My Writing Space

IMG_2733I’ve always been intrigued by peeking in on other writer’s desks or spaces. Maybe I think I’m going to spot something on their desk that unveils the secret of the writing universe. Or maybe I think I’m going to spy the exact item that leads to immediate publication. But mostly, I guess, I just enjoy knowing what inspires people, what makes their brains click into that mode that channels the muses and lets them pour out hundreds of thousands of imaginary words on a page.

My own writing space has been in existence for more than 10 years. Certain things have changed in minor ways – I used to have a fax machine that began to feel archaic a few years ago, so I ditched it. And that printer has changed shapes, sizes and brands more times than I can count. The chair is an “upgrade” from an uncomfortable one I used for years, and the stacks of papers, of course, change constantly – depending on whether I’m sending out the book club evite or writing the next chapter of Fin and Giselle. I always use bright-colored file folders that balance into more and more precarious stacks: blue means one thing to me, red another, yellow another, etc. It’s my vague way of feeling organized, despite the usual mess.

The things that have always stayed the same, however, are the things I most love: The photos on the wall have been there for 12 years, and were old even then – they were taken by me and my husband in the years we were dating or the early years of our marriage. Continue reading

Changes to Twitter: New Way To Do the @Reply

tonywright_birds02_470x350So Twitter made a pretty big change this week – I thought I’d let you all know. I will also update my tutorials with red type.

The change is in the way @replies are shown. Previously, whenever you would reply to someone, and use @Username, that tweet would go out to ALL of your followers.

The change Twitter made causes the @reply to go only to the person being addressed (obviously) then only to those who can see the other side of the conversation (meaning they are also following the person you’re talking to). So if you @reply to someone’s question or comment, there’s a good chance that only he or she can read it – not everyone.

Personally, I’m disappointed in this change. I liked being able to follow all conversations, even if I could only see one side. I found a lot of interesting people that way.

Of course, there is a way around it. (We always find workarounds, don’t we?) If the “@reply” is NOT the first character in the tweet, it will still go out to all of our followers. So you can always write “To @Username, how’re the Angels doing?” or “Dear @reply, how’re the Cards doing?” or whatever. Some are simply typing an “r” to stand for “reply” so there will be a character in that spot and it will go out to all. Plus, anytime you bury the “@Username” anywhere in the tweet, it will go out to everyone (i.e., “Thx, @gogogirl – you and @kiki are the best!”). Continue reading

Crazy Calorie Counts

Hi, all! Happy Friday! I’m blogging over at Health Bistro today about “calorie shock” — those foods that make you drop your jaw when you find out how many calories they have (um … Awesome Blossom, anyone? Six-Dollar Burger????) Most are discoveries I’ve made through Weight Watchers. Come on over and join the fun! And add in your own discoveries — I can always use the tips! It’s here: That Food Has HOW Many Calories?

Life Lesson No. 1: People Are Important

My former editor Dixie taught me a ton of things, but one of them was this: Life is short. Spend it on the people you love.

I was reminded of the lesson the other day when I read this post by Ruth Pennebaker at The Fabulous Geezersisters’ Weblog: The Trip I Almost Didn’t Take. I read Ruth’s tale and nodded my head through the whole thing. She’s so right. And it’s a lesson I, too, seem to need to learn over and over again.

But Dixie did a lot to get it into my head.

Dixie was one of those really great bosses who truly “got” life. She’s a cancer survivor, and was always eager to help other people understand what she now understood: Life is short. People are important. She always encouraged us to spend time with our kids, go to their school plays, stop working on the weekend so we could be with them. She knew that those things would make a difference in the long run — not silly details like whether or not we added that second “m” to “accommodate.”

While I was on her staff, my husband’s grandfather passed away in Texas, and he and I bit our lips about attending the funeral. Continue reading

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