Marketing 101: What in the Heck is a Gif (Not Gift Misspelled Either!)?

I woke up in a sweat. There were video images racing through my mind, short, no sound, with words moving across the bottom, or sides or the top, and sometimes with thought bubbles – words and images capturing a feeling, an energy, a world of emotion in one quick glance, and you were like yeah, that’s it.

But darn it, what was it and why do I need to know MORE?

Well, they are called GIFs, the latest craze (actually a very old craze on the Internet), but with YouTube, Tumblr, and Google+, even Facebook, is playing with ‘motion-oriented’ images. In the realm of social media, GIFs have leapt to the forefront of marketing, making GIFs the hot new darling of 2014.

So what does it mean to authors marketing books, or social media mavens who want to use the latest, greatest – you need to know what you’re working with for one…

GIF – the definition – animated image file formats. Sounds simple enough. There are a lots of…
Read the Rest…

How is Writing like Fixing the Stairs?

I think everyone had an abysmal winter (show of hands, pleaseSusan-Mermaid-avatar?).  If we used a plow service (hand up here), in spite of having a nifty snowblower in the garage (hand raised again), we have to be ready to face the consequences of the yahoos who ride those trucks and wield those plows.

Which is how I ended up with a staircase at the end of my driveway, smashed on one side, and completely unsafe.  Had the plow guys told me of the damage?  No.  They tossed the broken post behind the house, hi-tailed it back home and sent me the bill.

Will they be plowing my driveway next winter?  Uh…  you guessed it, I’m looking for a new lawn service.

But I digress.  I watched Brilliant Writer Husband and Fabulous Engineer Son work on and repair the stairs over Easter weekend.  What did I learn?

The damage has to be assessed for what is usable (read over your manuscript with…
Read the Rest…

Opening Acts that Rock Your World & a Rock Star Romance Free Read!

Eight years ago, I went to a Depeche Mode concert. I know, surprising. And then we all lived happily ever after. The End.

But wait, there’s more. I loved their opening act, a band called She Wants Revenge. Loved them so much that I caught one of their headlining shows, where I had the unforgettable experience of taking in She Wants Revenge’s opening act. A band so unique, I’ll never forget them. They were called Ima Robot. I can still see the words “Ima Robot” written in blood on their t-shirts while they did all kinds of jumpy things I’d never seen done on stage before. Eight years ago! Branded forever in my brain. Check out that energy…

I sit here and I wonder what it would feel like to be a member of an Opening Act? I imagine it’s exciting and takes a special kind of dedication. I imagine you’d be very close with your bandmates. Are you…
Read the Rest…

Opening Zingers

“Mommy, if you die, I’d want to die with you.”   

Words from my 7-year-old as I’m trying to merge through a swamp of 270 rush-hour traffic.  After I avoid almost crashing into the car in front of me, and after expounding a litany of question make sure she’s only expressing a thought and isn’t really ready to end it all with a butter knife, a thought strikes.  Holy crap!  What an opening line. 

The fact that I have opening lines on my brain isn’t a phenomenon.   Thanks to the WRW retreat, I have a few requests pending.  And now comes the icky part: what I like to call worry wording.  Where I chew and gnaw over every word.  Especially in those first opening lines.  I realize a fabulous first sentence won’t lead to a sale, the rest of the innards have to be there too, but it doesn’t hurt.    So that got me…
Read the Rest…

On the Road

April is traditionally a brutal month for me, full of conferences, writing retreats, Easter, lots of miles on the car and limited sleep. This year, I slept in four different beds over the course of two weeks. I’ve packed, unpacked and repacked so many times that at this point I am seriously considering installing a California Closet in the trunk of my car. And let’s not forget that I have little-to-no control over the food I get to eat.

So how does all this traveling bode for my weight loss goals and The Sparkle Plan?

Yeah… not so great.

Why is it when we travel different rules suddenly apply? For example, I never eat Combos. I like them, but they’re not something I buy. Yet, every time I’m in an airport, the first thing I do after I pass through security is buy a big pack of cheddar cheese Combos.

I drink coffee with skim milk every day. Yet, when I’m in a hotel, all of a sudden I’m adding…
Read the Rest…

The Lost Art of…Lost Arts

Alethea MermaidLike many a work of prose, this blog post was born from the merging of two entirely separate ideas.

