Aug 19, 2015
NOTHING TO DO?
by Shelley Silverstein
Nothing to do?
Nothing to do?
Put some mustard in your shoe,
Fill your pockets full of soot,
Drive a nail into your foot,
Put some sugar in your hair,
Place your toys upon the stair,
Smear some jelly on the latch,
Eat some mud and strike a match,
Draw a picture on the wall,
Roll some marble down the hall,
Pour some ink in daddy’s cap–
Now go upstairs and...
Aug 15, 2015
About a month ago, I was violently roused from a deep sleep by a pain that, once imagined as “eyeball-eating, microscopic slug beetles rolling across the eyeball, defecating bits of ground glass,” was hard to think of as anything else. Certainly nothing as mundane as “dry eyes.”
I told my doctor I was pretty sure I had pink-eye. In truth, I was pretty sure the glass-pooping dung...
Aug 5, 2015
“Laying track.” That’s Julia Cameron’s analogy, in The Right to Write, for showing up, putting in the work, and letting whatever it is that wants to be written flow through you to the page. Is it really laying track or meandering? I figure if that’s how railroads were built, it’s a wonder they don’t look more like rollercoasters squashed flat by gravity.
Aug 5, 2015
The next chapter in The Right to Write is “The Time Lie.” Basically, the time lie goes something like this: “Oh, if only I had more time, I would do that!” Or, “I keep meaning to do that, but I’m just too busy.” It’s not a question of time, really; we always manage to find or make the time for things that are really that important to us.
Aug 3, 2015
You look into the mirror every day, right? Is it really vanity to want to be sure your hair’s combed, there’s no toothpaste on your shirt, and you don’t have some weird hair sprouting from your face?
Have you looked at yourself on social media the same way – that is, viewing yourself on each of the platforms you use, such as Facebook or Twitter, to see them as the rest of the world...
Jul 27, 2015
As children, we are constantly admonished to listen. To pay attention. Speaking as an adult, I think we are the ones in need of scolding; perhaps we ought to pay closer attention and listen to the children for a change. Today’s chapter in The Right to Write is called “Let Yourself Listen.” What it deals with is whether writing is an act of taking or giving dictation – whether we...
Jul 26, 2015
I am evaluating Judgify.me as a possible platform for a future writing contest run by someone else. There are too many variables and roles, and so I am recruiting your help! This is not an actual contest, but a chance to learn the platform, kick the tires, sweep the nails out of the road, and ensure that – if it’s chosen, things run smoothly. So although it’s really not an actual...
Jul 26, 2015
What do you think of when you think of “a writer”? What adjectives do you tack on in front of the term to somehow separate yourself from, say, Stephen King or J.K. Rowling? I think we’re all setting our sights way too low. The real goal should be to write a book, throw parts of the manuscript into a cave, and watch it become a worldwide bestseller two thousand years from now.
Jul 25, 2015
Eradicating Edna is an unfinished novel dedicated to all whose “inner critic” is a bitch.
Just so no one mistakes the Book Description for the book itself! The chapters are waaaaaay down there. I seriously thought about quitting. Then I recaptured the true spirit of NaNoWriMo. I remembered what it was all about: to write a truly hideous novel of 50,000 words in 30 days.
Jul 25, 2015
My friend Steven dropped by my cubicle, while he was in town, and returned a book to me that I forgot I’d loaned him. It was Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write, which I’d enjoyed even more than The Artist’s Way. It decorated my desktop for a bit, then hitched a ride home in my backpack. I pulled it out, just now, and riffled through the pages.
Hmm, I thought. Blog fodder. A...
Jul 24, 2015
We all want to “create a meme” or “publish viral content.” But it’s like creating “literary classics.” You don’t create “literary classics”; you write great stories and hope they stand the test of time. You hope that people like them enough to share them. You hope that a lot of people like them enough to share them with all their friends, who...
Jul 23, 2015
This morning, I proposed a week-long Facebook Creativity Challenge, to begin Monday. Part of the challenge is to estimate, up-front and honestly, how long you’ll last. I’m guessing I can make it three days!
At the end of the week, I hope you’ll come back here and share your results in the comments.
Our Facebook friends are our friends because they like us, not because they...
Jul 19, 2015
I first met Rasheed Hooda, author of Life: It’s a Trip, about a decade ago in a local CiCi’s Pizza, where he was entertaining children and adults by making balloon animals – and, for my son, a balloon sword. We talked about fencing, balloons, and blogging. We exchanged URLs, then quickly lost touch. A few years ago, Rasheed’s picture popped up on my friend Mitch’s blog, in a...
Jul 19, 2015
No more chasing PageRank or Alexa. When I posted my goals for 2015, Mitch Mitchell spent a little while chuckling under his breath before mercifully informing me that PageRank had been dead for years. What do we do for blog metrics, now? Thanks to Sylvie of FuelMyBlog, I now know what to replace PageRank with: Page Authority.
What is Page Authority?
“Page Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale)...
Jul 17, 2015
I’ve been tagged! Not by Banksy, more’s the pity – but by Mitch Mitchell in retal–er, in return for my tagging him in the Creative Blogger Award. When I first saw the title, “Would You Rather” Book Tag Tour – My Version, I thought it was going to be one of those, “Would you rather kiss an elephant’s trunk or a sweet little bunny’s butt?” things. No,...
Jul 13, 2015
Don’t get me wrong: Heavenly is Heavenly. But it is also my nemesis, my Waterloo – the mountain that may just be trying to shove me a little closer to Heaven, a little faster than I care to go.
This year’s family reunion was held at Lake Tahoe – within easy walking distance of the face of Heavenly. About 30 years ago, I came here with my family – my grandmother, my parents, my...
Jul 12, 2015
Since April or May, my Facebook friends have reported being unable to share posts from my personal profile to theirs. At first glance, it makes sense: My default privacy setting is Friends of Friends. My Public posts – if I remember to change them to Public, after posting – are shareable. But when I visit other friends’ pages, I see a Share link on their Friends or Friends of Friends...
Jun 28, 2015
I’ll admit that I don’t follow African politics closely enough to comment intelligently the political issues raised in Peter Wright’s post, “Values, Hypocrisy, Genocidal Presidents and Disgraced Scientists.”
However, the failure to properly prioritize our outrage over various current events may be unfairly characterized, here, as “hypocrisy.” I was not referring to the...
Jun 26, 2015
Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A., and awesome blogger has nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award.
Thank you, Roy! I am honored. Back in 2009, having answered for the 13th or 67th time what “5 things do most people not know about you” (until I was pretty sure there wasn’t a single mystery left, if ever there’d been one), and blogging “7 things you wish people knew about...
Jun 20, 2015
One of the most important aspects of any relationship, for me, is trust. For me, it’s the foundation and reaffirmation of love and respect. Sure, good people lie, sometimes. “No, honey, of course that dress doesn’t make your ass look fat,” is not the same as lying about an affair or a criminal act or blowing your shared retirement savings at the dog track. There are harmless little...
Jun 17, 2015
The 1990s are calling. They want their Internet back.
Sitting here, enjoying a warm cup of coffee from my “RTFM” mug, I realize some of you aren’t even old enough to remember a day before “blogging” was a thing. Back when the Internet wasn’t free, but we had freedom. Back before a quick Google search for rules blog* netted “about 551,000,000 results.”...
Jun 14, 2015
Maybe you’ve heard “reviewing is dead.” It’s not. For authors, book reviews are more crucial than ever. But it’s also important to understand a little bit about applicable laws, truth in advertising, and how that applies to “endorsements” of a product or service. Once upon a time, only sales and advertising professionals had to have any real familiarity with...