I've been neglecting my blog. Poor, sad blog. No excuse other than sometimes Everything Else just gets in the way.
We've been having a very entertaining Snowpocalypse 2011 (or Snomageddon, or SNOMG! or Snoway we're getting out of here.) I hope if you've been hit by the Storm of the Century, or its icy hangerson, that you've got entreperneurial neighborhood youth to dig you out.
Meanwhile, I've been collecting tabs in browsers for an entire week and at this point they are becoming overwhelming. They are each likely deserving of their own dedicated blog post, but alas, at this time they're just going to go in a jumble here with some editorial commentary by me. Perhaps I'll revisit the biggest of them in future posts. That might break me of the "must have something IMPORTANT to say" problem that impedes my blogging in general.
- Figment is a possible solution to an imaginary problem I do not have yet. You see, I write books (hopefully you know this by now.) I haven't yet published any of my books but I am trying. I am starting to lean towards indie publishing my own books as ebooks, something I can do on kindle, nook, etc. on my own (and which I already have done with my short story Apples on the Moon.) But I write young adult science fiction. It's not clear to me yet that YA readers are using kindles and nooks, although most by now have a smartphone. At any rate, figment is an online community where young adult readers and writers can collect and share. Is this a place where I can hook into the YA reading community a bit better? (And, bonus, perhaps find some fun stuff written by actual young adults? Awesome.) A big part of why I write is because of these people, these young adults. So I'm excited about the possibilities of Figment. I'm there under my author name, Karen T. Smith.
- I'm completely addicted to Pandora Radio. Right now Five for Fighting is playing on my Coldplay mix. And I've created an awesome Goo Goo Dolls/Mumford and Sons/30 Seconds to Mars crazy mashup channel. Love it. The programmers who write the algorithms are genius. I hope iTunes is paying them well, because I end up buying about 1 out of ever 10 songs I hear... What's on your Pandora radio stations?
- I'm writing a story that features a piano-playing main character, so this page has helped me figure out some common songs she might know. Heaven knows I have played most of these in my piano-playing days, but I'd lost track of most of the classics. Moonlight Sonata was my first recital piece. Fur Elise, my second.
- My friend Levi Montgomery has written a number of novels and novellas. What he writes is not in the genres I read (he writes some pretty cool gritty and real-feeling coming of age stories as well as mystery/thriller types. I'm solidly over in the sci-fi/fantasy/made-up world columns.) You should check out his stuff, though. Zoe Freaking Winters loves his work (she's one of the indie publishing success stories.)
- JA Konrath's blog is totally changing my mind about everything related to publishing. The idea that my writing might actually earn some cash green money within the next 90 days versus "some point in the distant future" is extremely appealing. Still mulling over options, and editing one novel with an eye toward epublishing it myself soonish.
- I was able to coerce entice some friends into splitting a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmshare with me this summer. We're going with Sweet Home Organics, a small community farm very near where we live. I'm excited about trying out the CSA model to see how it works for our family. And thinking about summer produce does do the heart good here in the bottoms of Midwest Winter.
- On the epublishing front, a friend pointed me toward Dreamstime as a source for images. Some lovely things, particularly for us space-minded folk.
- Everyone in my education circles of interest on facebook has been posting this TED talk by Ken Robinson about changing educational paradigms. I'm ashamed to admit I haven't watched it yet. Like voicemail, I find videos to be a black hole of time sink (even when, like this video, it helpfully tells me it's an 11 minute 40 second clip.) Once I fall into the video event horizon, I'm sucked into the vortex. But in my defense, I think I've watched this one before and it really is worth the watch. Even I'll get to it again. Soon.
- Another thing that keeps bubbling up to me via FB friends is this site Quora.com. It bills itself as: "A continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it." Seeing as how one of the things I do primarily in one aspect of my life (breastfeeding support) is to answer questions, I am intrigued. In one of my other areas of life/interest (eLearning and educational software design) I think it's also an interesting direction to go. I'm trying to convince one of my clients that the highest-value thing they could do today is to put up an expert video library (ala the TED talks like the previous bullet) of their experts answering questions. I think it'd be a game-changer in their industry.
- No, I'm not done yet. Have you seen Google's Art Project? I happen to have it open to a page of the Palace of Versailles. Yes, living in my science-fiction life is awesome, where we can do virtual walkthroughs of major museums all over the world from our computer screens (while listening to awesome Mumford and Sons songs on Pandora Radio, no less...)
- Whatever you're doing now, you should take a moment (yes, step away from the blog) and go change this facebook setting. I read through to the original blogger who co-opted 20-40 fb identities while sitting in a Starbucks in NYC. One word: Eek!
- Very interesting BlogHer post about depression, viewing it as a disease, and other insights.
- I was struck, hard, by this blog post by Motherscribe about her son. I've written some similar things before about my beautiful awesome and difficult-to-parent-sometimes daughter. But truthfully, her words resonated with me about ALL of parenting. It's so hard sometimes, and we forget we can use our fingers.
- I really liked this post about The Unhealthy Truth About Our Food. As someone who tries to be thoughtful about our food choices, and feed my family well (real foods, in as close to their natural states as possible) there were a lot of good hooks here.
- Being a geography geek, I found this BBC site that compares sizes of things to be fascinating.
- While some might take issue with the idea of "coming out" with the gifted label as a bit...off-kilter when compared to the issues surrounding gays in coming out to their families and communities, I did like that the article raised the issue of embracing the use of the term gifted, and accepting yourself or your child for themselves. I have found this process to be life-altering and I will likely write about it more in the future.
- This article about how different parenting styles can lead to splitsville for friends was ... very interesting. I don't entirely agree with the author, but I can totally see her point about the Interrupting Child and how aggravating it is to be the OTHER adult in that dynamic. BTDT, they should sell t-shirts.
Oh my gosh, is that IT? Nothing else? Well...nothing else at the moment. Hope you find some gems in there. This internet sure is big!