Project 52: Self Portraits

Frankly, I don’t like other people taking my picture. For some reason, their primary concern with the shot is not making sure my eyes sparkle and my double-chin is hidden.

I’ve only ever done arms-length or reflective self-portraiture. I’m becoming much more at peace with my tripod and my wonderful husband got me a remote shutter release for Christmas which opens up a world of new possibilities.

Daily Window: Tag Archives: Project 52.

Exploring the art of the self portrait. Different themes, styles and ideas for taking a photo of yourself, once a week, for a year.

What could you learn about yourself by getting closer to your own face, shape, light and shadow?

Keep an Image in your Sidebar

Even if you don’t use an image with each post you should have some kind of image on your site that represents you (and your site).

I’ve been working on Scoop.It (and lately on Snip.It too) as a content curator for a few topics. One thing I have noticed is how often I can’t get an image to go along with the post I’m making. When there is an image with the post I’m linking to I can usually add it to the post I create. Sometimes the only images which come up are nothing relevant, or just a link to the site’s page on Twitter, Facebook or other social media. Not something which illustrates the post they have made. As a last resort I will use the site’s own graphic for link backs rather than have no graphic/ image at all.

It should be simple enough to stick up an image which lets people link back to your site. Whether the image is used to link back to your site in a list of links or to link back to a specific post being referenced, it helps to draw the eye of readers when you get a link from another site.

Just add the image to your sidebar. You can add the code to link back to your site, or have it linked to your About page. There are other good options but those are the two I thought of first.

If you’re curious… these are the topics I’m curating at the moment. Subject to change as I weed out my ideas, focus on the topics I really want to spend time on and see which of them generate interest in others/ readers. Nothing is so simple as just collecting content to please yourself. I think we all need to keep our ideas growing and we all look for that tiny smattering of applause in some form.

Scoop.it:

Rural Exploration
Urban Exploration
Creative Writing Inspiration
ASCII Art

Snip.it
I’m working on personal interest ideas on Snip.it. They aren’t as developed as I’d like yet but Snip.it is growing on me and, as a site to work with, they are great. Very interested in performance, ideas and the people who join up. It’s a small network that could become important if they can keep it from the sploggers and others like them.

White Girl Problems

Problems that only stereotypical middle to upper class white girls seem to encounter. To the untrained eye these problems might seem like a symptom of being spoiled, ungrateful, and overly obsessed with superficial appearances and material possessions. The truth is though life is like really hard.

via Urban Dictionary: white girl problems. Write a few white girl problems of your own. (The secret is not to take it seriously).

  • I lost one of my favourite dangly earrings. Now I have an earring orphan to look after!
  • A thread was hanging from my sweater… is this a sign of a much deeper issue?
  • I get a new toothbrush every day so I never have to think about how old they are.
  • I can only do day trips. I need a lot more supplies for an over night trip, just the thought of packing up all that stuff makes me want to stay home.
  • Sometimes I forget which is the instant camera so I always pull out the memory stick before I throw it away, just to be safe.
  • If people really knew how much it hurts me they would stop calling my dog a rat!
  • I shaved my dog cause she wouldn’t stop shedding all over my clothes.
  • I used a whole can of bug spray before I realized it was just a dust bunny.

Extra links:

Twitter:

Copycats on Twitter – Still active and good too.

Write a Drabble?

What’s a drabble?

A drabble is a fiction story that’s exactly 100 words long.

via TheRecord – Winners named in WLU drabble competition.

My brother has always been part of my life. Years of co-conspirators, fart jokes and hockey against the garage door. One day he became a man, not my same old brother any more. Until he makes me laugh with fantastic foreign accents and really clever commentary about life, religion and other things not so politically correct.

I want a happy life for my brother. With someone he can work with, laugh with and care for. Not some perfect, cute, young couple from a storybook or magazine. Real people, who come from different, individual lives and create a new family, together.

Happy Wedding and Best Wishes for a Great Marriage to my brother who was married yesterday!

