Archive for May, 2013

Medical Drugs for Pharmacy Health Shop of Medicine

Medical Drugs for Pharmacy Health Shop of Medicine (Photo credit: epSos.de)

For the last couple of days, I’ve been laid up with a bum neck. Since typing is no easy feat when you can only move one shoulder, I was prohibited from writing and was left instead to spend all my time on research. Even one-handed, I can still mouse. But thanks to my chiropractors miraculous hands coupled with the miracles of modern pharmaceuticals, I can finally move today. This means I’ll be off to my day job in a couple hours, but first, I get to share with you the helpful stuff I discovered while I was down and out. Even injury has its rewards, I guess! (more…)

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Author Kristen Lamb Author Kristen Lamb (Photo credit: Kristen Lamb)

In my tireless efforts to save you time and sweat, I’ve discovered another helpful bit of advice from the brilliant mind of Kristen Lamb. Besides the fact that I’m just totally taken with this woman’s attitude (I swear, she’s completely fearless), she somehow always gives me more concrete ways to continue to build my personal indie success. This article is about how to use Facebook to your benefit– and yes, it’s far more specific than just, “Hey, create a profile!” What I like about this advice is that it extrapolates to any efforts in which you might be engaged during your indie journey. Also, I can’t say enough about her WANA group, which is a community of indie writers like us who reach out and support each other. Enjoy this rather funny article and give yourself some new ways to get the exposure you need. Happy writing, my fellows!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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On yesterday’s post a few of you had questions regarding Facebook. Thus, I deferred to our WANA International Facebook expert, Lisa Hall-Wilson to address your concerns.

Take it away, Lisa!

***

Facebook is my happy place. I spend a lot of time there and manage pages for nonprofits and curate content on a few other pages including the MyWANA page. Yesterday, there were a few comments here about Facebook, so Kristen asked me step in. Time to go all Crazy Canuck.

Tough Love with Lisa

You’re asking the wrong questions when it comes to Facebook. Time to take off the ski gloves and tuque. Let’s get some things straight. Facebook is about relationships.

Here’s some tough love. *pats pet beaver on head*

There’s a reason your Facebook page isn’t doing well. Don’t blame edge rank. Don’t blame the Zuck. If you go canoeing on Lake Superior without a paddle…

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  • Vince is a fellow writer whose blog I follow. I’ve noticed he likes these short posts, and I like them too. I’m a bit of a long-winded bastard myself, so I find Vince’s succinct brevity refreshing. It’s one of the reasons I visit his blog as often as I do.
  • But also, Vince has a talent for pointing out something important in just a few words. I don’t know if Vince intends to be sage-like in his brief utterance, or if he’s simply imparting some personal thoughts. Either way, I frequently find little gems hiding in his words.
  • In this case, I love that he gets at something I consider important– the open ending. As fiction writers living in a movie age (particularly as regards horror of both literature and film), I think many of us are wrapped up in the concept of tying everything up. I wonder if this is sometimes a grave mistake.
  • Vince left his most recent story with an open ending, which he dubbed “poetic.” I love Vince’s choice of words but also his choice of approach. I’m never more pleased than when I reach the end of a story with more questions than when I started it. I think stories lend to education and learning, critical thinking, and creative analysis. If, as writers, we spoon-feed every aspect of the story to our audiences, are we doing them a disservice? Are we cheating them of the enjoyable and enriching experience of asking and answering their own questions?
  • Perhaps we are. Many of my fictional works feature an open ending. For an example of this, check out my short story, “Physical” in the “Under-Belly Fiction” category of this blog or my novel, “At the Seams” on Wattpad (link on my profile page). I write my endings for an express purpose– I want my audience to wonder what I meant. I want my audience to bring their own understandings of life, the world, and other people to my story. And in my humble opinion, one very good way to do that is with the open ending.
  • All that being said, I respect the perfectly constructed plot. I don’t have as much fun with them, as an audience member, but I do respect them. And I’m capable of writing them (I’m working on a series of novels that require such detailed wrap-up, because they are dystopian political thrillers complete with conspiracies and a revolution). This story does not in any way lend to the open ending. The reason why is one part length and two parts content. So sadly, my “open ending” preference doesn’t always work. But, if you’re a writer who always wraps up the ending, try challenging yourself to leave some threads unknotted. You might be surprised how much you and your audience appreciates the imperfection!
  • Until next time, fellows, I hope you continue to love your Under-Bellies as much as I do. And please check out Vince’s blog! You might find little treasures there, as I do!

The Creative Revolution

I just finished the first draft of that story I have been working on. As always, the temptation was to wrap everything up and put a nice bow on it. Instead, I left it hanging in a poetic position. Hopefully that reads better.

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Dave Chappelle signing autographs in Cleveland...

Dave Chappelle signing autographs in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you all remember the Chappelle’s Show? It was a brilliant sketch comedy show, born of Dave Chappelle‘s singularly hilarious mind. It aired weeknights on Comedy Central. I’m sure none of you can forget Charlie Murphey’s stories about Rick James, whom Dave had a particular penchant for characterizing. I know I will never forget Tyrone Biggums, Dave’s rendition of a loveable crackhead.

Anyway, I digress. Do any of you remember why the Chappelle’s Show was cancelled? The series only ran for a few seasons before Dave quit. Do you remember why? I do. At the time of the incident, I was hard on Dave. I thought a man being paid as much as he was should bend over backwards to keep his bosses happy. But since I was not yet writing, I did not yet understand how demanding it was to be a creator. (more…)

English: UWE meta model

English: UWE meta model (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good afternoon fellow indies and Under-Belly feasters! I apologize for not posting yesterday, as I normally would have. I was attending to some important family business. My Grandma is doing as well as can be expected, considering her illness, and I was glad I took the day off to go and visit her. But that meant NO NEWS FOR YOU! So, now I intend to remedy that issue.

I’ve been posting about my efforts to get more traffic to my blog. I’ve given you some useful advice, concrete things you can try for your own blogs or fiction sites. The puzzle pieces are still coming together– heck I think they’re even still arriving to the table– but each time one of those pieces seems to fit quite well, I’ve been telling you about them. So, today’s post is about meta-tagging.

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English: the conflict of writing for man or ma...

English: the conflict of writing for man or machine read text (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently posted an article for my fellow indies about SEO Best Practices and why we indies need them for our success. Vince, who has commented on my blog before and always has something interesting, helpful, or insightful to say, sent me this message:

A few months ago I did a whole bunch of research on SEO and getting traffic and so on. Writing a blog post every day was a big one, because like you, I get next to nothing on days I don’t post. Keywords were important, but every keyword you use that is popular, is, well, used. One key was getting links to you. I noticed that when I posted a link to my book cover on Writer’s Cafe, I got lots of hits. And then the traffic dwindled. Author Max Barry, who wrote Syrup, Machine Man, Jennifer Government and Office, wrote back to me in Goodreads saying basically that he spent so much time on promotions and Twitter and Facebook and such, that he didn’t have a lot of time to write. So it’s hard. Here’s to you cracking the code! (more…)

English: seo block

English: seo block (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you shiver just reading the title of this blog post? Yeah, me too.

Best SEO Practices are three words (and one mind-boggling concept) that has been haunting me since I started my indie journey. With tens of thousands of indie writers (and I’m being modest) all vying for the attention of the countless pleasure-readers bounding about the internet, each one of us are desperate to snag those readers’ attentions and direct them to our own websites and blogs. But how do we do that? Is it enough to simply tag everything? To promote it on Twitter, even if you ask for retweets? (more…)