Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Do Not Touch

As I’ve been combing the streets of Paris I’ve been keeping all my senses at attention, as every good writer should.  Except, there's one missing… touch.  It’s interesting as I evaluate my experiences I realize I’m very good at seeing, smelling, tasting and hearing but I always forget to include the tactile experience (unless I come across an animal that needs patting).  I guess that’s a good thing in the city I am currently exploring since everywhere we go (I’m referring to the dozens of museums we’ve visited) there are signs that say “Ne Touchez Pas!”  It’s okay, really, since the sites, sounds and smells of Paris are spectacular enough.  

Fresco on the ceiling in Opera Garnier...not sure who the artist is

Absorbing Aromas and Art

Yesterday, I commented to my mother-in-law, with whom I’m traveling, that we’ve savored crepes in the gardens at Versailles, sipped wine on the Left Bank and swilled beer in a pub on the Grand Boulevard.  So, we had taste totally covered.  Any time I'm writing about eating in the future, I'll have loads of memories from which to pull.  We’ve inhaled the smells of the patisseries and boulangeries as we’ve meandered down cobblestoned streets and have paused appreciatively to absorb the works of the masters.  I haven’t really felt the need to touch the Rembrandt at the Jacquemart Andre or the many Monet murals at the Orangerie.  I've been happy to get drawn into them visually, which I did especially with one particular Monet.   As I gazed at the panels stretched across the width of the room, I was sure a floor to ceiling image of a face leaped out at me from the canvass! 

Describing Touch

But, where does touch come in?  As a writer I always pride myself in being able to experience things with all the senses in order to draw on vibrant, multi dimensional memories when sitting down to write descriptive prose.  Now I know that I must concentrate on including touch as I wander through life and, as I go through yet another edit of my novel, I must remember to add some tactile descriptions.  Not to mention, noticing good examples of descriptions of how something ‘feels’ on the finger tips when I'm reading for pleasure!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Keeping up with the Penguins and Pixels

 One day a farmer, a panda and a penguin walk into a bar... Well, you know where this is going don't you?  It's no joke.  Things have changed - again.  The pixel size on your new Facebook timeline is having an identity crisis and the Google algorithm has gone north to catch webmasters practicing the dark art of Black Hat SEO and also target over optimization or web spamming.  The challenge has become to guess how they identify spam because there seems to be some differences of opinion between Google and the SEO experts. 

Changes in Social Media?  Of course!

I've finally resigned myself to getting used to it.  The only sure thing in life these days are death and changes in your favorite social media platform.  I really don't get why so many people keep resisting.  If you stand still and let moss grow in and around your feet you inevitably get left behind.  It's all about fresh and new and the smart folks are capitalizing on it by becoming experts like my Facebook hero Mari Smith (I just bought her new book that launched today, Facebook Marketing an Hour a Day), or social media guru Michael Stelzner.  They thrive on the change because it gives them fodder for yet another blog or book... otherwise known as, fresh content!

Free... and Easy?  Maybe not.  Cost effective?  Yes!

If you choose to make use of the amazing power of social media for your personal or professional life, hang on to your hats (black or white).  If you don't stay on top of it, you'll miss out on all the fun.  I remind myself that it's free (and being a solopreneur that's great for the balance sheet) so what do I really have to complain about? 

The key is to focus.  Along with the changes in my favorites there are always new 'cool' interfaces that crop up every day.  It's like being in Disney World.  You've got to do it methodically or you'll wind up wandering aimlessly or standing in lines one after the other and never actually enjoy the ride.  Just remember, as your stomach races up to your throat with the latest 'death drop', not far behind is that exhilarating adrenalin rush that comes from surviving the plunge.

So, I'm off now to make sure I haven't over optimized my website and maybe add some fresh content while I'm at it.  Happy Socializing!