200th Post–Celebrating with a New Book Cover Design

Today is special to me because this marks my 200th post.  I never imagined in May of 2012 that I’d still be here two years later, writing a small column with a growing group of friends and fellow-readers/writers. In this time, I’ve met some wonderful people through this blog, and look forward to meeting more.

Here are some of my favorite comments . . .

  • “I have a lot of notebooks in different rooms around the house so when an idea comes to me, I quickly write it down…” Letitia
  • “I think about writing every day but reading and dreaming about it is more fun than actually doing it.” Sharon
  • “I paint because I have to, if anyone sees the beauty in it, so much the better.” Cindy
  • “I learned in Toastmasters there is a way to offer help that is truly helpful. A gifted speaker in our group said something like, “I really enjoyed . . . about your talk. One thing I noticed, that may be just me, was a lack of wrap up for your main points. Others may have heard it – it’s just my thought.” So easy to hear this kind – and kind – of help.” Linda
  • “My favorite use of the ellipse in writing is when I want to give a dramatic effect to my reader. That pause before a shocking sentence arrives.” Ahamin

New Book Cover!

Sliced Vegetarian Front Book Cover

Whoo Hoo! Can’t wait to promote this book!

Yippee! I received the cover art for Sliced Vegetarian last week.  The artist, it turns out, is also from Colorado, so I hope to meet her in person one day (and with her permission) will do a blog interview with Deirdre Wait.

We live in a visual world, with color printing and on-line art so prolific, we take it for granted.  But don’t be fooled by the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”  Anyone who’s been in marketing for more than a week knows that well-ordered and professionally executed visuals “sell” all the time.  People buy books, at least in part, by what the cover looks like and what’s printed on it.

Some of the things I like about Deirdre’s work on Sliced Veggie, is that she connected one book to the next through the use of typeface and cover elements.  I love this new cover because of how bright and fun the graphics are, and I can see people enjoying the vegetable stand with the–heh, heh, heh–bloody knife in the middle.  My good guy thought the knife came from me, because it looks so much like a set we just bought. Hmm . . .

Taking A Holiday Break

Now that I’ve made such a big deal of publishing 200 posts, I’m going to turn around and let you know that I’m taking a little vacation.  This will be my last post until the New Year.  I might post a picture for Christmas, but other than that, I plan to spend the next couple of weeks enjoying a bunch of holiday movies (thank you Netflix), eating too many sugar-coated cookies, and reading some books that have been calling to me.

I wish you all a peaceful, holiday season, and hope all your special wishes come true.  See you in 2015!

A New Year – My 100th Post!

100 posts graphic

Celebrating the start of 2013 with our 100th post!

Happy New Year Everybody!

I love the new year because it feels like a clean slate. “This year is the first year of the rest of your life” kind of thing, and on my second day in, I haven’t goofed up so much yet.  Unlike Daisy, I am very accomplishment oriented.  I’ve counted, measured, set goals, crossed off lists, and otherwise driven my family crazy since I can remember.  This works for me.  There is a positive energy that goes with making goals and accomplishing good work.

Today, as a great way to start the new year, I am celebrating 100 posts with you!  You may want to pat yourself on the back if you’ve been traveling with me on this adventure in writing.

Liesa's business card with celebration note.

Some lucky Einsteins patron will get a free card today.

Today, I will go to my local Einsteins, buy a gift card for some unsuspecting soul, and ask the Einstein’s team to give it away with my Daisy Arthur business card. Perhaps, just perhaps, we  will have another new reader soon.  How’s that for a fun boost!

Right now, this blog boasts 200 followers.  One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to grow to 500 or more followers in the next 12 months. Whew!  Do you think you can help me with this?  I’d love to hear your suggestions, or names of friends you’d like me to email directly with an invitation to join our group.  It would also be cool if you have suggestions for improving the content of this site.

So now I’ve shared one of my resolutions, how about you? Do you have any plans for 2013?

I don’t often ask people about their New Year’s Resolutions because more often than not the answer is either guilt-ridden, “I haven’t thought much about it” or smart-alecky, “I resolve not to make any resolutions–there, done!”  These answers just make me sad.  They sound so hopeless.

I’ve also found that my huge list of everything from learning a second language to finding the best place to store my broom kind of bores people. So I don’t share many of my resolutions frequently.  However, goal-setting is a very healthy thing to do.

I’m not sure which book or motivational tape I heard this from, but apparently some bright people asked a graduating class from an Ivy-league school what their plans were going forward.  Eighty percent had vague or undefined goals, and there were 10 to 15 percent who had a vision they could verbalize, then five to 10 percent who actually wrote their goals down.

You guessed it, that five to 10 percent group was earning consistently more than their colleagues ten years down the road, and they were living happier, more fulfilled lives as well.  Yes, I think goals and New Year’s Resolutions are not only cool, but very healthy too.

I won’t bore you with my zillions of goals for 2013, but I will share a couple more goals for me: I’m going to make “13” my lucky number this year, and I am planning to finish my second novel, Sliced Vegetarian.  Please do wish me luck, as I believe in positive thoughts.

Meanwhile, I may  your year be filled with happiness, hope, and accomplishment.  If you’d like to share your best resolution, I’d love to hear from you.  If you do, I will try to check in with you from time to time so that your resolution becomes a goal and then an accomplishment to celebrate.

Is It E-mail or Email?

Email Message Icons

No matter how you spell it, you’ve got mail.

Today, it would be difficult to find anyone who didn’t know what an e-mail note was, but for those of us old enough to remember life without microwaves and postage stamps for six cents, e-mail is a relatively new invention.

Why is this important in writing?  Because there is still a question mark as to whether electronic mail should be written “e-mail” or “email.”  In trying to make a definitive choice, as both forms seem acceptable, I went to the two authorities of style, the AP Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style.

Now, the AP (Associated Press) Stylebook is an old friend from my days in journalism school. It is the standard manual of style for news reporters all around the country.  The site requires a login, but luckily I found a blog article from Mashable Social Media in March of 2011.  Mashable’s Adam Ostrow headlined his blog post, “AP Stylebook Finally Changes “e-mail” to “email.” At the time it was breaking news, along with AP’s move to “website” as a compound word.

The Chicago Manual of Style, the bible for my publisher’s style choices has a different view: “Q. What is your opinion regarding the use of “email,” instead of “e-mail” (no hyphen or hyphen)?

A. I like it—but it’s not Chicago style.”

So there you have it.  A term in transition.  More and more people seem to be dropping the hyphen from the abbreviated “electronic” and melding it directly into common usage as a specific term of common knowledge.  Who knew we were on the cutting edge of language development?

Just an interesting side note.  I found the Chicago Manual of Style answer on a page labeled “The Chicago Manual of Style Online”– no hyphen in the on-line.  Maybe we’ll see a new look from these style mavins soon.

For now, I’ll have to stick with e-mail, but I personally prefer email.  Won’t you send me some in either style?