National Dictionary Day

National Dictionary Day is observed annually on October 16.

National Dictionary Day was created in honor of Noah Webster’s birthday (October 16, 1758) and was set aside as a day to emphasize the importance of learning and using dictionary skills and increasing one’s vocabulary.  Webster is considered the “Father of the American Dictionary”. 

Source: National Day Calendar

Book Clubs in Coffee Shops

I found a site asking Starbucks to add reading clubs/ books to their coffee shops. I think this is backwards. The book sellers need to bring in coffee, not the other way around. Coffee shops don’t have enough seating to really want a group of people hanging around and taking up space.

Smarter for a retail book seller to provide the coffee, books and space. Why don’t they evolve a room for public events? Make it cosy and enclose it (with glass doors to keep out sound but leave everyone a view). The store could promote the local book clubs. Offer members a discount on whatever the upcoming book is (and make sure they have it in stock ahead of time too).

The big chain book stores here (in Ontario) do have a coffee shop attached to them, a Starbucks. But, they don’t go the extra step of giving it a local group appeal. There isn’t enough seating and people are discouraged about shopping between the stores, due to theft, vandalism and accidents.

What do you think?

Poetic Descriptions Save Space

I’ve noticed a lack of descriptions in print published fiction lately. Maybe they are already trying to write the screen/ script version of their story and expect descriptions of places and people will be covered by the set designers, costume designers and so on. The lack of descriptions is disappointing. Yet, it fits with the disposable, temporary and fast fry sort of culture we have these days.

I can remember reading descriptions I sank into, as a fiction reader. Descriptions which bloomed into an entire story, not just the background or setting for the events taking place. Characters who really had character rather than fast paced, smart-mouthed dialogue.

So, when I read this post about flash fiction I did not expect to see poetic descriptions encouraged. But, I was very glad to read it and pass along the advice.

A good, poetic description is not wordy. It’s wordful – think mindfulness for words.

Poetic Descriptions Save Space

Poetic skill is a great tool to have in your arsenal. With it, you can capture memorable moments in a few words, while simultaneously conveying deeper levels of meaning. The English language is filled with nuances and subtleties that even the best poet can’t get a handle on. Take a chance and write some poetry in your pieces.

Source: Flash Novels: The Future of Fantasy Fiction?

Write a great description. Pick something ordinary or fantastical and see if you can find the words, while avoiding long sentence length.

WordPress Calendar Plugins

I wanted a holiday calendar. I did not find anything which really did what I wanted. (Just a simple way to keep track of holidays and all those odd international and national days for odd, but interesting and sometimes relevant, things). But, today I found a new list of reviews. Quite sure I have already looked at most of them, but there might be something new.

Chronosly looks good but it has a lot of features I don’t need and that could make it complicated to work with when I just want something simple.

I’d recommend The Events Calendar (Pro, or not) for most people who want a way to list or track events. The developers were quick to write back when I had a question when I tried the plugin earlier. It has good features and I might try it again. Last time it wasn’t quite right for me but I know it hasn’t been left to stagnate in the mean time.

Premium Calendar Plugins

  • Events Calendar Pro
  • Community Events
  • Facebook Events
  • Event Calendar WD
  • EventOn WordPress Event Calendar
  • Business Calendar – WordPress Internal Calendar
  • WordPress Pro Event Calendar
  • Sugar Event Calendar
  • StacheThemes Event Calendar

Free Calendar Plugins

  • Google Calendar Events
  • The Events Calendar
  • Chronosly Events Calendar
  • All-in-One Event Calendar
  • My Calendar

List via  wpmayor.com – Best Calendar Plugins for WordPress (2016).

Plan a Hoax

Invent a hoax. Plan to fool the world, or at least your family and friends.

From the Shroud of Turin to the Patagonian giants these are 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World. You might just recognize some of them. A hoax is a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, rumors, urban legends, pseudosciences, or April Fools’ Day events that are passed along in good faith or as jokes. Even if you weren’t aware of its meaning it’s almost certain you’re aware of some of the most famous and “successful” hoaxes. Some have even managed to fool millions of people and last for ages or even decades. Take the Loch Ness monster for example. It may be easy for us to understand how a photograph can be manipulated (after all, photoshop skills are not that uncommon anymore), but for people back then, a photo manipulation was not something easily done.

 However, there have been countless hoaxes throughout history. You might have heard of a few of them. These are 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World.

list25.comSource: 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World

Message in a Bottle Delayed

messageinabottleSource: 25 Incredible Stories From The World Of Ships, Boats, And Sailors

Pretty unbelievable. One of those things you would guess as false and yet wonder if it’s just odd enough to be true.

