Thursday, May 30, 2013

Social Media Mistakes You Want to Avoid

In the age of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other social media outlets, you don't want to become known as 'that' person.

You know who that is. It is the person that uses ALL CAPS whenever someone says something they don't like. They are the people who use the forbidden four letter words. They are the people who call you names when you express an opinion.

Yes, they are called "those people" to the rest of us who follow all the rules.

Here are five things you should know before you log into your account today, tonight or tomorrow.

Number 1: Don't lash out.
It's hard to deal with criticism from others but if you don't want people's opinion, than don't put it out there.

Number 2: Don't buy followers/fans.
The more people that 'follow' you or 'like' you the better, right? No! What gives you an edge, is the people that 'click' your content, not the number of people you have on your page that never click a thing you post.

Number 3: Don't create fake comments.
Never comment on your own posts. Create 'call-to-action'  For example: "Like this post if you agree" or ask questions that entice people to respond.

Number 4: Don't be Mrs. and Mr. Spam-a-lot.
We all know them. They are the people that we see post something 15 times in a row. The same thing! over and over and over. Don't be one of them.

Number 5: Don't plagiarize.
Stealing content is a sure way to make 'social media" enemies. Give credit where credit is due.

Like I am about to do.

These tips are courtesy of +VerticalResponse and I think they are the best thing all of us can use, especically us authors.

Remember this; the simple things that we do on social media will translate into our names being known for good or evil.

Let's hope that everyone that reads this post, takes at least one tip and uses it everyday. For those of you that do all of those tips; thank you.

If you have more tips, feel free to share them here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Medical Alert....Did you know?

Did you know that men and women have different symptoms for heart attacks?

I didn't. I thought the same, pain in the middle of the chest, numbness of the arm (never sure if it is the right or left) and shortness of breath; were the universal signs of a heart attack.


Women should know the 6 signs of heart attack and why we need to take heed.

Of course the number 1 sign is still chest pain or discomfort.

However, women may have 'fullness' according to the director of Women cardiovascular services in California.

Symptom number 2; pain in our back, neck arms or jaw. Yes, the jaw; so make sure you take notice of the pain in your mouth if you haven't had it before.

Symptom number 3; Stomach pain. Yes, sometimes people think that the pain in the stomach is heartburn. Women will feel severe pain, like an "elephant sitting on their stomach".

Symptom number 4; shortness of breath, nausea or lightheadedness. If you feel like you ran a marathon but haven't done anything; seek medical attention

Symptom number 5; sweating. If you break out in a nervous, cold sweat. This could be a sign. It will NOT feel like sweating after you work out. You should get this checked out if it happens, especially if you haven't had hot flashes before.

symptom number 6; fatigue. Women will become extremely tired for not reason; even if they have been sitting all day or haven't moved around much. This is a sign that you need to have checked out.

The best way to make sure you are up on your health is to have that yearly physical. Set up that physical for the same time, every year. It will get you in the habit of being at that same place.

We will plan for a vacation a year out, why not do the same thing for your health?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Getting Better At What You Do

Have you ever wondered why some authors have a hard time making it through edits, rewriting, or just finishing a novel?

One of the reasons could be: They haven't learned the tools to keep them moving forward. They haven't learned how to take their work to the next level.

Being an author, is just like being a doctor. You have to continually make yourself better. You don't get to be the best at what you do without taking a few lessons from others that do the same thing that you do.

As an author, you should sign up for writing classes whenever you can. Making yourself the best writer that you can, is what makes people (the buying public) want to know more about your works and your style. You can't move forward while standing still.

As a writer, if you haven't taken one class since you have been published, than you are standing still. If you have, I congratulate you, but if you haven't, I encourage you to take a class on editing, character development or setting.

I have signed up for classes and I am even a full time college student. I want to learn as much as I can to be competititve in a market that sees continual growth everyday.

What about you?
Here's is a class being offered on Character Development why not check it out and see if this is for you.

I know I will. If you have a class that you are offering or know of someone giving a class, send me an email; I will gladly post it for you.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Friendships via social media

Sometimes in our lives we come across people who become our friends and we have no clue as to how they became that way.

I have many friends that I have met due to our similarities or our work environment or by just being an author. I also have many friends on social media. Friends that 'friended' me or 'liked' my page or 'connected' on the more professional sites but I call them my friends.

One day those friends, for whatever reason may stop commenting on your blogs, or your FB 'status' or your 'comment' but you don't think much of it and you may forget all about them. But not me. I remember every person that has ever posted a comment on my page and one woman in particular has stuck with me. Her name is +Sandra Humphrey and she became my 'friend' on LinkedIn. We belonged to almost the same groups and we 'connected' via the blog posting group.

Every mornning we exchanged a 'good morning' email to each other because we shared one thing in common. She reached out to me when she saw me join the group and even bought my novel. Every day was the same thing...a good morning email and then at least three or four emails throughout the day as we talked about grandchildren and her children's books. Then one day it happened, no email. Hey, we all get busy but I figured I'd see one before noon. Then noon came and no email! and then a whole day went by and no email!

I logged into 'our' group and tried to find her and the strange thing was, she wasn't there. What was going on? I then got a notification that there was a fire and that Sandra Humphrey and her husband had been killed. I burst into tears. I knew it had to be a mistake, but as I tried to search for something that would make that horrible news go away, all I found was a picture of her burned to the ground home and the picture of her signing her books with a big brown teddy bear sitting next to her. That was on November 23, 2012. Our 'community' was shocked and saddened. She and her husband were the love of their community and although I never met her in person, I felt a true sense of loss.

