Category Archives: blogging tutorials

I Gotcha’ Covered with Quotes

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My mother always told me, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Wise advice.  I should have followed it more often. 

The Bible gives a good reason for keeping silent. Proverbs 17:28 says, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise.”  To be successful, you should probably have a wise look on your face, not a scowl.

There certainly is a time to be silent.  

There’s also a time to speak:  to encourage, enlighten, or empower. If you don’t have anything nice to say, and there’s a need for wise words,  I have a Plan B.

Quote someone else.

Quotes are the rage of social media, with all the cool graphics  that make us laugh until we cry, and cry until we run our mascara. They make us want to buy a dog and/or a gun and read labels for fear of ingesting anything with lotsa’ initials. Most of the time we share them or like them because we were moved to emotion.

Quotes play a part on influencing humans.

  • invoke action
  • inspire
  • empathize
  • motivate
  • sympathize
  • advertise
  • celebrate
  • humor
  • convict

Why waste the energy on a lengthy discourse when you can cover the territory with a one-liner?

Today’s Cool Tool helps create your own graphics using borrowed words or your own words of wisdom.  Introducing Quotes Cover.

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At QuotesCover.Com click on CREATE QUOTES PIC in upper right hand corner.

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On the next screen you choose a QUOTE or PROVERB from their lists or type in the CUSTOM WORDING box.

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I’ve read the article,  “Get Thee to a Writers Conference” several times and wanted to use James Scott Bell’s quote.

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Five choices on the next screen.  I chose VIRAL STATUS UPDATES. I’m a Facebook junky.

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I chose SQUARE.

 

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The options aren’t like  Word’s environment, where you choose text font and size.  You click “NEXT” and they randomly change your image’s text and color.

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Are you ready to go viral?

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It automatically puts the text of your quote as your status.  If you want to add your own status update, save your graphic to your computer, then upload as you would a regular picture.

Want to make your Facebook Cover inspirational?

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They provide an easy to understand tutorial.

I’d previously blogged about two other quote-making Cool Tools, Quozio and Recite This,  and I’m sure you remember my very exciting tutorials. Quotes Cover has a feature they don’t, it allows you to upload your own backgrounds.

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Since  I’m all about using COOL TOOLS to make COOL QUOTES, I take pictures  of unusual things to use for backgrounds.  This pink ceiling is in a historic building in St. Augustine, Florida.

Pictures of fences, streets, brick walls, clouds, sand, stucco walls, asphalt streets, doors, and windows are filling up my files.  (Note to self: label pics as I upload to find them easily.)

When you upload your own photos, choose VIRAL STATUS then LANDSCAPE.

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My picture of a stairwell in St. Augustine.  Doesn’t everybody take pics of steps while on vacation?

Using  Bing,  I typed in “quotes about stairs” and clicked to http://thinkexist.com to choose.  Vance Havner is a man worth quoting, so this was perfect for my picture and my life goals.

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You can’t change the font size, but you can use the little boxes to manipulate text size and move the text box.

Tip for the advanced: The Quotes Cover environment only allows horizontal pictures.  It cut off most of my door because my picture is vertical. I used Windows Live Photo Gallery to rotate my picture first, then uploaded it sideways.

Of course, I had to tip the text box sideways, too, and lean over my computer to create these graphics, but it worked.  After saving, I simply rotated it upright and massaged my neck for a few minutes before finishing this blog post.

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Put an asterisk in front of words you would like highlighted.  When you upload your own background, they allow you to add special effects by clicking a button.

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It’s a random process of clicking until you’re satisfied.

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Quotes Cover helps you create a graphic to encourage, enlighten, or empower.

When Words Become a Work of Art

Writers love words.  We love reading words, writing words, and saying them out loud.  They are the food for our soul.

Words are writers’ swords,  band-aids, and  lullabies.

Words are our best friends, and some days, maybe our only friends, especially if you’re an introverted writer.

What if you had the power to turn your words into works of art?

With today’s COOL TOOL, I will grant you that power. Remember my quest to provide you free and easy-to-use tools to keep your blog from being boring?

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Drum-roll please…this is exciting….introducing…one more way to embellish a writer’s love of words.

