Leaving Blog Readers in a Bottomless Scrolling Pit

Many blogs have begun using the infinite scroll which means their blog posts go on endlessly, bottomless. It may be good for keeping people reading your site longer, preventing bounces. But… please throw your readers a lifeline – add a link back to the top of your site.

I was reading WP Decoder earlier and sent a note:

With infinite scrolling it would also be nice if people provided a floating link to get back to the top/ start. I wanted to look for your Twitter link after reading far down your bottomless posts. (I was in 2013). Not everyone knows basic things like keyboard shortcuts these days.

A floating link is best because it will stick with people as they read. Plus, it jumps around a bit and tends to get noticed.

The Art of Coffee at the Keyboard

Who says you can’t glue yourself to your computer and still have a fancy, hot coffee? We want it all and we want it good. So, I’m coming up with ways to have better coffee, without having to put on your coat and be kind to any others in line at the coffee shop.

Make a Stand

Even the oldest, most worn-looking coffee mug, will look fancier if you put it on a pedestal, a short one. I use an old mouse pad I didn’t want to throw away. It elevates my ordinary coffee to a slightly new level. It also makes coffee circles a quick clean up. Just rinse the mouse pad instead of having to clean things off my desk first.

DIY Coffee Art

Of course you can learn how to do your own coffee art. But, that would take time and more equipment than I have on hand. Instead… use a clear glass coffee mug and add cream (or milk, etc.) slowly. Let it swirl around and create patterns. Don’t stir it until you’ve enjoyed the art.

If that doesn’t work for you go with a coffee doodle. Create your own stencil with your last rejection letter. Once you cut out a shape place the stencil over your coffee mug and let some cocoa powder, or cinnamon drift down. It works better if you don’t drink it black but I’m not telling you how to drink your coffee.

Seasonal Coffee at Home

Add a dash of flare to your coffee with cinnamon, a teaspoon of hot chocolate powder,  a touch of pepper, a lick of salt or little vanilla. Make your own pumpkin spice with actual pumpkin pie spices which you can buy in most grocery stores I’ve ever been in. A bit of extra festivity needed… try liquor. I’ve got whiskey at my desk to add when the coffee gets too cold.

Another idea (if you don’t mind crunchy bits between your teeth) is to add doughnut sprinkles and other small but edible things to the outside lip of your coffee mug.  I don’t highly recommend this. But, I don’t add sugar to my coffee, it may be a great idea for those who do like sweet coffee.

Milk It Up

Heat and then froth your milk. You will need some creativity if you don’t have a frother. A French press pot is nice because it can double as a milk frother (just don’t become a wild and crazy plunger and end up getting it stuck, or breaking the pot). Microwaving the milk does an okay job. Don’t walk away while it’s in there and then remove the milk from the surface (unless that milk clog thing doesn’t bother you).

Frothy milk does change the taste of the coffee. It’s creamier. You can use skim milk and get more froth, likely due to having less fat content in the milk.

Put a Lid on It

I will drink cold coffee, by necessity. I don’t love it. Somehow, coffee gets much colder, faster, at my computer desk than it does any where else in the house. I’ve tested this theory countless times.

I tried buying fancier coffee mugs, those thermal types with take-out coffee lids. They didn’t make much difference and they were a nuisance to wash since they are not dishwasher happy. Instead, I now put a lid over my coffee. Any bit of paper works well. An entire letter still in the envelope does a better job and it gives me something to do with the bills I don’t want to open yet.

Another plus side to having a lid – it keeps the bugs out. I admit I have ignored the odd tiny floating fly when I really did want to finish my coffee, but those occasions were rare. Likely there were more occasions when I just didn’t notice the little floaty thing or it sank… well do you really want to go into the details?

coffeeart

Now you have some ideas to help you with your coffee while you write away at the computer. Hope this helps!

Note: I don’t know the source for this image. I found it on another site which had reposted a lot of images. It just suits this post so well. 

