Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pinterest Put Me in Physical Therapy

Today I have a Guest Blogger.  Diane Skelton is a fellow writer who has charmed our writing group with her humor and sassiness.  Can't wait to see the cover of her first book on Pinterest!

Pinterest put me in physical therapy.  When I was first introduced to the online bulletin board system, I spent nearly ten hours craned over my laptop gathering images. Two days later I awoke looking like a contortionist stuck in a pose. I had a Pinterest-kink in my neck, and the doctor ordered muscle relaxers and five months of physical therapy.

At first, Pinterest captured me and gobbled up a good bit of my writing time. But when I learned to use it productively rather than obsessively - at a better desk, with occasional breaks, and strict adherence to my rules - Pinterest became a great writing tool.  My foremost rule is to never let Pinterest be a diversion from writing -- it must be a tool.  In my profile, I announce my purpose: “I'm a writer working on a series of novels. The main character documents flea markets, sells Hull Pottery, and yearns to own a piece of Newcomb Pottery. These boards reflect my characters & me.”

I collect images of Newcomb pottery, which my main character covets(photo above is courtesy of the Louisiana State Museum); images of Hull pottery, which my main character resells; photos and information about flea market and yard sales, where she shops; and collections of items she seeks for clients. I also pin pictures of places my main character might visit.

It’s occurred to me I’m building a marketing database with Pinterest. Nearly 200 other users follow my boards. They are fellow writers or collectors who like the same things my characters do. Some even repin my images. So my followers shouldn’t be surprised when I “pin” the cover of my first book and invite them to buy a copy.  After all, they’re my target audience.
Visit me here!  


Sunday, May 19, 2013

"Pity" Chapter Eighteen Excerpt

The captain took us a few miles from the San AndrĂ©s coastline and shut off the engine so we were drifting in the Caribbean, surrounded by sea, sky, and stillness.  One by one, all of us except Captain Joe took off our vests and jumped overboard.  Underwater, I saw Aaron swimming straight down from our boat and followed him, a muffled silence pressing in around me with each downward stroke.  Noticing the water growing colder, I turned to see how deep we were and realized with a shock if I didn’t turn back immediately I wouldn’t make it to the surface.  My lungs tightened and my heart raced as I kicked furiously toward the dim circle of light above me, wishing it could pull me upward.  Finally I burst out of the water, gasping for air.
“Isn’t this great, Josie?” Anna asked as she paddled around.  She hadn’t even noticed I was gone. 
I floated on the water until my heart stopped pounding, then dipped under to check on Aaron.  Something flashed nearby but when I looked toward it nothing was there.  “Has Aaron come up yet?” I asked after resurfacing.
“He was here a minute ago,” Anna answered.  She took a breath and plunged in, Isaac following her lead.

“Whoa!” Isaac shot up, swimming toward the boat.  “Barracuda!  There’s a barracuda underneath us!”


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Good Company

    It seems most of my day is spent looking at the view from above my kitchen sink.  That's okay, though.  You can tell it's a cheery sight, and it's fun to watch the birds in the birdfeeder outside.   I also spend a lot of time at my desk, which I won't be photographing.  It's cluttered with to-do lists, edited pages of my manuscript in progress, angels (always good to keep them close), and a sticky note that says "Time to blog."  I know it's been too long, but I'm back and ready to write. 
And I'm ready to hear from you.  Tell me, what is your view?