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Wordle is an easy-to-use free online tool for making those cool graphics you see on other people’s blogs, in their dining rooms, or on their Pinterest boards. On the Wordle home page, click image and it brings you to this environment.

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See how easy it is? Type in your list of words, then click GO.  It creates the word cloud for you.

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These are all the options in the FONT dialogue box, but you probably could have figured that out on your own.  I want to encourage you to start clicking on all the  buttons when you enter a new environment. You have to Click to Conquer.  (I wrote this linked blog to encourage people to overcome fear and click!)

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The layout tab gives you these choices. 

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There’s an option to create your own custom palette, choosing your background color and four foreground colors.  (choose edit custom palette)

If you aren’t happy with the design, click the imagebutton on the bottom of the creating space until you’re satisfied with colors and shapes.

Another option was to enter the URL of a web page and they will automatically generate the word list for you.

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I typed in my blog address and this was created for me.

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It was eery how they picked out the important things in my life.  I recently blogged a four-part series about losing a friend, Kari,  to cancer at 36.  I had thyroid cancer for ten years, I have six kids I adore, I homeschool, and have had a few years with several funerals.  Can you see the themes?

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A revised version of the same Wordle. If you don’t want to eliminate a word, right click on it.  I removed Kari, the contractions that weren’t spelled right, and a few random words.  This is what I came up with.  But, no, my husband isn’t the cause of my grief as it appears in the upper left hand corner.

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Another variation of the same word cloud generated with the randomize button. Getting antsy to try it yourself?

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Two Wordles to describe my passion.

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One just for bloggers.

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A Wordle about my family.  Is that hyphen in dinner table bothering you?  Yea, me, too.

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John 3:16 in a slightly scrambled version. I chose background and word colors with edit color palette and the Mail Ray Stuff font.

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For this creation, I used the url for author Lesley Ann McDaniel’s website and tried to match her website colors. Lesley’s third book in the Montana Hearts series with Heartsong Presents, Rocky Mountain Romance, is ready for pre-order.  It was fun to see the names of her characters, the settings, and the descriptions pop up. This could be a fun author promotional tool, especially if you were more deliberate with the word list.

TIPS for using WORDLE:

  • Words typed twice are largest.  (ex. FAMILY)
  • Use hyphens or omit space in phrases. (blue-eyes) (NorthDakota)
  • Right click on a word to remove it from the word cloud.
  • Their SAVE button saves to a public gallery. To save for personal use, cut out with  Snipping Tool  and save in your picture file.

 

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I gave you the power to turn  words into works of art; use this art to turn words into works of power.

How will you  Wordle your life?

Making your home sing Mondays          WHWButton#2

Upload Blog Photos Easily with Photo Gallery

If you’re already  blogging and uploading digital pictures for visuals, you might ignore this post.

DON’T DO THAT!

I mean, “Please, don’t do that.” I do have some manners.

A few free Microsoft programs have changed my blogging life.

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I used pictures, but they weren’t  enhanced, bordered, or watermarked. There were few options for fonts or headings.  My blogs were pretty boring.

I’ve already blogged about Staying a Live Writer, giving you 9 great reasons to blog with Live Writer, and Picture Your Blog with Live Writer, showing easy ways to enhance your pictures.

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You can Piece Together a Photo Panorama using the tutorial I gave you using Live Photo Gallery.

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Today’s Cool Tool will again focus on Live Photo Gallery.  I know it’s already Thursday and you were looking for my advice yesterday, but life happens.  Oh, you didn’t even notice I was off schedule?  Why am I such a Tryhard then?

Photo Gallery is a free photo organizer  to view, manage, share, and edit digital photos and videos.  The compatibility with Windows Live Writer will prove there is always a Happily Ever After.

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If you tag your pictures right after you upload them, it’s easy to find them.  I know, I keep nagging myself to do that, too. You can also retrieve according to person, location, subject.  It’s like tagging a blog post.

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Click on the pic to go to Microsoft website to download Photo Gallery.  Gotta’ love the FREE part.

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Start in My Pictures and decide which pictures you want to use in your blog post. Then click on image to open up Photo Gallery.

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I edit pics usually by adjusting detail, color and contrast. There are many fun options, click around and explore.

