Monday, August 31, 2015

So how's your year thus far?

How's your year so far? Some years are better than others, and boy, sometimes you use more floss than is necessary. And some years you find yourself quoting U2! How about you?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mind-blowing Statistics About Social Media

YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Goggle +, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, Counting and Blogs--most people would agree that social media has a big, but just how big is it? Here are some surprising statistics.

1. Over 12 million people blog.  23% of internet time is spent on blogs and social networks.
2. Companies with a blog have 97% more inbound links than others.
3. You Tube has over a billion uses.
4. Six billion hours of video is watched on YouTube every month
5. YouTube gets an average of a billion views a day.
6. Twitter has over 255 million active users. They sent over 500 million messages daily. That said, there are about forty-four percent of the users on Twitter, who have never sent a message or tweeted.
7. Over 20 Billion photos have been shared on Instagram since its inception.
8. Twenty-three percent of teens say Instagram is their favorite social network.
9. Snapchat has 30 million active users.
10. About 400 million snaps appear on Snapchat daily.
11. Over 39 million students and recent college graduates are on LinkedIn.
12. Every second two or more people sign up for LinkedIn.
13. Pinterest has over 70 million total users and most of those users are female. In fact 80% are female.

All these statistics point to social media’s huge popularity, but why is it so popular? Why are we draw to it? I’m taking an online class currently about social media and my instructor, author R. L. Syme says, it’s because social media is just that—social.  While traditional media—newspapers, catalogs and magazines, presented information to an audience, it didn’t truly invite interaction. It was primarily a lecture-type format where readers responded like an audience. Social media is a conversation, a give and take, where the response is just as important as the initial communication.
What do you think? I’m waiting to hear from you.

Baer, Jay. “Convince and Convert: Social Media Strategy and Content Marketing Strategy.” Convince and Convert Social Media Strategy and Content Marketing Strategy. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.

Bennett, Shea. "Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat – Social Media Stats 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]." SocialTimes. 9 June 2014. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.

"Latest Social Media Users Stats, Facts and Numbers for 2014 - Digital Insights." Latest Social Media Users Stats, Facts and Numbers for 2014 - Digital Insights. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.

Syme, R.L. "Social Media for Writers." From the Heart Romance Writers. Loop Class, 1 Aug. 2015. Lecture.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Write, Right, Write: Thirteen Things You Can Do to Inspire Creativity

Ever have a deadline and have no clue how you’re going to meet it? That painful moment that seems to last ten years where your brain refuses to engage in thought and you’re left idea-less. I was there just minutes ago when I realized it was my turn to post and I had no topic and no clue what I’d write, so…

I decided to look for help. I googled ways to inspire creativity. Here are thirteen ideas to jump start creative thoughts.
1. Be grateful. Think about all the blessing and beauty around you.
2. Carry a notebook. Jot down thoughts, so that when you’re seeking inspiration you can thumb through and find it.
I believe in carrying a notebook. Here are three of my old ones.
3. That’s a good idea if you’ve started carrying a notebook and have written in it, but if you haven’t, you could doodle.
4. Or you could color, if you have crayons.

5. Keep the box of crayons out after you finish and see if you can come up with new names for the colors.
6. Speaking of colors, go somewhere you can see blue—i.e. gaze into the sky, or skip a stone across a lake or find a blue room you can sit in for a while. Apparently beholding the color blue triggers creativity.
7. Take a nap.
8. Play a kid’s game like Checkers, Chutes and Ladders, Sorry, or Go Fish.
9. Take a walk.
10. Do something else you love. For me that might be admiring flowers. Here’s one of my favorite lilies.

11. Help someone.
12. Just start. Don’t judge the result until you’ve got plenty to judge.
13. Seek out other creative people. Ask them to share ideas with you. This is my favorite tip and I know you guys are resourceful. Do you have any suggestions for me?


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Digging Up the Past by Sandi Brackeen

Sometimes there are books that escape notice because it comes out at the wrong time or in the wrong venue. I found this book because I blundered into it, and because the author name was vaguely familiar. Turned out that Sandi Brackeen was a fellow ex-Cerridwen Press author, so I probably remembered her name that way. And it turned out that her book was a fun read, and worth telling people about!

The Spade of Apocatequil can raise the dead and grant immortality—and it’s been stolen!  
When supernatural agents Riley Perez and Jason, her partner at the clandestine government agency DUE, are given the task of tracking down the magical artifact, they discover that the culprit may be one of the workers at an archaeological dig at Shady Shores. Is it John Braden, the head archaeologist on-site, who was involved in the original discovery of the spade? Or is it Danny Roget, the anthropologist, who claims that there have been strange sightings? Riley and Jason’s hunt for the spade is endangered by a rash of sudden, unexplainable deaths of people involved in the dig. Together with Cameron Delaney, the intriguing alpha werewolf who runs Cerberus Security, the company in charge of protecting the archaeologists at the dig, Riley and Jason must find the spade before it can be used to destroy the world!
Sandi lives in Texas with a roommate, two yellow Labs, a shepherd/border collie mix, and two terrier mixes.  The animals were all rescues.  Her full-time job is as the public information officer for the local sheriff’s office, and she teaches English part time at the local community college.  She says she has a couple of degrees lying around somewhere, and she’s been writing ever since she can remember, although she took time off for work and school, and previously her writing has been more geared toward short stories and academic papers.  Sandi has now switched to writing fiction and currently has several more books in the works.