathe.  Before I let my blood pressure go through the roof at the insanity taking place as we slip and slide backwards, I will close with a pleasant memory of my girlhood:

My first crush, Davy Jones, died yesterday of a heart attack.  He was only 66 (just a decade older than me).  I still remember owning his solo album for Colpix Records (now unavailable) when he was called "David Jones", and his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show as the Artful Dodger...

Yes, I loved The Monkees on TV (Mike Nesmith is a Texas icon), but Davy had it all--the great height (I'm short LOL), the hair, the accent, the smile--they were (and still are) wonderful performers.  RIP, Davy, while you sing with the angels.  Thanks to you, Mickey, Peter, and Mike for all the wonderful memories of simpler times.

World Book Day

Today is World Book Day, a celebration of reading that is a part of UNESCO (soon be followed by World Book Night on April 23, 2012).  Hooray for reading!  Whether physical books or e-reads, reading is the most frugal way I continue my education, plus the cheapest entertainment I know (I subscribe to both the Kindle Daily Deal and the NOOK Daily Find since I have both a Kindle and the NOOK Tablet, so I find new reading for very little cost).  Paperback Swap is still a favorite place to find great books, and I cannot say enough about my wonderful local library.

I have a TBR mountain of physical books, plus loads on I-Books, Kindle, NOOK, and let's not forget Audible, LOL.  My 2012 Reading list is already way too full, but I am enjoying the challenge of working thru mystery, fantasy, history, politics, self-help, current events--you name it.  Outside of sports, childcare, horror and a few other genres, I read a bit of everything, and encourage others to do so as well. 

Do you enjoy reading?  What genres?  Have you succumbed yet to e-reading?  Do your children enjoy reading?  I cannot imagine a life without the written word...