Imagine you found (by some long chain of events) a message in a bottle from a long forgotten relative. Just as in this case,  written as he or she was dying then left to be found. You could create a whole story about how the message was left but lost and wandered around for centuries only found by some odd mixture of events. It wouldn’t need to be a message in a bottle. It could be found in a time capsule. It could have been under the floor boards of an old house being demolished. So many options to choose from or invent.

Write the story, from start to finish, all the places and people who became involved in that old message along the way.

Since 2000… Can you Tell

This is a screen capture from a therapy clinic in Ontario. I’ve never seen anyone put a happy couple photo up like this. I think it’s a great idea for a small business, especially something intimate like a therapist. I’m posting about it for the people who work in web publishing and for the writers…

since2000

What story could you tell about this couple from their photos? Are they a happy couple? What does the body language look like to you? How have the years since 2000 been for them? What hardships and great events have they come through, together still?
Source: Newmarket Massage Therapy Clinic – Newmarket

18 Personal Service Home Business Ideas

home biz ideas

Personal Concierge

People who run their own home based business as a personal shopper, running errands for other people, are also known as a concierge service. Concierge are the people who work in fancy hotels, making sure the guest have all the extras they need. The concierge would book tours, order them a taxi or a limousine, whatever comes up. It’s a wonderful thing to have someone you can count on to help you with the little extras, if you have a lot on your plate, need help and can afford to pay for it.

Photographer

Take photos of people at events. Photograph pets for their owners. Learn a little more about light and shadows then look for work as a professional photographer. You don’t need the expense of your own darkroom or developing film now so photography can be a simple home business.

Event Planner

Weddings, family reunions, local business events, there are endless events going on all the time if you track down the sources. Talk to a veteran event planner and see if you can apprentice while you get the hang of things and build your list of contacts and sources for cakes, flowers, party supplies and etc.

Local Newsletter Publisher

Your local area may already have a local newsletter, distributed in stores and other businesses in the area. If so, consider formatting your newsletter online instead. But, gather businesses who want to reach more customers and provide the content to fill the newsletter with news, tips, stories, events, and ads.

Packing and Unpacking Service

Not only can you work with real estate agents to provide a welcome to new people moving into the neighbourhood but you can offer your own service to help people pack to move or unpack when they move into their new house.

Pet Sitter/ Walker

If you like animals offer to pet sit for the evening or a weekend (or longer if you are able to). This may be in your own home or you may come to the home of the animal. If you can, offer extras like pet grooming.

Yard Work

Whether it’s raking leaves, shovelling snow, cleaning a pool for Spring… there is always outside yard work to be done.

Internet Services

Building a website is not the job it used to be. These days you can spend some time learning the software and put up a finished site in an hour. Not everyone wants to do this however and those people will pay to have someone do it for them. You can also set up their online portfolio with social media accounts. Offer Internet lessons to teach them how to use social media and update their site too.

Tutoring

What’s your best subject? Offer your services to parents with school children who need some extra help and your expertise. English, math, science… but don’t forget piano playing, sewing and other skills you have.

Collectibles

The idea isn’t to build up a collection for yourself but to find and add to the collections of others. Pick items which you have an interest in and know something about then search for them online, in second hand shops and from other collectors who may want to sell. Connect yourself to people who collect and want what you can find for them.

Graffiti Removal

Here, a local business is told to remove graffiti within a specified amount of days. This is left for the business owner to do and if it is not removed in time the city will fine them. So, graffiti, especially when it continues over time, is a problem and a headache. Watch for the businesses which tend to be hit and offer to clean it up. You could even get a contract to come out weekly and take that headache away for them.

Local Tours

Your town will have something interesting to see. Even if you can’t think of anything, there is a reason people are coming to your town. Find it. Offer yourself as tour guide and then… go a bit farther. Offer a walking tour of your town and talk about the history, the paranormal, the UFOs, the ghosts and hauntings. Work with people who run local events, have a bed and breakfast or other tourist related businesses – don’t forget great sources like the local library and museum too.

Home Staging

You may not want to clean someone;s house but you could help set up homes for sale. Look at their curb appeal, see what could be touched up and make to look better for the sale inside and outside too.

Personal Chef

Not a caterer who cooks for parties and events, but a personal chef who cooks for a family (or someone alone and needing a specific diet). You do the shopping and cook it too. Preparation could be at your own home but the idea is to serve the food hot in their home.

Clothing Repair

Can you sew? People need cuffs hemmed, buttons sewn on and rips and tears repaired. If you can do alterations add that to your list of services.

Bookkeeping

Even with the software out there to make keeping books easier, someone still needs to pull it all together on a regular basis. You could have a few businesses (even other home businesses) who you visit weekly to gather the paperwork, sort it out and enter it into the system.

Office Plant Maintenance

Find which businesses keep plants and offer your service to maintain them: water, prune them and fertilize.

Elder Care

Seniors living alone need company and help with things like running errands and organizing.