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When I was done, highlighted them all, CONTROL A.

They should all be blue, but you shouldn’t be blue in the face at this point, it’s that easy.

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Look for this little icon under the CREATE tab and click it. It opens a new draft in Live Writer and drops your photos in.

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You’re one click away from completion, choose if you want your pics in the post
or in an album.

Back in the day when I was uploading directly in Blogger or WordPress, I could only upload one at a time and then could barely move them around.  It was so frustrating.

Upload four pictures at a time?  Piece of cake!

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The new blog post was created with the four pictures dropped in order.

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Now you can jazz them up even more with the options in Live Writer.  I LOVE using  the watermark feature. It makes me feel like a Big Girl Blogger.

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I take so many pics, I can forget what I planned for a blog post.   It helps to edit pics and drop them into a draft after I dump the pics off my camera.

Microsoft’s Photo Gallery a free and simple way to store, edit, and upload your pictures.  This TOOL will make your life COOL.

How to Make It Easy for Pinners to Visit Your Blog

Last week my guest blogger, Kim Vandel, introduced the Pin It Bookmarklet. It was awesome to learn a new Cool Tool by reading my own blog!  Gentle Readers, today she has a tip in using Pinterest to gain readers, not just pinners. 

imageKim Vandel is a writer and voracious reader from the Seattle suburbs, and she’s the Public Relations Coordinator for Northwest Christian Writers Association. She recently became a finalist in the 2013 Cascades Writing Contest in the Unpublished Young Adult fiction category. You can find her at kimvandel.com.

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Most writers want more readers, but the question is how to draw those readers to our blog or website. There are so many blogs out there that it can be hard to get noticed.

One of the reasons I joined Pinterest was the chance to connect with my target audience. Pinterest boards are a simple but effective way to share my point of view with potential readers. What do I mean by point of view? I’m talking about how I see the world. My interests. The things that grab my attention. The things that make me laugh. People who connect with my point of view are more likely to be interested in what I have to say and check out my blog.

I created a board for my blog when I joined Pinterest, but it wasn’t exactly a success. In other words, I didn’t have any referrals from Pinterest. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Discouraging, yes, but I soldiered on. I’m an observer and thinker, and sometimes it takes a while for my ideas to make their way to the surface.

I was getting plenty of likes and repins of my quotes, but I didn’t like the fact that Quozio and Pinstamatic were getting the credit. I want people to find me and my blog, not a quote-making website, so I decided to try another tactic. Instead of posting a quote straight to Pinterest, I downloaded it to my computer and then uploaded it to my board. A better option, but all the pin said was that I uploaded the quote.

Then I found my new best friend, the Pin It Bookmarklet. I could pin from pretty much anywhere, so why not my blog? Instead of uploading those quotes to Pinterest, I started adding them to the Media Library on my blog and used my handy-dandy bookmarklet to pin them to my Inspirational Quotes board. Since I started pinning quotes from my blog, I’ve gotten more referrals from Pinterest than anywhere else—Google, WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter.

So my Cool Tool for today is really more of a Cool Tip: How to make it easy for "pinners" to visit your blog.

First you’ll need last week’s Cool Tool, the Pin It Bookmarklet. Then check out Mindy’s blog on turning a quote into a masterpiece if you missed it. Use a site like Recite This that will let you download your quote masterpiece to your computer. (It should automatically go to the "Downloads" folder.)

For WordPress users, you’ll find the Media Library on the sidebar menu of your dashboard.

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You’ll see two options when your cursor hovers over "Media." Click on "Add New."

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This will take you to the "Upload Media" page. Click on the "Choose File" button and select the quote you saved in your Downloads folder (Step 1). The name of your file will show up next to the "Choose File" button when you’re done.

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Now click on "Upload" (Step 2).

The next screen will be your Media Library. Three options will appear when your cursor hovers over the title of your quote. Select the "View" option.

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It will take you to a page with your quote.

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Now click on your bookmarklet icon.

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Choose the picture of the quote.

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The "Create a Pin" window will pop up. Select which board you want to pin your quote to and edit the description if necessary.

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Here’s the quote on my Pinterest board. It even encourages a visit to my blog!

