Tag Archives: social media

Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge ~Letters from the Heart

 

Reflecting on the end of a challenge. One door closes another one opens. What was good? What was bad? What was ugly?  What can be done different? How can things be better?  

 

THE GOOD

Through my Letters from the Heart series I’ve learned a lot about myself.  Other years I’ve participated, but not really participated. It was nice to reconnect with some past bloggy buddies as well as making some new friends. This year I put a little more effort into getting to know my fellow bloggers and what they stand for.  Networking, because isn’t that what blogging is? Bonding with the homogeneous.

As the years pass, as we write and interact with others, we change. Our writing changes, our moods change, our habits change.  Hopefully for the better.

Statistically speaking, I had visitors from 25 different countries, which I think is really cool. I received more comments than I could keep up with and trust me that count is not high.  I found that if you reciprocate, you tend to get more comments.

THE BAD

I really had it in my head to visit every single blog from the Master List. I didn’t do very well at this.  I found myself drawn to certain blogs which I loved.  It happens. Blogging is a clicky little world and you can’t avoid clicks. We all have the same number of hours in a day. What do you want to use those hours on?  I choose to spend mine on things that I enjoy. Unfortunately it didn’t leave a lot of time for exploring and finding new blogs. A few times I did visit blogs that I wouldn’t normally visit, but really didn’t find them enjoyable.  I left comments but for the most part if I didn’t get a response or at least and acknowledgement that I visited, I did not return to the site.

THE UGLY

Which brings me to the things I disliked.  Some of the website links were not user friendly.  A few of the websites I visited I found it to be a chore to actually find the A-Z challenge. Once I maneuvered my way to the actual post it was fine. But still it was an inconvenience that took valuable minutes out of my day. Others neglected to even post at all. If I visit a blog and can’t easily find my way around, if there is no indication that it’s part of the challenge, or  if I can’t find where to leave a comment, chances are I’m not going to visit again. Also if I visit more than once and have to enter my name, email, etc. every time to leave a comment, I probably won’t comment a second time.

DON’T BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW

What to do different? I had intentions of participating in the Road Trip. Unfortunately what I need to do is focus on areas where I need to improve before taking on another commitment. I think I jibber-jabbered about how we all have the same number of hours in a day, and we get to choose what we do with those hours. One of the things I noticed through the challenge this year is it’s much more enjoyable when you form a relationship or bond, per say, with some of your fellow bloggers. It’s important to reciprocate when they take the time to make a comment. I plan to take my own road trip.  I want to go back through all of my comments, not only this year, but all of the previous challenges, and respond to every comment that I neglected. Wish me luck.

COLLABORATION

How to make things better? Free advertising. I’ve included a few of my favorite bloggy buddies’ buttons to the right of the site. If you would to share yours send me your info. I’m at yahoo (everyone really is). We are the world of information. Knowledge at our fingertips.  What do you want to share? (Crackerberries discretion of course). I think that’s what this world needs: more sharing and just being kind. And if you think of it throughout the year, pop in on some of the bloggers you hooked up with and just say “HI”.  A random comment or nod might just be what someone needs to make their day.

That’s my take.  What’s yours?  Have you thought about what your theme for next year will be?  Be sure to leave your reflection link or blog link in the comments. I promise to do my best to come visit you and leave a comment back.

Have a great day!

Cheers,

Faggots and Fruitcakes

Faggots and Fruitcakes

“Going to the store to get bread.” You’ve heard that expression before right? I always took the term literally. Bread, meaning a baked leavened food made from flour and water. Then one day I saw a silly meme on Facebook and saw the term in a different format. “In-bred” … oh my!

Interpretation. It’s one of those things we fight with on a daily basis. How is what you say going to be interpreted? How many people don’t read this article or are offended by the title?  When I was growing up we lived by, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me!” “Fatty, fatty, two-by-four, can’t fit through the kitchen door”. When our friend did something stupid we called them retarded. If they were acting silly we called them queer or gay. I still use those terms and sometimes I get the dirtiest looks from people.  People probably will take this article the wrong way simply because of the way they interpret it.

Today we have to be politically correct. I get the whole bullying thing and I am all for that to stop. It’s my own personal opinion and I know everyone has one, but I think that a kid should be able to say what’s on their mind without being reprimanded for “hurting someone’s feelings”. Feelings are hurt all the time. It’s part of life. It makes you stronger.