It has taken me six months to finish this post because every time I thought about it, I would cry and now although I am misty eyed, I know that she wants 'our' group to continue to show support to each other and to continue to do what we love; which is to write books that inspire, and help children believe in themselves. For all of the authors that knew Sandra...count yourself fortunate that you knew such a great person; I know I do.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

DMV Weekenders

The name says it all, doesn't it?

My neice +Anquinnette Anderson and Paris organized this group of professional women for what they hoped would be a way to connect and network and most of all, have fun being comfortable with like-minded women.

They did themselves proud. I was fortunate enough to be invited to one of their outings, at The Melting Pot in Columbia, MD on May 4th. I arrived nervous but energetic. The women came in and the first thing we all noticed was that the staff was outside and we immediately thought, "are they closed? on strike? or taking a smoke break". Luckily they were just opening and when we sat down we instantly hit it off!

The women ranged in ages from last 20's to early 40's and from single to newly married-13 days.

We laughed, told jokes and enjoyed fondue. Some of us didn't know how to 'cook' using the fondue pots and some of us got a steam facial but we all got something out of it; we gained some new friends.

These ladies talked about everything from reality shows to Jamacian men.

At the end of it all, we all agreed that it was the best Saturday afternoon spent meeting new people and we all agreed that we enjoyed each other's company.

Yes, the DMV weekenders truly are a great group of ladies!

Monday, May 6, 2013


Today I'd like to make a confession. I have committed a crime of the heart. Many people will condemn me but I must come clean.

I confess that I am a cheater. I've done it over and over and over. I have tried not to but it is just to easy.

I want to apologize to him and hope that he forgives me. Here goes:

I've cheated on my books with...gosh this is so hard...with my KINDLE...ok, I said it.

Yes I feel better. But I would do it again..and yes, I did it just before writing this post. I can't help myself.

There "she" sits, with her pink jewel case and her black shiny buttons and the glowing screen...I can't resist her. I don't mean to pick her up and bypass my book but she calls me, I swear she does.

She keeps sitting there, looking at me and I can't resist her. When I open her up and slide my finger across that screen, she is happy to see me. She lights up and her face is glowing and I can hear her saying, "I've missed you B." and I whisper..."I've missed you too."

Then I catch a glimpse of him. "He" sits on the same nightstand. On his pedestal, on his high-horse and judges me for not picking him up. Then he throws himself down...falling to the floor. Making me put her down to pick him up.

That's when it happens. I dust him off and as I go to put him back. He purposefully jumps from my hands, landing on the floor, upside down; to the page I stopped on..drawing me back into his world and then...then...I sneak..and read him...I don't let her see.

I turn my back to her, reading him in silent and trying to muffle the gasp or the laugh when I turn his pages and he has pointed out the next scene to me. Then as my eyes tire and he tells me it's ok to put him back, I turn over and there "she" is, she has gone quiet.

I touch her and she doesn't respond and just as I reach past her, the bump causes her face to light up but now, she is locked and doesn't want to be disturbed. So I close her case and wait until the next time.

Now I have to choose. Do I give in to her demands of time, or do I give him another chance. Either way...I'm to exhausted to think about.

They were both holding me hostage! It's a vicious cycle and I had to put an end to it. I had to confess because the guilt was strangling me.

So now you know. I've cheated but I have learned my lesson.

...wait...what's phone...what Droid...I can't hear want to read to me? I shouldn't...

Shh, ok...just don't tell 'them'..ok....

Friday, May 3, 2013

The power of...

The power of the social media.

People are using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and many other social media outlets to get the 'word' out.

Using social media can lead to arrests in such cases like the Boston Bombers or to raise money with sites such as GoFund Me.

In any case, make sure that when you use social media, that you use it responsibly.

Facebook had a video posted of a woman being beheaded and when people complained about it, their answer was. "This video did not meet the criteria of graphic violence". Really? What is more graphic than a woman having her head cut off while she is alive.

Now, the video of the man whipping his daughters with a cable cord for dancing inappropriately; was taken down IMMEDIATELY...but a video of a woman getting her head cut off WASNT...what is wrong with this picture.

Did this woman not deserve the same level of respect that those two teenagers did..I ask you...where does social media's responsiblity begin and end?

The power of social media is such that if it is violent or graphic they have to 'determine' if it is 'too graphic'.

News outlets have an obligation to 'warn their audience' of graphic content. Why doesn't facebook have this same obligation?

The power of social media...use it responsibly

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thriller Fest is coming...among other things

I am so excited that the conference season for authors is upon us.

Yes, that means that #thriller13 is just around the corner and that also means that the #C3Conference will be right behind it.

Thrillerfest was my introduction to conferences and I have been hooked ever since. They put on a class act show and the banquet dinner is where big publishers and small publishers sit down, share a meal and talk about the great accomplishments of great authors.

Last year I shared a table with Steven James, author of Queen, Pawn and Knight. I also got to talk with +Eriq LaSalle and even got a picture with him. You should check out my website, and I also brought home lots of books.

In September, I will then be a presenter at the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity conference in Baltimore and I am so excited! The conference is the first of its kind and we are all excited to be a part of it. +Jeffery Deaver, +John Gilstrap and many others have already signed up for it and we hope that you do to. If you want more information, please click, and all of your questions will be answered.

I hope to see you at one of these conferences. You will be able to spot me, I'll be the one in the stilettos!