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I want to make it as easy as possible for potential readers to find me, and with my blog only a click away, there’s a much better chance they’ll check it out.

Social media can be overwhelming at times. (Or if you’re like me, it’s overwhelming on a daily basis.) Part of social media is figuring out where and how you make the best connection with your readers. It’s a lot of experimenting to find what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s doing a lot of little things that slowly add up to something bigger. Hopefully you now have one more little thing to help you attract readers.

I’d love to hear how this Cool Tip works for you or what Cool Tip you’ve come up with!

Your New Best Friend: The Pin It Bookmarklet

 

I try to stay in tune with the social media trends, but get a little lost.  The world invented itself around me and I don’t see the landscape I grew up in of the 70’s,  console television sets with rabbit ears and 20 pound rotary phones with 20 foot curly cords.  I’m blessed to have friends that are not only great writers, they navigate the world of social media so well, they  make it recognizable and useful to me.

Today’s Cool Tool is brought to you by Kim, a friend with great talent and abilities.  She brings calm to my frantic, wings to my ideas and kindling to my flames of inspiration. After reading her post, I hope you have the same head-slapping reaction I did, “DUH? It’s that easy?!?” 

 

 

imageKim Vandel is a writer and voracious reader from the Seattle suburbs, and she’s the Public Relations Coordinator for Northwest Christian Writers Association. She recently became a finalist in the 2013 Cascades Writing Contest in the Unpublished Young Adult fiction category. You can find her at kimvandel.com.

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For writers, Pinterest is more than a virtual corkboard for recipes and DIY projects. It’s a fantastic way to gather research, collect writing ideas, and find inspiration for both writing and life. If you haven’t tried the Pin It Bookmarklet yet, then get ready to meet your new best friend. This handy little tool lets you pin from almost anywhere you go on the web, so no more despair when you can’t find a "Pin it" button on the page you’ve fallen in love with. You don’t have to bookmark a bunch of pages, and you don’t have to worry about "stealing" pictures or trying to remember where you saw the article you need. The bookmarklet automatically links your pin to the website where you found it.

To get started, go to the Pinterest Goodies page and scroll down to "The Pin It Button." You’ll have two options. If you’re using Google Chrome, select install now.

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For other web browsers, select the "Pinterest Bookmarklet" link.

Drag the red "Pin It" button to your toolbar to install the bookmarklet.

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When you get done, you’ll see the red Pinterest icon on your toolbar. That means you’re ready to pin!

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I’ll give you an example of how it works. I found a picture I wanted to add to my Visual Writing Prompts board, so I clicked on the icon. It gave me several picture options from the page. The "Pin it" button appeared when my cursor hovered over the picture.

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When I clicked on the button, a window popped up, and I was able to choose which board I wanted to pin the picture to. I also had the option of editing the description.

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I then clicked on the red "Pin it" button, and the picture was added to my board with a link back to the website.

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My Visual Writing Prompts board is one of my favorites. I’m a speculative writer (fantasy, science fiction, etc) and some pictures instantly spark a story idea for me. Other pictures, like the one in my example, provide inspiration for an idea I already have. It helps me visualize the futuristic world I want to create, and I’ll be able to come back to the image when it’s time to describe the setting. Studying the details—the sense of speed, the play of light against dark—will allow me to create a vivid picture in the reader’s imagination.

Maybe you don’t need to build a futuristic story world. That’s okay. (I won’t hold it against you.) Whatever you write—fiction or non-fiction, blog articles or epic novels—the Pin It Bookmarklet will give you the freedom to roam the web and gather inspiration and ideas wherever you find them. So get pinning already!

Repositioning Photos on Facebook

Sometimes, a simple skill brings great change and empowerment. I  used that word because I used it in my blog title yesterday and I have to prove I’m practicing what I preach. Can I hear an AMEN?  OK, maybe not…

So, people from the Midwest love to use this word to begin and end sentences, I put a photo on my Facebook author page with myself and two other women.

With the new double-column look of FB, the pics appear cropped and you don’t see the entire picture until you click on it.

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Stink! I didn’t show up in the picture on my own page.

