Monday, February 24, 2014

Facebook: What Does Your Page Say About You?

By Laurie Epps

As writers it's vital that we have a presence online, and we've already talked about the nuts & bolts of social media are: a blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Today, we're going to talk about Facebook more specifically.

To guide us, my mentor created a wonderful book that we're working through called 
Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Addictions: From Girl Scout Cookies to a Good Read

By Laurie Epps

We all have additions. Some are healthier than others. Mine are tame in comparison to a lot of people. I'm addicted to the written word, hot tea, warm baths whether by water or sun, chocolate, or well, anything else with caffeine in it. What can I say? As I've gotten older, I'm tired all the time.

Recently, I read an article online that basically started with the premise of: "You know you're from Southern California when...." list. It's sort of a top twenty list. The one that stuck with me the most? #11 You know you're from So. Cal if you crave an In-N-Out Burger like it's crack cocaine.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Me and My Horse

Bonheur, The Horse Fair

Intro by Laurie Epps

My daughter Ellen has always loved horses. At one point this was problematic because she had to choose between horses and the ballet. Wisely, she chose ballet, but it wasn't without some torment.

Please keep in mind that this was a poem written by a little kid about why she loved riding horses. So in tribute to the Year of the Horse, please enjoy her quaint little poem.
Photo courtesy of Stride Photography in Ramona, CA

Monday, February 17, 2014

Social Media and the Laws of Diminishing Returns

By Laurie Epps

The number of social media sites is climbing daily, so how do you keep up? How do you still keep a presence online, but not devote an entire career on it?

Here to help us along is social media expert, Edie Melson. Join along with us by reading her book, 
Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

At the time the book was written there were over 40 social media sites and climbing. When I cross-referenced it now, it was closer to 60! It's essential for us as writers to have a presence online.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

7 Helpful Tips to Improve Your Facebook Page

Intro by Laurie Epps

Facebook has changed how we interact as a society overall. Want to find my blog? Want to see my new dress we were just talking about? It's all there, right on my wall awaiting the virtual world to discover it.

But as a writer, we also need to market ourselves with the public. For me, this has meant adding a separate writer page to Facebook. How can we use that forum to best represent us to our public? Here to walk us through the do's and don'ts is my guest blogger, Melisa Marzett.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Taming the Flame

By Laurie Epps

In honor of Chinese New Year, I've got my first guest writer for my horse theme for the month of February. Please welcome Krystine Kercher who has graciously offered to share her poem with all of us.

Horses evoke such powerful images of loyalty, and majesty. Krystine's poem speaks to us about the relationship between a boy and his horse, albeit, that the horse is classically stubborn.

Her poem is part of an anthology, and to purchase a digital copy of the book, click here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fostering Relationships Online

Photo Courtesy of Edie Melson
By Laurie Epps

As writers, when we first get online, we usually have an agenda when taking on social media. This is true of Edie, and myself, and every writer I've talked to online.

What are we out to prove? Usually, we just want to get our names out there, and prove to the gatekeepers that we're publishable. There's a lot more to it than that, and today we'll talk about it.

To follow along with us, consider buying my mentor's book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. It's full of advice, and tips on managing your social media.
Vonda Skelton, Edie Melson, & Michelle Medlock Adams
at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference, May 2013.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Valentines Train

Orange Groves in Fillmore, CA
By Laurie Epps

Nestled on the 126 Fwy halfway between Santa Clarita, CA and Ventura, CA is the quaint little town of Fillmore. It's a beautiful drive and you're nestled in the birthplace of the famous Valencia oranges. A neat trip back into times past, you'll be enchanted on a train ride on Fillmore & Western Railway.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Runaway

By Laurie Epps 

January 31, 2014 marked the New Year for the Chinese culture. This year on the Chinese zodiac is the year of the horse. 

Happy New Year 2014!

In honor of the New Year, I'll be accepting your poem submissions to publish here on my blog about horses. Feel free to use any length of poem, and even feel free to experiment with Chinese poetry styles.

To demonstrate what I'm looking for, today take a moment to look at a fine poem by Robert Frost. I like to look at Frost whenever possible because there is always multiple themes that can be read and seen within each poem.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Writing for the Visually Impaired

By Laurie Epps

Something we often don't think about is our entire audience online. If we include a video, the reader may not be able to hear. In this column, we're going to talk about those who can't properly see our website or blog.

When you begin to think about this, I want you to also consider that most of us will have some deterioration in our vision as we get older. Others suffer from color blindness, or perhaps our readers are terribly near or far-sighted. 

The Swan House in Atlanta

By Laurie Bower Epps Many don't know that I'm really from Atlanta. Somehow, as I've gotten older, it just seems to be natura...