Friday, February 25, 2011

Ttips For Writers

Found this story and it caught my attention and I wanted to share it with a few. the tips in this article are applicable for about any type of business, the key is like anything else, use it. So often things like this go into file 13 but it is good stuff.

There are six essential elements for successful digital marketing and when used together they make for a powerful combination. Each element is important on its own, but when you use all six together you will see a strategy that is effective, scalable and long term.

· Website -- A professional website is the single most important step towards your digital marketing plan. Your website is your homebase, so make sure it is updated regularly and is current. Use your site as a platform for all other activities. Post your blog and photos along with links to your social networks. Always remember your audience when developing content. If a person cares enough to come to your site, you need to make sure their trip was worth the effort.

· eNewsletter -- email is still the most powerful digital tool. Every single author should have an enewsletter. You should collect as many email addresses of your readers as you can. Overtime email addresses of your readers will be a huge asset. You can communicate with your readers through a regular enewsletter sent either once a month or once every 3 months. Just keep those lines of communication open.

· Blog -- A blog is the best way to share your expertise and drive traffic to your site. Use your blog on your own website along with posting it on an important high-traffic website as a guest post. Everyone needs content, and it never hurts to ask a popular blog if they want to run your blog post. Blogs don't have to be long, 500-700 words tend to be the most popular lengths.

· Facebook -- Every author should have a Facebook fan page so they can socialize and communicate with their readers. It's an important element of digital marketing and honestly at 520 million people, you can't afford to ignore it. Along with being a great place to build community, Facebook fan pages also offer Insights a great tool for monitoring your audience and your interactions.

· Video -- There is not a better or easier way to show your passion and personality than video. It can be fun content for your Facebook fan page, your blog, and your website. Remember to post it on YouTube as well.

· Twitter -- I know many authors are intimidated by Twitter, but it's a fabulous way to share resources and develop a following. I find Twitter to be an incredible tool for listening and for doing market research. You can listen to your readers, find out what other people are doing and saying, and build a relationship with current and future readers.

If you chose not to participate in digital marketing and social media, you are only hurting yourself and your readers. There are millions of people on social networks; they don't miss you, but you are missing out if you ignore them.

Digital marketing is a wonderful way to connect with people who care about your work. Just remember that all six elements of digital marketing working together will produce the best results. There are no short cuts here, but it is all well worth the investment of time and attention.

Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a publicity and social media firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors on the web. For web publicity and social media news, follow Fauzia on a new Twitter feed: @FauzisBurke

Hope all have a good weekend

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It Be Spring

Had the first thunderstorm last night.  Lightning and thunder with a nice rain.  It would be nice to have some more moisture, the ground is so dry.  Guess winter didn’t want to stick around any more  and vacated.  Today was windy and blustry spring type weather, temps in the 50-60’s.


There is a rhythm to life that doesn’t change much.  The weather has its cycles and nature follows along.  It is man that sometimes loses the rhythm and gets out of kilter.  So many people like to set themselves up as tin gods and say this or that is going to happen if this doesn’t change.  right now one the little vexing problems in this is the price of gas.  Over 3 bucks a gallon now and still going up.

The oil companies are using this to try and force the greenies in government to open up new leases.  It is kind of expected after the BP fiasco in the Gulf.  Drilling was stopped and other leases were frozen.  The battle of factions that have notions on how to live.

What makes me mad is that I will have to pay through the nose because of this battle. Both sides are indifferent to my plight.  I become a pawn in a war I can not participate in except by buying less gas, which means I have to drive less.  Then I guess a little walking will do me some good.  Might go get a big tri-cycle with a basket I can carry some groceries in so I can ride it when I go shopping.

Because of a conflict at higher echelons I will be making changes in lifestyle.  May consider finding a cave to live in and live off the land.  It is things like this that make me mad at politicians, both sides of the fence.  Read the other day that the political types in DC have a less then 30% trust/acceptance of the general public.  they do more things to screw up a person’s life.


Wherever you may be have a great week and may God guide your steps.

Monday, February 14, 2011

On Ruffled Feathers

With sputters the motor fired.  Clouds floated overhead, tiny whiffs dotting the blue sky.  Throttle eases forward, nice even rumble rolls forward.  Brakes are set, motor roars to life, metal chatters.  Released brakes hurls machine forward.  Soon the air changes, it is underneath, lifting skyward, ground slides away.  Through the air the chatter slices, climbing to the azure canopy.

Here the big raptors float, catching the thermals,circling on rising hot air.  Out side window can be seen in the distance, wings spread full length to catch the air.  Gliding across the azure face, outlined by cotton puffs.  The majestic bird of prey is oblivious to the presence of us.  With awe I watch the majestic bird hover on thermals, wings changing angle to better catch the air.  Occasional flap of wing to change direction.  Here is a freedom that can only be experienced

Driving the roadway, startles the hawk, with a hop and great swoops of wing it is airborne.  Gaining altitude to find a safe refuge from the intruder.  On solitaire tree it does alight.staring back at the intruder.  What could be an enemy of the majestic birds.  Are they prey for some other raptor.  Is the falcon strong enough to challenge a hawk.  Does the eagle consider them food.  Do they get engrossed in their meal so much that a coyote could sneak up them.

Do they battle to the death with other hawks.  Spring time they riffle feathers up and challenge each other for the affections of mating.  Swooping out of the air, latching onto the challenger with talons.  Swirling in circles overhead, descending to the ground.  Crash landing in the dirt.  One bounces up and flies away.  Other pauses a second, gathers self and jumps back into the air streaking the other way.  The rituals of spring and the need to dominate.

Why would there be a pile of feathers under the snow.  Spring is months away.  There it was a pile of feathers, the leftovers from a meal, a violent encounter.  Nature at its basest, the hunter had become the hunted.  Food for another raptor.  A thing of beauty and grace had been reduced to feather stack on some wind blown grasses.

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With the reddish colored feathers, I’m assuming it was a red tailed hawk that met its demise at the talons of another predator.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Swept Snow Drops

Been reading the weather repots and all of the cold temps, all time record cold.  The folks down south have a trouble dealing with cold and snow.  They deal with it so seldom that they go into panic mode.  This past storm was bitter cold but not as bad as the one we had two weeks ago.  Then the temps were 20-30 below zero.  That was almost cold.  Not since I was in NE Canada on the north Atlantic did I feel the bitterness of knifing cold blades on the skin.

There cold was measured in indexes, how fast exposed flesh will freeze.  At the worst index flesh would freeze in less then 60 seconds.  I met that bitter blade a couple of times up there and it was no fun.  My deep breathing caused a minor panic once when I took a deep breath and my lungs were biting me.  Tiny ice crystals had formed in the lungs and until I thawed out some I was gasping for breath.  After that experience I do not complain real loud about the cold, oh I may curse the icy wind but I also understand if I dress for it I can deal with it.

The winter storms clear the air out and afterwards it is clear blue sky and maybe a cloud or two.  It is not like the drab grey winters of the mid west and east.  Here the dry air clears up and the sun does shine.  temps will be in the 50’s by the weekend.  It is also these blasts of wind and snow that bring the spring flowers, so I say thanks, I just do not appreciate the icy fingers grabbing my throat.

Went out the morning after the storm to grab a few pictures.  It was about zero that morning.


I love the effects the wind has on the flakes.


The shade creates a depth and there is a soft texture.


In the pasture the grass peeks out of the snow, the bunnies sun bathing nest is now a snow castle.


Plants cast patterns on the snow they collected.


A list to the wind as the grass will bloom green this coming spring.


Across the land the wind howled   carrying a knife, slicing through the land covering in blankets white, covering soul and fearsome times lay out there, A moment in time if forgotten, a memory the be tossed to the next generation, Cracker barrels no longer resonate of tales of old,  coffee curls its warmth, out the window staring at the palette of nature being painted.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Little Puff and a Little Puff



Ran across this display in a store and brought a bunch of things to mind.  Mostly Gen. Douglas McArthur and his pipe.  He got cross ways with Pres. Truman over the Korean War and was fired by the President.  Here was the war hero of WWII being dismissed.  There were pictures of the general in a reflective mood puffing on his pipe or holding it in front.  It was a good sized corn cob pipe was his trademark.  Many pictures from WWII showed him with his pipe, meetings, talking to the troops, walking but most of all was the picture of him striding up the beach at Manila in the Philippines.  His famous quote, “I will return,” had been full filled.  In triumph he strode through the surf to the beach.  A few years later this glory moment would be gone and the hero would be defrocked.