Idea Number One: I often joke to friends about certain “Lost Arts” of the twenty-first century — habits that are fading out of existence that wouldn’t normally cross the mind of anyone over the age of 25. A few examples:

Handwriting Journaling Introducing oneself in person Politely answering a house phone without caller-ID Backing up in a car without a rearview camera Nursery Rhymes

Idea Number Two: Researching is a fabulous rabbit hole. A writer can google “bird wing anatomy” and find herself hours later researching Native American snake myths. (Not that I’ve done this before…ahem…) A few times I have been temped to blog about my researching adventures, and the myriad of things I’ve discovered in my virtual travels.

So in researching what other folks might consider “Lost Arts”, I stumbled upon a few things I hadn’t considered.

The…
Read the Rest…

Inspiration

“Why do you go to those writing conferences and retreats?”

This question was posed to me recently by one of my non-writer friends. My initial answer was something super-eloquent along the lines of, “Because!”

Can I argue a point or what!

All joking aside, I thought about why I do like going to writing conferences and retreats. Sure, there are the informational sessions and workshops. You get to pitch to and chat with industry professionals like agents and editors that you would normally not have access to. You get to catch up with your writing friends and critique partners. There’s often really amazing swag and tons of free books. You get to wear really cute sparkly shoes. (Okay, maybe that’s just for me.)

Any one of those reasons is enough for me to register. Yet, there’s still something else that makes me use vacation time at work, buy that plane ticket, pawn my dog off on one of my friends or family members, put my life on hold, etc. And…
Read the Rest…

It’s Retreat Time!

Dana MermaidIt’s Thursday. How did it get to be Thursday already!?! Tomorrow morning I leave for Washington Romance Writers Retreat and I haven’t even begun to pack. My CDO (my OCD is alphabetized) is kicking in. I must make a list!

Let’s see, what’s important? 1. Clothes (Yep, I’m betting that it’ll be too cold to be naked, so clothes would be good. Plus, probably no one needs to see that. ☺ ) 2. Make Up and Toiletries (Definitely important! And might even hide the under-eye luggage after a wild night singing karaoke or playing romance jeopardy with this rowdy crew.) 3. WINE (Which will make me brave enough to sing karaoke and hang out with all of these crazy women… and Tim. ☺ ) 4. Chocolate (Because one must eat.) 5. Costume Stuff for Karaoke and Romance Jeopardy (Like anyone needs a reason for fun.) 6. Notebook and Pens (To write down those pearls of wisdom from all of those…
Read the Rest…

Self Efficacy: Sexy

Mermaid CarleneHi fishy friends! It doesn’t happen often, but I’m slipping out of my silly mermaid fins and using some of my bigger words today. I hope you enjoy them.

“Your belief in your own ability to do the things you want to do.”

That’s self-efficacy.

Not too long ago, hubby left a ten page article on my desk with a small note: “PLEASE READ”.

The article was by Ian Walker (www.iantwalker.com) and it was about an experience Ian had that made no sense until he discovered the concept of self-efficacy. It was a great read. I encourage you to check it out where it appeared HERE at The Art of Manliness blog. (PS–As a romance writer, I love this manly blog!!!)

Back to hubby’s note. This was rare. I knew he meant, “AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, please.”

Later that day, before I’d had a chance to read the article, hubby let me know he was unhappy at his day job…
Read the Rest…

Mermaids & Friends: Lynne Silver (Giveaway!)

Good morning, everyone — Carlene and Kerri Mermaid here with a special introduction.

Kerri: Guess who’s here in the lagoon today? Our critique partner and friend to the Mermaids, the fabulous Lynne Silver!

Carlene: Oh! After someone tall, dark and handsome, that was going to be my next guess! I can’t help it, I have Rowan from her new book, “Desperate Match” on my mind.

Kerri: I understand – Rowan’s hot and sweet! Is he your favorite of Lynne’s characters?

Carlene: Yes! He’s a total smarty pants but backs it up with a big heart…

Kerri: I love that about him – although you know I’m partial to Adam in the first Coded for Love book!

Carlene: Ohhhhhh…Adam. Why do you love him so?

Kerri: He’s alpha and yummy!

Carlene: All the Coded boys are alpha and yummy! It’s like an alpha yummy buffet.

Kerri: True that, boo! We should probably stop drooling and let Lynne talk now. Want to introduce her?

Carlene: Yes! Tall, fair and beautiful…Lynne…
Read the Rest…

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: