The More You Connect, the More You Grow!

What a great idea this is. So often we don’t know where other social media is of blogs we follow.

Dream Big, Dream Often

Leave me your social media links in the comments and I and others will LIKE, FOLLOW, PIN and CONNECT!  There are around 170 bloggers that have left their social media links in the comments so have at it!   I like social media because I can interact more often with other bloggers and on a more personal level.  It’s nice to get to know those that you read about and that visit your page.

Here are mine:

Twitter @BigDreamer0323

Facebook: Dream Big, Dream Often

Linkedin: Danny Ray

Google +: Danny Ray

The Dream Big Channel

StumbleUpon

Tumblr

Instagram

View original post

I Have a Question About Blogs

I don’t ask this in a negative way. It is just a thought that crossed my mind as I looked at blogs today – ones I decided not to even pull up to see what they have to say – not that everyone would be interested in my two blogs, either.

I started thinking about what does and doesn’t interest me. How do we present ourselves to others so they would want to open our blog. What is it we think is most important for other bloggers to know about us from our very first sentence?

I am Buddhist. I’ve written about that in different ways on my blog in posts that have something to do with faith and religion. But I don’t feel the need to make that the number one thing that is important for people to know about me above everything else.  My being a Buddhist is not why people read my blogs.  In other words,  I don’t write a Buddhist blog.

I think faith is personal. Your faith shows by who are. Is your faith the first thing people need to know about you? Is it important for people to know you are Christian before they read your blog? Does any other person of another faith feel the need to know you are a follower of Christ? Do people of other faiths put their faith at the head of their description of their blog. I’m Morman. I’m Muslim. I’m Jewish. No, but by reading their blog you’d find that out.

I have friends of other faiths. It isn’t a prerequisite to be Buddhist to be friends if you respect each other and don’t insist on converting or say, “I’m right and you’re wrong.”

Please, don’t be offended. I’m not saying to not write about your faith. I write about mine, too. It’s an important part of who I am. But I am much more than a Buddhist. What I have learned through the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism has changed my life in many positive ways. But my blog is about much more than Buddhist teachings. If I made being a Buddhist an important part of the description of my blog mI’ll be a lot of Christians wouldn’t open my blog and I would have missed meeting some great people.

I have come across many Christian blogs that are only about the teachings. Nothing wrong with that. ButI find when someone has to tell me they are Christian before I even know what their blog is about – I skip right by it. It looks like it is the focus of their blog. If someone tells me up front they love to sew then it looks like it is a blog about sewing – skip – if it says they are concerned about the food we eat – I open it – if the most important thing is they love dogs – skip, I don’t have a dog and never will. Do you see what I’m getting to? There are many non Christians who won’t open a blog who gets emphatic about being a Christian. Do you only want Christian followers?

I would have checked out that blog if the bio was about what was in the blog, so they lost a potential reader because they didn’t use the space to tell me anything interesting.

Of course this is only my opinion. Everyone is welcome to think differently. I would be interested to know what you think.

Has Anyone Else Noticed The Amount of Spam Getting Through?

spam
photo credit:
todayifoundout.com

It’s never been this bad.  They are finding ways to circumvent getting stopped.  They make the spam sound legitimate, except that you know it doesn’t fit what you wrote.  I actually had 7 get through today that akismet didn’t keep out.  I was able to stop them at that point.  I had one that got through a few weeks I didn’t catch, and now I keep having programs try to install themselves and I have to go back and redo the registry to an earlier date to get rid of it.  I can’t permanently get rid of it, and my husband is a computer guy who knows what he’s doing.  I think it’s in my system now.  So be careful!

Do People Actually Read What You Write?

questions marks
source credit:
idontsmoke.net

Sometimes I wonder, do people actually read what you have written or do they just go down the reader and click like?  Some people only put up a picture or a few words and you don’t have to actually go to their blog unless you want to write a reply.  But if you don’t go to their blog when you like something it never registers on their stats so they never know who actually paid attention to it. It’s not a great way to build confidence.

How do we write a blog? Why do we write a blog? How do we respond to other people’s blogs? Everyone wants to have good stats, because when there aren’t any, it’s really pretty disheartening and you feel unloved and unappreciated. We want people to read the words we have taken so much time to write, edit and possibly rewrite.  Many of the posts I write take me take me hours, especially if I’m adding pictures and links and possibly music.  I know they are read by the replies I get from people, and it is what keeps me going, Not everyone replies, I know that. But sometimes, it only takes a few minutes to let someone know you appreciate what they are doing. It matters. So I leave a lot of replies. Sometimes we have good days and some days we feel ignored.  Sometimes it depends on the time of day you post or it can slide on by.  Facebook is terrible for that.  The list of posts grows so long so fast. If someone doesn’t take the time to scroll down it gets lost.

I’m writing the today because I put up a post recently that I checked soon after and it had three likes but there had been not view or visitor to the site. Not one. How the heck can you just like a post without even reading what it was about. If the entire post fit on the review of the post through the reader then you’d think there was no reason to go to the blog. But nothing I write fits in that area. I actually write my posts. Do I want posts that “looks” like people were interested and read it, which isn’t true?  I appreciate those that like my posts, but I’d like to ask that you not like it unless you genuinely have at least read the darn thing. Doing that you just might find out something you’d be glad you read, or maybe even found out something you didn’t know.

Now, since someone would have to read this post to find this out, what will be the end result? I doesn’t make me happy to have people “like” me and not know why.

The End

P.S.  Your thoughts? How do you feel about this? Incidently, this post took me an hour and twenty minutes to complete. Was it worth reading?

Ever Bite Off More Than You Can Chew?

Sonni Quick, Sonni quick author , Sonni quick. inside the forbidden outside
Sonni Quick

I’m usually working at my computer until late at night, never even getting close to finishing, and I’m trying hard to push back the usual 4 Am or later bedtime so I can get up earlier than 10:30 or so rising. I work in bed on my Nook as soon as I wake with a cup of coffee and wait for the day to kick in and gravitate to my desk…

There are all the things I want to do and all the pesky things I procrastinate doing: pay bills, laundry, clean the toilet type of stuff. Now I also have to fit in digging in the dirt and plant things – my soul therapy as I commune with nature. I LOOOOVE Spring. I’m coming out of hibernation.

I’m at my computer at least 12 hours a day. This is where I’m doing all that chewing. If there were actual calories involved I’d weigh 500 lbs. There’s all the stats to go through and replies to make, blogs to go back and visit and support to give.  Read and learn new things that feed the soul and visit with wonderful people from all over the world. Then there is research to do and ideas to explore, learning how to have a good blog and social media to learn and they are all different. Webinars to watch that teach you things and open your eyes, other author’s to learn from and new blog posts to write – on two blogs. I never write anything in 100 words if I can say it in 1500! And then editing and media to add.
Grand piano animated gif

There is music to play and record. 2 pieces found on this blog if you scroll down, but most is found at My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison (yeah! I’m finally getting the code down to make hyper-links the right way!) The last music I posted there is called Butterfly Hearts I have spent decades honing my craft to play this music I play that I can call my own, and doesn’t sound like anyone else.  Being able to have it heard on the web by so many people is better than any piano bar I ever played in. I couldn’t do this – this style of composing when I was younger. I didn’t have as many life experiences.  One of the best pieces I’ve recorded is called  “Sadness”.  Scroll down until you see a picture of my pregnant daughter and son  Ill fix the link tomorrow. I am going to start another blog, just for the music files to make them easy to play.

There are letters to write to my men in prison , Jamie Cummings and Armando Macias (in San Quentin death row), He wrote the post Life’s Cleaning Rag and three others on Jamie’s blog at the top through the menu called ” The Inhumane Welcoming Society”

But to tie my overburdened day together is finding time to write my book “Inside the Forbidden Outside” about Jamie’s life in the prison system. That’s the most important thing. That is what all this researching and learning how to write is all about. To save a life and then how this life can save others. I don’t let a single day go by that I don’t dedicate it to a cause greater than myself. This is why I cross advertise with myself with the hope you will go over over there, follow that blog, share it with your readers to get word of the book to more people.  Fill out the contact form and join the book email list for any other chapters I post ( 4 are posted during Jamie’s time in solitary confinement ) and to know when it’s done. At this point in my life, being alive when I shouldn’t be, and having the chance to do something I really believe in- let me just say, the hours I am awake have to count for something real and have a lasting effect.

Oh! and go to his facebook page and “like” it. Not only do the numbers count if if try to get an agent, I post more than just his blog posts there. There is a lot of other good content there.   Same wit*

I will reciprocate if I haven’t already.  If you do these things I’ll put you on the top of my Christmas card list !!!

I’ve never written a book and tried to publish it for real. People do it but I’ve had to learn every from scratch with only a burning desire that keeps me fired up all day. And in between all of this I have to promote ways to make money. So thanks for reading. Let me know how I’m doing and if there is anything I could do better. You’re my family!

Why are you writing? Plus a Q and A Interview With a Published Writer on How She writes

How to write a bog,I want to be a writer, Sonni Quick,Sharp Turn to the LeftI guess it all depends on why you’re writing in the first place. I mean, do you really want to write, so you start a blog with absolutely no friggin’ idea of what to write but you have this itch to write something that has the possibility of leaving a part of you permanently in place, for others to read and learn about you even if you depart this earth? How I wish I had the writings, the baring of one’s soul, from people in my past that I am unable to talk to because they are very permanently long gone, unable now to tell me what is in their head. Their fears. Their hopes. Their thoughts of being unable to stop the forward march of death.

A blog is begun. You aren’t sure of what to do, what to write. Can you write? Do you even know where to put a comma? Is your spelling and sentence structure atrocious? Does that even matter? Or do you just think about it for awhile and slowly , bravely, venture into it thinking it would be a really cool thing to do, writing things other people read. And then after a few weeks you go damnza, this is fun! So you learn and learn and try to find out everything you can about writing a blog so you can make it as good as possible, and then wait to see if anyone comes to read it. You enjoy yourself, and think, I could be a writer! You have begun the process of reinventing yourself. I’m a pro at that. It keeps life interesting, constantly challenging yourself to be more than you have been!

To do it right takes a lot of time. It’s like a job, but you don’t get paid money. You do get paid though, in page likes and comments and having interesting conversations with people from all over the world! It’s great for confidence building.  It’s teaches you how to communicate in words.  Learning how to write a blog is different from sending someone a newsy email.   You tell yourself, “I want to be a writer,”  and sometimes you have to reinvent yourself to do that Lastly, yes, blogging is fun.

I never slam out five line blog posts that don’t have a point – somewhere. Some are deeply personal that have  tongues wagging from people I know who say, “How could you write that! What will people say! OOOh well. My life is an open book and I have nothing to hide. I have no need to hide myself from anyone or make excuses for myself. We all make mistakes. But do we learn from them? That’s the key to reinventing yourself and making yourself happy. If other people don’t like it I’m not in control of that.

This is the blog I use to rant and rave and get things off my chest. My other blog is my serious one, the one that matters because there are lives at stake that it will affect. BUT do I take everything I write seriously. Is there a point to all this? Is there a reason I’m still up at 4 AM tweaking my words and researching how to do this right? Yes. Very much, yes. Because I reinvented myself – again – and if I decide to do something I will tear it apart with my teeth. I will grind it up and chew on it like a porkchop bone and obsess on it until it becomes the best I can do. I am addicted to it the way bees are drawn to the nectar of flowers.

I have always quite simply loved to write. To make the thoughts in my mind take concrete form, the same way the notes of my music is a concrete form of my emotions that I can step back from and witness it the and way as strangers.

I knew when I was young, there were different roads I could go down and each road would send my life into a different direction. I loved to dance. Did I want to be a dancer? I did eventually do that – but in strip joints from age 30 until my 40th birthday, quitting before I looked like I should, and was damn good at it. I think there are many women who have wished they looked good enough to dance naked and many women do in the privacy of their own homes.

Sonni Quick, Padre Island, Bahia Mar Hotel
Sonni Quick performing at the Bahia Mar Hotel at Padre Island 1979

This all took place after the years being a professional musician – a singer/keyboard/guitarist  who trashed her vocal cords singing incorrectly in too many smokey clubs. This is why I have the ability now to write the music I do, with the passion I play with.  But back then my ego stopped me from being a sideman to someone and be just a keyboard player who didn’t front the band.  Wrong choice, but I needed to take care of my kids, that’s why I started dancing and made a lot more money than I did as a musician. I never got a single nickle of help from their father. (But today, many years later we are friends. He is their father. Besides, I have become friends with all of my x husband’s.)

Did I want to be an artist? I have untrained talent, if I wanted to use it. My desires were all in the arts. Did I ever even one time ever want to be something like a dental assistant? God no! That thought scared the crap out of me. ( no slam on dental assistants here. We need people who want to be that.) But the thought of me spending my life in something so completely uncreative would have been a living hell for me.  That was my nightmare, waking up living in a track house in a suburb, which I did for a very short time when I tried to have a real job – by society’s standards . I couldn’t live a life with my time so structured and having no flexibility. I needed my life to support my life, to be able to create my income by who I was. Have I been thrown major curveballs? Huge ones. But I pick myself up. Dust myself off. Then I carry on. Sometimes life sucks. Get over it. Treat yourself and go buy a bag of gummy worms.

I went through many life changes. I called them “Sharp Turns to the Left, a title of an autobiography I spent the better part of a year writing fifteen years ago. A book in which I was going to be brutally honest about myself. I had to stop writing it because I thought, “Oh shit, if my mother reads this it would just kill her. She’d die of shock knowing the things her little girl did. “But now, after moving back to within a block of where my mother lives and spending literally hundreds of hours talking, I don’t think there is much I could write now that could shock my mom anymore than I already have, so maybe I could go back now and finish writing about my life – after I finish the book that is devouring me at the moment – InsideOut- with the newly changed working title of – Inside The Forbidden Outside – the nonfiction book about the life of Jamie Cummings. In Huntsville Prison. What guided his life to be where he is and what kind of man did it make him. What kind of man did he become. In our letters he let me into his head no matter how painful it was. You can find links to my other blog, “My Name is Jamie. Life in Prison” on the side of this blog and finding 3 of the chapters I I have posted pretty easily.

So what is the point of this post? I think the point is that we all write for different reasons. Some people write as a career choice, a current career our a hopeful one, like mine. Some write for fun and aren’t interested in branching out and are satisfied with having only WordPress readers, which are indeed valuable worldwide. Some people are excited that something they wrote is on the web for the world to see, and there are some that heal their hearts and minds through writing.  A catharsis takes place. There is a place for every single one of us. Just so long as it brings you benefit of some kind is all that matters.

I was thinking about this today because of this article, a writer I never heard of and thought about how she writes. Her process and went to links of things she wrote. I try to learn something from every writer. How do the structure sentences. How do think about what they mean? I thought, since we’re all a bunch of writers maybe some of you would find value in this article – an interview of how she writes.

So what do you think about it all?  Tell me.

Plus – thank you for getting to the end of this rant and listening to me yammer on . . .

Beyond The New Yorker

vanessaVanessa Grigoriadis—a National Magazine Award-winner who has written dozens of features for New York, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others—is a writer that many of us can envy: Over the years, writing has gotten progressively easier for her. She writes at a freaky-fast pace. And her initial visions for her stories, she says, work out 75 percent of the time. Essentially, a writer’s dream. But Grigoriadis also shares what she finds are the hardest parts of the job and her various quirks (hint: elaborate procrastination), and how, once an aspiring actress, she came to choose writing instead.

View original post 3,624 more words

Musings From a Tangled Mind

Credit to: es.fotolia.com
Credit to: es.fotolia.com

Oh, I just love the title of this blog. Maybe it’s because my mind is a bit (a lot) tangled, too.  It’s ‘a bit’ more  than tangled, though. It’s stuffed. So completely stuffed it’s coming out my ears. I wish I had 4 hands so I could write 2 posts at one time – because I have 2 blogs.  I have another blog at http:mynameisjamie.net. about a man in prison in the Wynne Unit at Huntsville Prison in Texas, who once again, for the 3rd time, right after he was allowed to make a phone call for the first time in 9 years, has been tossed into solitary confinement because of lies from a guard.  Guards never lie, though.  They are never wrong.  They always believed. Well, that’s crap.  It’s also why I, too, have a tangled mind.

So, the crux of why I’m writing; I constantly read things about how to write. What words to use or not use.  Creative writing.  Because the more we write the better we get.  I also research how to use social media the right way and I am having another post take off – and it’s not from wordpress readers, although I’m getting views from here as well.  I had another post that took to the universe at the very end of December and so far, that one post, all by itself, brought over 7,000 new readers to my other blog – in one week.  It’s still bringing people in – about 400 in the last ten days.  Now,  my newest post on http://mynameisjamie.net is taking off  brought in over 200 new readers in 2 days.  Read it, would you share it?  People are. and readers are coming in from G+, Pintrest, and google seraches,  Where are your readers coming from?  Are you limiting yourself?  f you want to know what I’m doing, just ask me.

If you look at my end of year post about how I did during 2014 you will see that my stats were about 1900 views.  6 weeks later and I am over 10,100 views.

____________________________________________________________

I was reading the ‘about me’ page of this new blog I found and I just loved her attitude. I could the smile on her face and excitement about writing. At the time she wrote her ‘about me’ page she probably hadn’t even written her first post yet! There was so much anticipation because the whole world was open to write about.

I told her a few tips I learned.  I don’t even know if she needs these tips, but other people reading this might. I believe it’s important for all of us to pass on the things we learn to each other. Our aha! moments.  I decided to share the comment I left her. You can find her blog at http://musingsfromatangledmind.com Let’s share the fun!!

As I went through my stats today I saw you followed me. I’m not sure which one of my blog’s you read. I didn’t look closely enough. I just tapped your photo to see who you were and started with your about me page. My 2 blogs are http://mynameisjamie.net and http://watchandwhirl.com.  I knew my purpose with the first one. But there were all kinds of things I wanted to write or good posts I wanted to reblog.

The hardest thing when you want to write a blog is how to get started AND figure how to do it. It’s like learning how to put something together. It has too many screws and you have 2 left over you don’t know what to do with. But I promise you – the more you write the better it gets.

Writing tips: Always study what you write. See it as the reader sees it. Edit edit edit. Make sure your punctuation is correct. Remove entirely these 2 words: ‘that’ and ‘really’. These are words I learned along the way and applied to my own writing. What a difference it made!  For the word. ‘really’ find another way to describe what you are ‘really excited about, or ‘I really want to. . .’. The word ‘that’ is just totally unnecessary.

I will be back. I promise!