Describing Sounds to the Deaf

How would you describe a sound to someone born deaf?

Think about explaining how your alarm clock sounds. How does a cat’s meow sound? What sound does your keyboard make when you type? Simple things to people who have heard sounds before.

What can you hear right now? What little sounds are going on around you, unnoticed?

Pick one sound in particular. Describe that sound for someone who has never heard anything.

It helps to consider your other senses:

Frying bacon sounds like ants running up your arm. Little sizzles and tingles the odd pop and snap as they tickle your skin.

Turning a page in a book sounds like brushing your hair. Feeling the brush move through your hair softly, smoothly.

Try it!

 

JustWriteIt 30-Day Writing Challenge

Work with whatever gets your keyboard tapping. This one is for Harlequin. Does it help to have a tight deadline, an end goal closing in?
Capture

 

We’ve got something special for this month’s Just Write It challenge. For the month of July, we’ll be partnering with Harlequin in support of their So You Think You Can Write contest. This annual writing contest from one of the world’s leading publishers comes with a huge prize: the chance to get your story published with Harlequin!

Source: JustWriteIt 30-Day Writing Challenge – Wattpad

Some Motivation Required

What motivates you to write? Some would say the need for money. But, you could do something else and make more money, likely easier too. Money is a motivator, sure. But, what keeps you from giving up? What gets you typing on your keyboard (or picking up a pen) even on days you could be doing something else, like procrastinating?

Knowing your motivation makes it a lot easier to find on the days you need it.
exercise1 exercise2 exercise3Source: Some Motivation Required Shark Remix – Shirt.Woot

The shark is my favourite. All the designs were sold out when I found the site. But, they are likely to have more when sales are going well.

Clear Your Head Before Writing?

CaptureI flushed this as a spam comment because it was on an old post which had nothing at all to do with the question asked in the comment. But, just before I clicked the magic button… I cut the actual question so I could paste it in here. See below:

I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.

I don’t centre myself before I begin to write anything. That would not work for me at all. If I am at peace, confident and comfortable I’d never get anywhere.

Writing has to have some discontent behind it. You can be right pissed off or just mildly bothered, but there has to be some disturbance in your force to get your words started.

If I write when I am content I will think too much. I’ll think about what a loser I am in many assorted ways. I knock myself down, run over myself a few times and then think someone else would be a much smarter choice to write about whatever I was set to write about. A writer full of self-confidence is probably the world’s biggest fraud.

Instead it is all of us who feel like frauds even as we put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. That’s just the way it needs to be. A content writer who really believes he or she is great will not be someone with human empathy and failings.

So, no, right from the start, getting centred is just not the way to go.

I try to trick myself into writing. That works.

Start writing before you’re ready, before you have a plan or know how you want to start. Just start.

Later you can muck around and perfect it. Don’t perfect the life out of it though. Don’t get lost in perfecting it and lose track of your deadline and the actual point of getting it done and letting it go.

If you are one of those writers who feels confident and content (bless you) put a tack on your chair, something to at least make you uncomfortable enough to write something.

Does Penmanship Still Count?

We type on the keyboard and now and then pick up a pen for a quick note. Not so long ago we were more likely to hand write than pull out a typewriter to bang out a note on that keyboard. Older typewriters require some force behind fingers.

I miss hand writing. I keep noticing how much less controlled and sloppy looking my handwriting is becoming. Does handwriting still matter to anyone? Did you know schools are not teaching cursive writing any longer? My niece told me about this and asked me to teach her how to write. How strange will the world be when the generation of young people comes who are no longer taught how to write, or print, at all?

You may laugh and think this is silly… but in my generation I won penmanship awards for my cursive script writing. That wasn’t so long ago, considering I’m still far from being a century old.

Letter Writers Alliance: Penmanship Pointers

Paperpenalia: Tips to Improve your Handwriting