The pipe was a symbol, of what I’m not to sure, but it prompted me, way back in my younger years to sample one.  Oh those first few puffs were delightful, the aroma wafting around the room, the masculinity of a cob pipe.  Then bam the bite hit, burn, slop and juice, uck, cough, hack and spit….. thought I was going to die.  But If others could puff on one so could I.  Not deterred, I got some pipe cleaners and trusty pocket knife out and proceeded to swab and scrape the cob.  I reloaded and lit up,  aaahhhhhh puff and more puffs, the aroma floated in circles, spiraling overhead, it was nirvana.  I had succeeded, the junior pipe smoker was born.

Next I went looking fer some shine.  Overheard from others that it was good to have with the pipe.  Made for relaxing days on the front porch during the summer.  Asked some older boys how I could acquire some.  Well they said for a fin I could get some at Babe’s place out in the country.  For that I had to wait till I got money from my paper route so I could ride out there on my bicycle.  It was two years yet before I could get a drivers license.

It was the first of the month and I had collected for my paper route and sent the bill to the newspaper and that Saturday I took a trip out to the country.  In one of the bags was my pipe and tobacco, the other had a soda and some peanuts, I was well equipped for a Sat. excursion.  Well I arrived at Babe’s and gave him the fin and he gave me a small fruit jar of everclear.  There was a bridge that went over a small crick and pond.  On the way back home I paused under the bridge.  Pipe and tobacco in pocket, peanuts and soda one hand with fruit jar in the other.  Laying my bike on its side by the bank, I settled down, Now don’t ask me what happened but I awoke as the sun was setting. and head was a drum, oh I had such explosions inside the cranial structure, I thought I was in Korea with the General.

I was going to write more about the pleasures of puffing on a pipe but I believe I shall pass.  Oh, I have quit smoking…. years ago.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Country Surprises


Driving the back roads is the adventure de jour.  Cresting hill, sprawling ranch in the valley below, cattle grazing the meadow and overhead floats the hawk.  Classic pastoral scene on the canvas of the minds eye.

Turning the corner are other treats for the eye.


Peering through the tangled mass of wind blown trees is the spire of a country church.  Windmill stands sentential as time floats by.


Further on is a mute reminder of other times.  The cemetery adjoins the church.  The settlers established their heritage as they settled the prairie.  Their homeland was with them for they had worked the dirt.  From the dirt they came, to the dirt they returned.  These are not the Western Europeans, look at the cross.



On another hill sits a chapel and atop the steeple sits the unusual cross.

Here was a community from Eastern Europe fleeing the turmoil of their homeland and the tyranny of the  Marxists.  When they fled the Marxists they brought their religion with them along with their culture.



The Orthodox Church is one of the oldest Christian Churches in the World.  It sprung from the churches Paul started in Asia Minor and Greece.  The Orthodoxy was started about the same time the catholic church in Rome begun.  The roman church spawned the Christian churches, for the most part, that are in the USA, Lutheran, Anglican, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholicetc.

These people along with the Germans in the Volga area fled Russia when Katherine was deposed and  many more fled when Lenin the Marxist came to power and began the slaughter of dissidents.

It is an unusual page in world history.


Amazing what I can stumble across when I go on a cruise about the roads of hinter land.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Walking to School

There are stories of walking in storms and I wonder how they managed.


The little country schoolhouse was so common across the country and to get there one walked. No busses a century ago. When storms rage up like the one going on now I marvel at how hardy people were back then. During a storm the school would close but there were no phones for them to use. Otherwise school was open and the teacher had to fire up the stove, hopefully there was some coal. Out front is the pump handle for water.

Nearby can be seen some farm houses where the kids would walk from. The teacher usually boarded at one of the farmers home and also walked to school.


Out back can be seen the reading annex. The entry has a pipe in it to keep the stock out and the flag pole is mounted on the gate post.

I keep my complaints to self when the weather gets nasty. These little buildings had no insulation, a stove of some type and no running water.

It has not been easy to keep warm in the storm but I have stayed warm and I have hot running water for a shower.