More News and Fun Stuff

I’ve never used Twitpic and probably never will. If you do, please be aware that in the fine print of their contract is the stipulation that any images you send through their service are theirs to do with as they please. Yeah. That’s right. You do still own the rights to the images, but you’ve given them the legal right to use those images in whatever way they wish. So do be careful and aware. And curse all EULAs with me. 🙂

And now onto happier tidings: I was recently tagged by one of my wonderful followers, Medeia Sharif. I’m supposed to share bits of my day with you all, so here goes:
Do you think you’re hot?

Not after regaining the forty pounds I lost five years ago. Thanks in large part to depression and an inability to avoid chocolate.

Upload a picture or wall paper you are using at the moment.

Sorry, my wallpaper is a picture of my daughter riding on my father’s shoulders, but I want to keep online pictures of her to a minimum.

When was the last time you ate chicken meat?

Two days ago, if chicken fingers really count???

The Song(s) you listened to recently?

Okay, you’re going to laugh, but the hubby picked up School House Rock on DVD several days ago and our daughter has watched every single ditty many times now. I go to sleep with “I’m Just a Bill,” “Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla,” etc on my brain. LOL

What were you thinking as you were doing this?

Medeia wished her cat would leave her alone, I wished my daughter had slept in for ten more minutes so I could have finished yesterday morning!

Do you have nicknames?

Let’s see, the GYN called me a Tiger when I was born because I peed on him. (So? You wanna make a deal about it?) Dad still calls me Tiger to this day.

Also, there’s Mrs. Nezbitt (See Toy Story 1 when Buzz is a little off his rocker. That’s me.), endearments my husband invites that I will NOT share here and those things one gets called for being strong-willed, but those don’t really apply as nicknames, do they?

Tag eight Blogger friends.
(You are it!)

1. Julie Flanders

2. Lisa Yarde
3. Luanne Smith
4. Sandi Rog
5. Jai Joshi
6. Barbara Ann Wright
7. Margo Berendsen
8. Laurel Garver

Who’s listed as number one?

Julie Flanders. “What Else Is Possible” is the name of her blog and that says so many wonderful things about her.

Say something about number 5.

Her blog is utterly fascinating and recently, quite moving.

How did you get to know number 3?

We belong to Crested Butte’s writing community. Also, I judged her entry this year and am thrilled she is a finalist!

How about number 4?

We first met in the Historical Fiction Online Critique group. Sandi is an amazing writer of historical Christian fiction and even more important, she walks the walk. You have to read her testimony and recent trials to know what I mean, but she’s someone I’m so thankful has entered my life.

Leave a message for number 6.

Why the snapping turtle? Not that I don’t like snappers. I do. My then boyfriend (now husband) and I once saved one from squishdom on the highway. I love them. From a safe distance. LOL

Leave a lovey-dovey message for number 2.

Lisa has been such a rock of support recently – both through reading my mistaken drafts and comforting me when I got dropped from Amazon’s Breakthrough contest. She’s a super friend and author.

Do number 7 and number 8 have any similarities?

They’re both writers and tweeters and extra nice people. (For instance, I first met Laurel when she had her 111 followers contest and I won a nice big prize in which she said some very kind comments about my work. If you hurry over there this week, she’s wrapping up her 333 followers contest and there are some mighty nice gifts to be had. Margo comes and talks in here all the time – you’ve probably seen her – and she always has the most thoughtful responses. I don’t think she’s every dropped the “How interesting,” comment yet. LOL)

Day 2: How Twitter Can Work For You

Before I go any further, I wanted to thank Janet Lane for her wonderful handouts from the Crested Butte Conference and also for allowing me to post so many of her suggestions here.  If you all haven’t already done so, please head over to Janet’s site and see her take on the Crested Butte Conference and if you ever get a chance to hear her speak, run, don’t walk. She’s personable and about as helpful as they come.