But, I wanted it about me.  All about me. ‘Cuz we all know if Momma Mindy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

Anyhoo, I clicked around because there’s always something new on Facebook. Maybe you don’t remember I blogged about my mantra,  Click Until You Conquer?  I don’t know if Facebook sneaks things in when I’m sleeping, or if I never notice them, but I clicked around until I found a Cool Tool, so…

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So, it’s called….drum roll please….

 

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Pardon my shaking mouse finger where I circled in red, but hover your mouse over the right hand corner of the photo status until image appears.  Click on the little Pencil until the dialogue box drops down, then click Reposition Photo.

Then grab your picture with your trusty left mouse button and move it where you want it.

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We have all learned the hard way what happens when you don’t click that magical little SAVE button, especially in the Olden Days before Word developed Document Recovery.

Talk about empowerment, I turned two Mindys into Cyclopses. But, at least it shows  there were three people in the picture and if anybody wants to see both my eyes, they can just click on the pic. (Just a side note, should the plural of Mindy be Mindies?  Ya’ know the change the y to i and add es thing? And is the plural of Cyclops Cyclopses? Just wondering….)

 

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The other option is to leave out one someone.  But, having one eye cropped out is better than having your whole body cropped out. Unless you wanna’ crop out someone, but I would never say anything about mother-in-laws or those not-really-friends in public, no sirree, I wouldn’t.

So, there ya’ have it.  A Cool Tool that empowers you to reposition people in and out of your pictures on Facebook.  Not applicable to personal lives.

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Making your home sing Mondays

Replace Tired Clichés with the Art of Surprise

 

In October 2005 I was in the HYPER HELL stage of  thyroid cancer treatment.  My  thyroid gland and about 30 lymph nodes had been scalpeled  into medical waste. I had been a science-fiction freak in the hospital, undergoing radioactive iodine treatment.  I was kept in the hospital for three days until the Geiger counter read less than 4mc of radioactivity. The final stage is six months of taking the highest amount of thyroid hormone as you can without hurting anybody.

I took the three kids I was homeschooling and drove to Montana.At 40 years old, I still needed my Mommy and Daddy. 

While reading the Helena Independent Record,  I found this ad.

 

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I wasn’t just recuperating from my present cancer, I was instant replaying my past and adjusting to the reality of my future.  I loved the hubby and the six kids.  I loved the rest of my life, minus the part about puking my guts out in the hospital and wearing a scar that looked like I almost got decapitated.

The only thing unfulfilled in my life was writing, and the Festival of the Book was offering me a chance to change that.

The first workshop I attended  was the “Art of Surprise” with  Deirdre McNamer, novelist.

I think I stared with my mouth wide opening, absorbing her wisdom.  I also know I wiped away more than one tear.  How could I begin to express the way the Lord led me to that time and that place? 

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So, my free Cool Tool today is the “Art of Surprise” as introduced by McNamer so many years ago.

She described our imaginary  cliché’ drawer, an inexpressive place we  reach in and grab what’s quick and easy, but she begged the room full of novelist-wannabes not to use tired and predictable language.

It’s easy to spot cliché phrases. I even knew that as a beginning writer, but she dove deeper than I’d been challenged before with personal anecdotes and advice,  quotations from writers and examples in writing.

Metaphor:

Metaphors are  small surprises in a reader’s experience.

 

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“When writing is successful, the reader senses that the climax is coming and feels a strong urge to skip to it directly, but cannot quite tear himself from the paragraph he’s on.  Ideally, every element in the lead-in passage should be a relevant distraction that heightens the reader’s anticipation and at the same time holds, itself, such interest – through richness of literal or metaphoric language, through startling accuracy of perception, or through the deepening thematic and emotional effect of significant earlier moments recalled – that the reader is reluctant to dash one.”       John Gardner in The Art of Fiction.

She illustrated with  Bryan Di Salvatore’s description of Merle Haggard’s walk, “…and as he swings his arms and bends his legs the effect is of an almost fluid lurch, as if he were forever taking his first step off an escalator.”

The Unpredictable Word:

When you use a surprising word, especially at the beginning, it signals more surprises and keeps the readers at a higher level of attention.

“Chloe had red-gold hair, hazel eyes, an illegible smile, face like a doll…” Chronicles by Bob Dylan.