A lot of workplaces ban their employees from talking about politics, religion and sexual preference. In other words you can’t call out the liberal hypocritical faggots and dykes. They’re in every workplace and they’re protected by a blanket dogma. Doesn’t mean mean it doesn’t happen. Go to any water cooler or smoking area. I guarantee you they’re being talked about in some way shape or form.  I wish they would protect me from being a bitch. ☺

Maybe it’s me. I am somewhat of a fruitcake. It is the only thing that keeps me sane in this idiotic world we live in. My feelings get hurt but usually it’s because what is being said is true and truth hurts (I don’t like being a bitch.)  We have to own that truth and if we don’t like it, change it. Don’t blame someone else for pointing out the obvious. Don’t blame someone else for your feelings being hurt. I mean seriously, you can’t call someone retarded if they are not retarded because it hurts the feelings of the truly retarded. How retarded is that? Just saying….

Satan Attacks

Ephesians

You know how you can tell when you are following God’s calling? When Satan attacks. He will attack in any way, shape, or form, and cause strife in your life. Everything will be going along well, hunky-dory, and peachy-keen. Then KA-POW! Out of the blue, here comes the attack. It can be anything, small and large alike. Even stupid little things.

For example, the other day I read a blog about this dumb challenge where people were trying to summons a Mexican spirit named Charlie. I did not watch any of the videos, but reading some of the articles gave me the willies and a chill ran up and down my spine. My daughter, trying to be comforting, insists it’s just gravity causing the pencils to move. I know better. Satan is real and he will take any way into your life that he can get,to cause strife, if you open the opportunity for him to enter.

That night, I was afraid of the dark. I’ve been afraid of the dark all my life, but God has kept the fear at bay. That night I heard creepy noises, and I thought I was seeing things. I could feel myself getting worked up, and an anxiety attack was coming on. My heart began to palpitate, and I could feel my body drenched with sweat. I told Satan,”Back the hell off!” Then I asked God for help. I prayed and prayed for His hand to calm me. He did. I went back to sleep, and the dark hasn’t been an issue since, although I do continue to pray about that.

Satan attacked again. Another stupid little thing. Sometimes he uses the stupid little things and tries to make them big. Social media is good and evil. Sometimes when you are joking others take it seriously. We all have different views and opinions on different subjects. Not everyone thinks the same. Some people take what others post as a personal attack. Satan will use whatever he can to crush you and cause you to sin.

When you are moving forward and bringing glory to God, Satan will attack. Know this, accept this, and move on. He will try to bring you down, degrade you, and make you think what you are doing is wrong. Stand up to him, and don’t back down. Keep pushing forward. If it’s God’s will, He will stand behind you, or in front of you every step of the way.

Being Successful as a Writer

Being A Successful Writer

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I lost my way for a short time. I got involved in the social media thing … you know the Facebook novel promotions and that sort of thing that ‘people in the business’ say is what you need to do. Quite frankly, I think ‘people in the business’ are full of shit. They want you to think they know what they are talking about. But if they are so good at telling you how to sell books, how come they aren’t selling their own? Why are they writing articles on “HOW TO DO IT.”? How come there are so many authors turned into publishers? I don’t really think a good publisher can also be a good author and vice-versa. Just my opinion. Personally, I think when that is done, someone is looking for a way to make more money because they suck at being an author or they suck at being a publisher… they can’t be good at both. It’s not a job you can multi-task well.  They’re in it for the wrong reasons.

Those book promo sites on Facebook are people doing the same thing. Sell the book. It might get one or two sales, but that’s not the place you want to put your time and effort into promoting and selling your books. I thought I had to do what everyone else was doing because “they said” that’s what you have to do to be successful. I can tell you right now, I’ve been doing this writing thing for a lot of years. If you ask me if I think I’m successful at it, my answer would be, “Yes, I’m very successful at it. I’ve written millions.”

Does that mean I’m successful at making money at writing my millions? Well, not exactly. That’s a whole new nonfiction novel — which I don’t do. You see, the way I figure it, there is success in writing and there is success in making money. So far as I can tell, the two don’t really go together, unless, of course, you are Stephen King. I like to tell people I’m not in it for the money. But that’s kind of a lie because who doesn’t want to make money? It would be a sweet gig if I could make a lot of money doing what I love to do. Right now that doesn’t seem to be the case, but I’m too old to find a new hobby as so many people like to refer to my addiction that I have with writing.

