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Blog Award

Margo Dill http://www.margodill.com/blog/ has passed on the Circle of Friends blog award to me.

(Stay tuned for an interview with Margo in September)

Kathy Stemke Education Tipster
Martha Ramirez Martz Books
Donna McDine Write What Inspires You
Jo Linsdell Writers and Authors
Lisa Gentile Moxie Mavericks

Debra Eckerling on Social Networking

Debra Eckerling is a professional writer with expertise in feature articles, corporate communications, and writers’
workshops. Debra is the founder and leader of Write On!, a live – and online -writers support group, which focuses on goal-setting, productivity, and networking. Write On! Online has author Q&As twice a week, expert columns, and writing contests, as well as a monthly drawing for posting goals. There’s also a Facebook Page for networking, and sharing news, links, and information.
For more information, go to www.WriteOnOnline.com or www.WriteOnCorporate.com, or e-mail Debra@WriteOnOnline.com.

Social Networking

By Debra Eckerling

Experts of all ages are taking part and reaping the rewards of social networking. What’s stopping you from jumping in?

Having an online presence is essential to social and live networking. If you are an expert in your field, then you want to be the first person someone thinks of when they need a person who offers your services.

Connects you with people you know – whether they are long time friends or people you just met – as well as people you should know in your field
Drives traffic to your blog

Facilitates self-promotion through events, links, and information

The cost of social networking – unless you hire out – is your time. There are so many options for getting out there electronically, you could spend hours just looking for all of them. … days signing up for them. … and months and years keeping up with them. Thus, leaving no time to do any actual work, writing, etc., and defeating the purpose.

Sure, you could avoid social networking altogether, and hope this technology goes away – but please don’t hold your breath. It’s not going anywhere.

The smarter solution is to start somewhere, anywhere – start small, and keep your priorities in line.

If you are new to the social-networking playground, I recommend you start with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

LinkedIn is a business site – very often the people I meet at events only use LinkedIn

Post your resume, connect with former and current associates, and get colleague recommendations

Import your blog posts and your tweets (more on tweets later)

Start and join “groups,” post questions.

Facebookis a social networking site for personal and professional use

Find friends, co-workers, relatives

Share pictures and videos, links, and information

Join networks for hometown, current city, workplace, and school

Use your profile for personal connections

Create a group or page for your business, website, or books. Then you can send messages/updates, and create events for booksignings, appearances, releases, etc.

Twitteris a social networking site, perfect for those who are super-busy. You can get a lot of info out in just a bullet point.

Send posts – aka “tweets” – of up to 140 characters

Send updates when your blog is updated

Ask questions and send messages to your followers

Create and follow lists to filter information

Shorten your links, using a site like http://bit.ly/

Most social networking sites are relatively easy to set up (prompts walk you
through), and have functions where you can import your address book and find people with whom you are already connected.

Once you master these, there are loads of others you can check out, including You Tube, which is a must for those who post video.

Just beware: social networking can easily monopolize your time. A quick check of your friends updates after breakfast; next thing you know, it’s time for lunch.

Allow yourself a certain amount of time each day to devote to promotion using these channels. Make a schedule. Set a timer if you have to. If you are aware of how much time you spend, it will be easier to keep your social networking under control.

One more thing: Social networking is not a replacement for going to events and meeting people in real life. It’s a way to stay in touch with new connections you meet at mixers, lectures, etc. Use social networking responsibly – the rewards have no limits!

National Great Books Week: Seven Book for a Desert Island

In honor of National Great Books Week, I’ll be posting about books this week, Monday through Friday. Today’s topic: If I were stranded on a desert island with only seven books to read over the next few years, what would they be?

1. Corny, perhaps, but true: The King James Version of the Bible, old and new testaments.
My oldest son has read the entire old testament at least twice that I know of, but while I’ve read parts of it, I’ve never read the entire old testament, and the only parts of the new testament I’ve read were the parts on Jesus’ birth, which I looked up when I was in college in order to write a Christmas story for a French class.

In case you’re wondering, my family of origin is Jewish.

2. Because it’s pretty much my all-time favorite book, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll.
When I was in college, I’d try to keep my mind on my studies, so I’d eschew trips to the local library. I’d end up having book withdrawal symptoms, and thus I would reread Alice every exam time.

I also taught myself to wiggle my ears, a talent I passed on to one of my sons (the bible reader) during middle school. His teachers were less than thrilled.

3. One of my favorite books as a kid, Peter Pan, by James M. Barrie.
A classic, and I can’t remember the number of times I reread this.

4. Another childhood favorite, Understood Betsey, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.
I just reread this one, and it’s still a great read.

5. Theater Shoes, by Noes Streatfield.
I read all of Streatfield’s SHOES books, but this one is by far my favorite, perhaps because I read it first.

6. Farmer in the Sky, by Robert A. Heinlein.
This is the Heinlein I picked out as a present for my 10th birthday. It’s hard to pick just one of Heinlein’s books, as they are all compulsively readable, but this one remains one of my favorites.

7.The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I just love this one, too. The flowering of the garden and the characters gets me every time.


Meet Katie Hines

Imagine you have made a secret promise that can lead you to an incredible treasure and an ancient power. But in order to fulfill that promise, you must defeat an age-old sect determined to claim the treasure and power themselves.
“Promise me you’ll find the journal and search for the treasure,” gasped Drew’s dying mother. “It’s your destiny.”
Three months later, three teenagers sat around a campfire roasting marshmallows. Drew Newman is just about to tell his friends a secret when a man steps out of the darkness. The man carries an old fashioned sword and wears a long, hooded cloak. He lifts Drew’s chin with his sword. “Where is it,” the man asks. “Where is the book?” Who is this man and what does he want?

This is the premise of Guardian, Katie Hines’ middle grade urban fantasy, soon to be released by 4RV Publishing.

Katie Hines has been writing snippets here and there as long as she can remember. When in 8th grade, she wrote a short story called, “Underworld.” Then, in high school, she wrote several poems that were published in an anthology.

Marriage and raising two children contributed to putting away writing for a few years, but she came back to it while in her 40s. Since that time, she has been a contributing feature writer and columnist for a local newspaper, has written several features articles for another area newspaper, and wrote religious and humor articles for an online Catholic ezine.

Her short story, “My Name is Bib,” was published by the Loch Raven Review in October, 2008.

Finished with “Guardian,” Hines is currently working on another middle grade urban fantasy novel, as well as a couple of chapter books, and is extending “My Name is Bib” into a full young adult novel.

And be sure to check out Katie’s website,

I know I’m looking forward to reading Katie’s soon-to-be released book.

Math Poems

I submitted, for the first time, six of my math poems to a magazine. {Gulp}. My undergraduate major was mathematics, so at least I have the bona-fides to back them up. And as a matter of fact, I’ve started a bibliography. Yikes. I do hope to get back to writing more of them over the summer.