Kristen Lamb always has great stuff on her blog. I’m swamped, so here’s her post from today. Enjoy.
It’d be nice if writers could just write and not have to be twisted around the tumultuous crazy social media kaleidoscope. I blog. I Facebook. I tweet. I LinkIn. I Pinterest. I even have a Klout account now. Klout is a social media that measures influence online. I just discovered, according to Klout, that I am an influencer on NFL and Unicorns.
I really “lol’d” over that crazy discovery. Though my son is a rookie in the NFL, to show how much I know about the NFL, here’s the conversation with my daughter after Jake’s first pre-season game:
Betsy: “Hey Mom, how’d you think Jake did?”
Me: “I don’t know, but he looked really good on TV.”
Betsy: “I know. He’s so cute, isn’t he?”
Me: “Especially when his helmet pushes his cheeks together. Wish I could reach through the TV screen and pinch them. He should stand beside Drew Brees to get more face time.”
Betsy: “Or maybe he should focus on the game.”
Me: “Yeah, you might be right about that.”
Sorry Klout, I’m no expert influencer in the NFL. Since Jake played both offense and defense in high-school, it took a year of college football to finally get that being a tight-end means Jake plays on offense, which means watch for him when his team has the ball. But if Klout could measure a mom’s love and pride for her children, I’d score 100. (We’ll get to the part about me being an expert unicorn influencer in a moment.)
So, the update on Jake, according to Jake, is that the first game went well. Our boy is now in Foxboro, Mass, practicing and getting ready for Thursday nights game against the New England Patriots. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean about how cute he is on TV…I mean, how AWESOME of a player he is. There he is signing autographs.
New Orleans Saints tight end Jake Byrne (82) and tackle Marcel Jones (70) sign autographs after training camp at their NFL football training facility in Metairie, La., Sunday, July 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
I think I’ll let Jake be the NFL influencer in the family. But, I’m seriously thinking about cornering the market on unicorns.
I saw these two unicorns in the field the other day.
Surprised? It’s true! That photo is not photo-shopped! After all, I’m an expert influencer on unicorns. Just ask Klout. I know what I’m talking about. Trust me! I wrote a blog about unicorns once. I have influence!
Also, found this photo on this website:
Not long ago, I reviewed Karen Lenfestey’s Book, “What Happiness Looks Like.” Karen’s back! Yay! And she has something to say about goodreads. There’s a pot of coffee on. I’ll pour some. Have a seat, Karen. The post is yours.
Are you happiest when you’re sipping coffee and reading a great book? Do you feel let down when you turn the last page because you don’t know what to read next? I can relate. That’s why I love goodreads.com.
First, let me confess that I’m not quick to try new things. I don’t text, I don’t have an iPad and I don’t quite get Twitter. But I liked goodreads from the start.
In case you’re not aware, goodreads costs nothing and has over 6 million members. Once I joined, I took a quick survey where I ranked books I’d read on a scale of 1 to 5. Then I added my favorite novels to my profile. It was that simple.
Goodreads now helps me keep track of authors I’ve read and books I’d like to read when I have the chance. The best part is getting recommendations. Based on my preferred genres, goodreads generates a list of books I’d probably enjoy.
Another way to find new authors is by reading your friends’ reviews. I prefer women’s fiction, but when a friend said a Linwood Barclay novel was “Absolutely one of the best books I’ve read this year!”, I couldn’t resist. I immediately found and started reading one of Barclay’s books. Soon I was drawn in by how he takes ordinary people and throws their lives into total disarray. I devoured the novel like it was an all-you-can-eat buffet, then longed to read another. Thanks to goodreads, I discovered the thrill of suspense.
Unfortunately, not many people I see on a day-to-day basis read the same genres that I do. If you’re like me and you want to chat with like-minded individuals, goodreads has on-line discussion groups for most interests: urban fantasy, young adult, literary fiction, romance, etc. If they don’t have the topic you’re looking for, you’re welcome to start your own discussion. There are even on-line book clubs. You can also join a Q & A group with authors such as Sue Grafton and James Patterson. Want to test your literary knowledge? Click “Explore” and take a trivia quiz. While you’re exploring, you can sign up to win free autographed books.
Karen Lenfestey, a Midwest Writer’s Fellowship winner, loves to read and write women’s fiction. Visit her website at http://karensnovels.weebly.com & enter to win a free copy of her latest release, “What Happiness Looks Like.”
You can check out and review Karen’s Books on Goodreads. Read my review of What Happiness Looks Like from an earlier post.
Battling with a Porn Star
After reading Kristen Lamb’s blog, Why Pen Names Suck and Can Make us Crazy, I decided to stick with my real name as an author and blogger.
Holly Michael. I like my name. My husband is an Anglican Bishop from South India. So glad his Surname is Michael. What if it was Sringavasgaravanswamy or Sowmiyanarayananan? Couldn’t fit those names on a novel, not even sideways on an over-sized coffee table book.
Michael is a good name. And it reflects the ancient Christian roots in my husband’s family. Michael is a warrior angel. I like my name.
But so does Holly Michael, the porn star.
Yep, I share my name with a porn star. I discovered this when I bragged about my new blog to a writer friend. He plugged my name into Google search on his iPhone, then blushed.
“You’re not a porn star, are you?”
He showed me his finding, then I blushed.
My blog is: www.writingstraight.com. Not sure if the other Holly Michael is living “straight,” but I am writing straight. See this post to understand why I named my blog Holly Michael’s Writing Straight. (And for a super-dooper awesome website to help with naming your blog or any helpful information about blogging, check out Jeff Goins award-winning web-site).
And as a new blogger, trying to create a great site, it looks like I have to compete with a porn star for rankings on Google. I hope, as a Christian writer, Michael the Archangel will be in my corner. Hey, maybe a porn addict surfing the web will find Holly Michael, the Christian Author, and get saved. Yeah, I like that.
Oh well. I’m banking on Romans 8:28 working in my favor. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
The real battles in our lives belong to God and I’ve learned that the best we can do in any situation is pray and hand everything over to Him. So with that and a prayer to God, I say, “rally the troops, St. Michael the Archangel, protect our name!”
Today, my forehead bears a mysterious ash mark, a symbol of repentance and seeking God’s forgiveness and also a reminder of my mortality and hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
My incoming tweets also bear a mysterious mark. The hashtag (#)
The Bible tells us in Joel 2:12, 13: “…Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Now that’s good news!
The news about hashtags? Google tells me the # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It’s a way to categorize messages. You can use the hashtag symbol before relevant keywords in your Tweet to categorize Tweets in Twitter Searches. Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message will show you all other Tweets in that category. You can use them anywhere in the tweet and often these hashtagged words become Trending Topics. An example is @hollymichael #writingstraight.com.
Now, I understand that #writingstraight.com is now a link to search results for all Tweets containing “#writingstraight.com” in the message. While I’d love for my blog to become a trending topic and have eternal life, I’m even more excited about me, Holly Michael, having eternal life.