Monday, April 16, 2012


Okay, I finally caved in. I was on the fence for a long time. But I've made the leap. 

It seems new social networking sites pop up every so often that writers are advised to jump into. It seems overwhelming to me at times. I don't have to tell  you that a writer needs to promote and market their work. It's the snowball effect, and once you are published you push that snowball downhill for it to build momentum. The more momentum the bigger it gets.

It's important to get the word out. Those we reach  have gone from fans, to fan-base, to readership, to platform, to tribes. I like to call the people that read my books 'my readers'. Plain and simple, don't you think?

Anyway, to connect with readers, I got the poke from several people. "Join Pinterest!", they said. "You'll love it." 

So, I checked it out. It looked complicated, even a waste of time. So after my agent gave me a gentle nudge and told me to look at her page and Judy Hudland's, I decided to take the plunge into another social media group. Once I saw how to create a board and 'pin', I found Pinterest more for my benefit as a place to go and relax. I've gotten a lot of great recipes from honey-mustard meatballs to strawberry pound cake. I've found some fun things to do in the garden. But I've contributed to my writing through this site by finding inspiring old photographs that spark my imagination as I am writing a....yep, an Edwardian / Gilded Age Series.

I'm still not sure how this will all translate into book sales. I do have a 'board' up called 'Novels I have Written', another for 'Reviews', another on Colonial fashion and the Edwardian period, etc. etc. I'm up to 24 boards all together.

So here's the question of the century. How can an author use Pinterest to build their fan-base? What can an author contribute on Pinterest that will benefit others? 

I'll share my answers after you share yours.

Here my Pinterest page: Tell me what you think. Hate it? Like it? Can't decide?

(No, please do not suggest Twitter to me. I'm digging in my heels.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Building Memories ~ Journal Writing

You never know if there will come a day, perhaps in advanced old age, that you will sit down and write your memoirs. I know of several people in recent years that have burned their diaries. Jane Austen's sister burned all her letters and papers after she died. I do not understand why. Perhaps there was an unfinished manuscript or a letter that would have revealed more to us about Jane.

I wish my grandmothers had kept diaries. I would have loved to have read their history. I have kept one since 1989. And event though there are ups and downs in it, some good times and some bad, I cannot imagine burning them. So much history in just 23 years is in those pages. My boys when they were little. Family gatherings. My marriage. My father's journey through Alzheimer's, and my notes on the day he passed away.

Here is what I have included in my journal today.

Yesterday we had an awesome Easter get-together. After feasting, we gathered in Mary Ann's living room in the chocolate brown old house in Burkittsville, MD, and Paul and Jim tuned up their guitars, banjos, and Paul's violin. They played some gospel tunes, and we all sang, some of us off key, others clapping our hands and tapping our feet in time with the music.

We had church in the Quinn's living room, family, friends, acquaintances. All the little kids sat on the floor wide-eyed, some cuddling in someone's lap. Then the guys played some lively Irish tunes. My niece's friend is an Irish dancer and she danced for us, in the middle of the floor with all us gathered round in chairs, on the old couch, or seated on the floor. Then Annie danced, then Renee, and before you know it, lots of us joined in.

My great nieces, all under six, put on their dress-up gowns and took their turn on the 'dance floor' twirling round and round. Was a wonderful night. I could see in Mary Ann's eyes how much it blessed her, how her longing to have them play some music was not only meant to soothe her soul as she is battling cancer, but to build a memory for her family.

I know I'll never forget it.