As promised, here are the notes of the last “Twitter Handout.” I know I appreciated the last remark the most and have obeyed it the least. 🙂

1. Get published. Janet Lane, the author who gave this talk, mentioned that she new one person who got published as a result of her Twitter presence. It’s also true Diana Gabaldon found her agent through a literary chat group during the early days of Internet chat. But are these likely events?

2. Find people who can help you. Need a good editor, critique group, writer’s group(s)? Use Twitter (and other Social Media) to find such groups and get connected.

3. Make new friends. You can meet and befriend anyone from beginners to industry professionals out here. The professionals will share useful information about how to get published, the hottest trends, what’s selling. Janet mentions on her handout how she found a friend with a hearing problem who loaned Janet a book to aid in Janet’s search for information regarding a hearing-impaired character.  This kind Twitterer lived in a different COUNTRY.

4. Gain readers for your blog. Tweet about your new posts, and ask your friends to tweet about it. Take advantage of the viral nature of news.

5. Get feedback. Ask for help and invite people to make suggestions on your website, scene development etc. Make your twitters about this specific and easy to respond to.

6. Notify your readers of events where you’ll be appearing, new book releases, or share wonderful news if an agent or editor requests a full manuscript.

7. Develop your brand. Your followers will get to know you, perhaps come to rely on your updates about a particular area of interest or expertise, and if you can find a way to engage them in your writer’s journey, you can develop a presence.

8. Give your followers 98% useful content and 2% promotion and never Tweet when upset or angry. Share interesting aspects of your writing life, but not your personal life.

Here’s the part I mentioned earlier that I love, but don’t follow well: Set a limit on your social media marketing! Set a timer. Half an hour a day. Don’t sacrifice your writing time to Tweet. Or blog. Or Facebook. Find a way to integrate marketing into your life without letting it take control.

That said, what are some of your best/favorite Social Media Moments?

Day 2: Twitter & Social Media Marketing

Before I get started on my next set of notes, I need to know if the new Amazon links have annoyed everyone else or is it just how my system is set up? Right now, everytime I come to my site I have to click on a popup window six times before it will let me do anything. I’ve noticed a drop in comments since I tried using the links and if the links are why there’s a drop, they’re not worth it!

This was a talk given by Janet Lane who is definitely more Twitter-savvy than I. Almost everyone is. LOL. That said, she gave us a two-page HANDOUT of Applications  and ideas for marking Twitter work for you. I haven’t had time to implement any of them, but I will. I promise! Applications she mentioned:

  • Lets you share photos on Twitter.
  • is a realtime application that allows users to monitor information from several social media into one concise view. (Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?)
  • is a social networking tool that alerts you to events like new messages and gives you a live Newsfeed of what your friends are up to.
  • is like the CPA of Twitterworld, where you can glean such stats as the top ten followed Twitter users, who has the most followers, friends and tweets. In every time zone.
  • allows you to feed your blog into Twitter. You provide the URL of a blog’s RSS feed and how often you want to post to Twitter. Twitterfeed does the rest. Halleluiah.
  • will help you find out who the most popular twitter users are.
  • connects Twitter and other social media sites, notifies you of new messages, cross-posts and shortens long URLS.
  • tracks and ranks what URLs people are talking about on Twitter.
  • is a feedback tool that helps you to create and distribute polls on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.

That’s part one of my Twitter-repeat performance of Janet’s talk. I’ll do the rest in a few days. Final notes and suggestions include: Save social media networking for your end-of-day activites (assuming you write in the mornings). Fix your wallpaper on Twitter so that it mimics what you’ve got on your blog. You do have a blog, right? Retweet when you have nothing to say. If you don’t, you’re not doing your followers any favors and they can stop following you because you’re such a lump. (Ok, the lump part is what I wrote in my notes, and not what Janet said!) To look up topics within Twitter, do a search for your topic like this: #literary agent.

Anyone else have awesome Twitter suggestions? It might take me awhile to get the hang of Twitter, but I will try. 🙂