“Carry a notebook and write down all the details and description as you see them,” said McNamer. I haven’t been without a journal and a pen since then.

 

The Unpredictable Character:

McNamer encouraged writers to break assumptions people might have about our characters. “A kind woman with an obnoxious voice surprises you and creates tension, a sweet voice doesn’t always indicate kindness.”

Points of Surprise in a  Plot:

She used  Penelope Fitzgerald’s description of a good plot as one that “makes you want to interfere.”

McNamer said, “If the plot is too plain or clichéd you lose people, if it’s too wild you lose people.”

Other great quotes I scribbled on my college ruled notebook paper:

“In the end the reader should feel the world has opened up.”

“Even the writer should be uneasy (creatively).”

“Don’t storm around about how YOU feel – bring them there.”

I drove Montana for relief and help at the end of my healthy life and found the beginning of my writing life.

I’d say the Lord practices the Art of Surprise even better than McNamer.

 

 

Ribbet is the Kiss that Makes Your Pictures Princely

It’s Wednesday.  Only two days until Friday. Yahoo!  It also means that you’ve caught up on all your laundry, the house is clean and your fridge is sparkling and stocked.  I’m sure you’re not in your pj’s sitting at your computer with coffee breath and uncombed hair, like someone else we know.

And, since you have all that done, you can waste some time learning how to turn your pictures into pictures.

In the Olden Days, as my ten year old daughter likes to call my youth, we had film cameras.  When you brought film to be developed, you were at the mercy of the technician.  They estimated the exposure time for  the negative according to the first few pics on the roll, then developed the rest at the same setting.  Pictures could be easily be ruined by  underexposure or overexposure.  If you kept the negatives, you could pay to have a shot you wanted reprinted and they might do a better job, but most of the time, the pictures still  weren’t that great. If a roll of film was $4-$6, and developing cost $6-$8 per roll, every mistake was a costly one.

If you shot part of your roll indoors and part outdoors, your pics would be ruined for sure. Many of us figured that little strategy out late in life.

We live in a great time for photography. Digital cameras allow us to shoot until it’s perfect. And if we still can’t capture the moment perfectly, technology gives us the ability to improve those pictures. 

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Today’s Cool Tool is Ribbet, and I’m not talking about the sound a frog makes before you kiss him into a Prince. I’m talking about a free online photo editing tool.  FREE.  If you’re going to waste a lot of time with this tool,  you can justify it because you aren’t spending any money.

Trust me, this could be addicting. There are many ways to use your stunning digital photographs.

1. Greeting cards

2. Email greetings and updates

3. Facebook photos

4. Pinterest

5. Family slide shows/videos

6. Embellish your blog

7.  Reprint on t-shirt, mug, mouse pad, fridge magnets

8. Art for your home (print on canvas)

9. Digital photo frame

10. Scrapbook (cheaper than embellishments!)

All this amazing creativity begins with the green button on the Ribbet site.

 

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You begin as in all other environments,

 

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you upload a picture from your file on your computer.

If you are one of those OTA (Older Than Average) bloggers/readers that cannot download their own digital photos onto their computer, or upload them into an online environment…..

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Why, yes, I did run out to the corner in my pj’s to take this picture for you, how did you know? 

This is your homework. You have to learn to download/upload your own photos.   ‘Cuz I said so, that’s why.  Our ancestors crossed the continent in a covered wagon, you can do this! 

Do not let your fear of technology keep you from creating memories. 

If you can read, you can learn.  You don’t have to read the camera manual that comes in 42 languages and the hardest one to understand is always the English portion. 

Ask a child, grandchild, or any random teenager in the neighborhood.  The digital world is their world.  Write down what they say so you can do it when they’re gone.

If you can’t find a teenager, use your computer. Everything you want to learn is only a few keystrokes away.

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Bing it on!  They can help.  Ask them anything.  They know everything.

Back to the tutorial.  Ribbet makes it suuuuuuper easy. (Say that with a Minnesotan accent just for ol’ times sake, k?)  That’s the second criteria for my Cool Tools.  It has to be easy enough for me to figure out. I am not a techy, geek, or nerd.  I can’t even set an alarm clock or a watch.