History on the Bricks

The history of these students and families is etched into the exterior bricks of the old one-room school house.  For the residents of Langford, the bricks of the Langford School were a significant historical record of the community.

via Active History on the Grand: History and Bricks | ActiveHistory.ca.

Have you ever written your name and the date on a building or etched it into a table or tree? It’s funny that we consider that vandalism when it’s done and yet, years and years later, it becomes history and part of our heritage. In time even vandalism has value.

What would you write on a brick, beyond your name and the year? Consider someone reading it in a hundred, even five hundred years from now. How different the world will be and yet there will be the brick you wrote on, still the same. Even if the building is dismantled they tend to reuse bricks now. The older bricks are better made versus the hollow bricks made more recently.

Hand Written Customer Thank You Notes

The first sale is so exciting! Now once you have calmed down, check out the transaction page and make sure your buyer has paid. Package up your item and get it ready to ship (a hand written thank you note is always good customer service!). Send your buyer a quick little convo (or conversation)  thanking them for their purchase and letting them know when you are going to ship.

via A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Shop on Etsy | The Etsy Blog.

A basic thank you goes a long way. I haven’t done a lot of shopping online but each time I am impressed and get a little happy feeling when there is a note from the seller. Not something that feels like a form letter or too short and not so sweet, but something that makes it seem they connected with me in some small way. You can give that connection in one sentence. You need to find something to connect with, something you have in common.

You already have something in common if you are selling something the buyer wanted. Whether it’s a handmade craft, a book, or a service by selling something you create yourself as an authority on whatever the topic is. So just add something related to your note. A tip about using the service. Another book in the series or one due out later in the year by the same author. Information and resources about the craft or art involved in making the product they bought from you. Pretty simple if you think about it and well worth it to put some time into thinking about.

Further resources for starting an online store:

Small Controversies can Unstick your Writing

There are certain topics everybody knows are going to start a fight – politics, religion, abortion, video game consoles – important things like that.

But there’s a lot of topics not on the standard hot-button list that are guaranteed to stir a forum thread into a white-hot frenzy. Topics that you would think people could disagree on reasonably, like dog poop disposal or tipping, that somehow drive people to threaten physical violence.

via 6 Innocent-Sounding Topics That Are Guaranteed Flame Wars | Cracked.com.

You may not want a flame war to deal with but something like a small controversial issue is a good topic to write about when you feel stuck without inspiration.

Everyone has an opinion and the issue is not on such a massive scale that people will feel threatened or insecure in adding their own viewpoint. Some topics are too big, too controversial or too full of political correctness to allow anyone to be honest. It’s more fun to write about declawing a cat than what you feel about abortion, the death penalty, religion or homosexuality.

Do You Use Captions?

4. Use deep captions.

Studies have shown that image captions are consistently some of the most-read copy on a page. Try pairing a strong image with a “deep caption.”

Deep captions are two to three sentences long. That’s long enough to intrigue your reader to dig in to your whole article.

via 8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content | Copyblogger.

I don’t use captions on my illustrations. I guess it’s mainly laziness. I know I tend to read them when I see them on another site. Sometimes it’s just a note to credit the source of the illustration. But, that information can be at the end of the post/ article instead. Adding a caption is making good use of a feature available with WordPress blogs. Do you use captions?

Sort of Taking a Break

I haven’t been writing so much of my own unique content lately. I will get back to it. My excuse is twofold: family weddings (2 of them) and just plain needing a break.

Also, an interest in blogging as a content curator versus writing all the content yourself. I prefer being the brains behind my own blog but I admit it is nice to take a break and let the voices of others have a say for awhile. It’s also a great way to pick up more ideas, gather information and mix the resources you find into something new and interesting. It’s a great way to form opinions and pull together ideas.

So that’s my excuse for being a bit on the slack side lately. The second wedding is this weekend, just before our Canadian Thanksgiving which is on Monday.