Seriously though, I’m in it because … well if I don’t write I get really moody and sometimes I need to do it to vent. It’s almost like an addiction to, say, cigarettes. I can use that as an example because I quit that habit – in fact next month will make eight years. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve slipped up quite a few times since then and had me a clove cigar every now and again. I will probably continue to slip up every once in a while, but I don’t have that nagging desire to go have a smoke every hour or so like I did for 22 years. Now writing, that nagging desire is there even in my sleep. I do some of my best writing in my sleep. I don’t think I could ever give it up. I’ve tried, but it just keeps coming back to haunt me. I have to get those ideas and thoughts down.

So I have published a few books and am working on a new novel and a holiday cookbook. I’m also looking for new innovative ways to promote my writing. That’s the hard part of the business. In a few days I’ll see that some of the followers on social media will suddenly be doing the same thing with a holiday cookbook or something to that effect. If you are good at what you do, people are going to try to duplicate you. The way to find out if you’re successful is when you look around and see others copying what you do … this means they are watching you. This means you are good at doing what you do. It’s like that saying on the Mike’s Hard Lemonade label, “If you’re gonna be original you can count on being copied.”

Not that I’m original, there is nothing new under the sun. I just look for innovative ways to make old shit look like new shit. When people copy you, accept it as a compliment and move on to the next task at hand. People can write about the same topic as you, but they can’t write like you. You are an original writer and no one can take that away from you. Do what you do and don’t worry about anything else. If you were meant to be successful at making money, you will make lots of money. If you were meant to be successful at writing, you will write a lot. If you were meant to be successful at making lots of money from writing, well you have one hell of a talent!

The F-U-N in Book Marketing

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I’ve been limiting my time on social media lately because I’m trying to put more effort into writing instead of socializing. The infamous they say you have to socialize to create book sales. You need relationships to earn sales. That is how you market your book, or so “they” say.

That doesn’t make any sense to me. I buy books all the time from authors I sometimes have never even heard of, let alone have a relationship with.

My thought is this about relationships: I don’t want someone to read my books because they feel sorry for me. I want people to read my books because they are good. I don’t think creating a relationship is going to change whether the book is good or not. Plus with relationships, you get into the whole thing where people think they know who you are and then they start thinking they know who your fictional characters are in real life. It’s a whole big spiral snowball of crap.

So I’ve been doing some research on other ways to market my book…not just social media. Free too. I’m finding a lot of avenues. I’ll let you know how they pan out.

 

 

Cheers

Shut Your Pie Hole

woordsWe all have moments when someone says something and by the time we think of a witty reply it is too late. What about those moments when we do reply, and then realize that no reply would have been better? Oooh, ouch!

Our tongue is like a two-edged sword. It can build someone up or it can bring someone down. Unfortunately, like anything negative, it is easier to bring someone down with one harsh word than it is to build someone up with ten positive words.  It is human nature to lash out and strike back when someone hurts us with words. Anyone can fight that battle. It is easy to impulsively speak back to someone using reckless words to degrade or slander them. With so many social media networks, cyber bullying  is viral, while people on the opposite side of a keyboard are “so much better on-line”. People tend to say things more openly than they would if they were in person. Sometimes that can be a good thing but most times it turns out bad.

If people are not well grounded in personal relationships (with spouse, parents, friends, etc.) the Internet may become their main form of communication. They are quick to grasp that instant gratification from social network acquaintances. The true value of personal relationship is suddenly lost in cyberspace. It is easier to say things on-line that would not be said in person. People can be honest without fear of immediate confrontation. When virtual relationship become more important than real relationships, it is time to back away from the keyboard and re-evaluate priorities.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when communicating on-line:

Don’t write what you won’t say face-to-face.

Remember once it’s out there, it’s out there forever, whether you delete it or not. Someone saw it, someone saved it, someone remembered it, someone will share it, and you will pay the consequences for it.

Understand the impact on others of what you write. Put their feelings above the temptation to write something negative.

Be respectful.

Remember what Thumper’s mom told him. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

The true art of being good at communicating on-line is not only saying the right thing at the right time, but not saying the wrong thing at the moment of temptation. It might sound easy, but if it were, everyone would be doing it.