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But with my trusty mouse finger, I can click on icons.  If you get confused or think you messed up your picture, no problem. The site makes that easy, too, with these buttonsimage on the right hand side of the screen.

 

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Effects: soften
Frame: museum matte
Text added

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Effects: matte
Frame: border

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My first granddaughter wrapped her Daddy around her fingers at birth.

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You can always make a good picture better. You can always make a better picture betterer.
Just seeing if you were praying attention.
Of course I know bettterer isn’t a word.  I should have said bester. A little more cropping, a little softening, get rid of the heart because the action says it all.

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If you don’t know where to begin,click on image then image.

The Frame I selected for the last two pics is called Before and After.  Get it?  Before I edited it and after I edited it?

Oh, you’re smart.  So smart, in fact, I know you’ll be able to RIBBET your pictures into works of inspiration.

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Effects:  Morocco
Frame: Border
Text Added

 

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Effects: Boost
Frame:  Polaroid

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Not that my handsome hubby needs help, but thought I’d show you the features that will convince all you women to use this online photo editor.

Effects:  Insta Thin and Blemish Fix

Even though my 7th grade teacher promised me I would outgrow zits with puberty, she was wrong. The bigger the event you’re preparing for, the bigger the zit will be on the end of your nose.  Never fails.  Blemish remover will handle the zits, Insta Thin can take off those few pounds you’ve gained. Notice how his moles just disappeared?  His face is thinner?  Yea, ladies, this feature is for us.

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Hey, Girl!  You need Ribbet, this week’s Cool Tool.

May I Quote You?

When I worked as a reporter for a small-town newspaper, my editor once laughed and warned me to inform people  I might quote them in the newspaper. 

It seemed obvious to us.  I was a reporter.  I had a clipboard.  I asked questions and wrote down answers.  But, still, people would be surprised  I quoted them or used the pictures I took at events. And when people were surprised, they called the editor.

So, I asked permission and informed them I was writing down what they said word for word.  I would repeat it back.  In a small town, where everybody knows everybody and their dog, you gotta’ be extra cautious. 

It’s about three decades too late, but now I can make quotes so cool, nobody would be upset, even without permission.

 

cool tools 008

Today I’m tutorialing, yep, I made up that word, another Cool Tool that turns text into images.  Quozio makes quotes stand out by using more than just quotation marks.

It’s similar to ReciteThis, last week’s tutorial, but has different backgrounds and a feature that makes it easy to use when reading anything online.

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In keeping with the guidelines that my Cool Tools are free and easy to use, Quozio totally qualifies.

Enter the quote and the author of the wisdom and click on image.

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See?!?!?!

So easy I can do this. You can, too.  Just try it.

In case you don’t know who Pliny is, click here for a quick history lesson.

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Go ahead.  PIN this.  I double-dog dare ya’.

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OOH, OOH!  Your Facebook friends are gunna’ LOVE this one! You might get enough likes and shares FB will stop asking for your credit card to show your post to all your friends.

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Red is the color of power, or so they say when judging what a politician’s tie color when lying  speaking to the public.

Again, images break up the text.  It gives the eyes a break.

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This is a post from a few years ago when my thyroid cancer returned for the third time. What if the Bible verses had been turned into an image using Quozio?   It would have preached the message louder. It would keep drawing the eyes down the page.  Instead, you go, “Yawn, that’s a lotta’ words, but I like Mindy, so I’ll keep reading, and reading and reading.”

Let your images enhance your writing. 

It also creates a something to PIN or SHARE on Facebook.  It proves you’re creative.  And, when you use Windows Live Writer and add a watermark on your images, all roads lead to your blog.

Now, here’s the coolest part.  Remember this part of the Quozio environment from the image above?

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Click it.

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You put it on your toolbar and it hangs around until you need it. 

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Just say you’re reading someone’s blog, like mine, and you find something you want to quote. Highlight it, click your little bookmarked icon and it

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instantly loads the highlighted text into the Quozio environment.  Remember that little image button?

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Done.

We’re all unsure about our writing and we don’t want to promote ourselves, but sometimes the perfect quotation comes from your own writing.  Don’t always look to the wisdom of others.  Use your own gift and inspiration.

Here’s why.

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