Miranda, The Ghost Next Door

miranda1I read a book about a ghost named Miranda, when I was about 12, and I’ve been haunted by it ever since. I could not remember the title, the author or anything else very helpful. But, it seems I had a lot more in my mental storage than I thought.

On impulse I searched for “Miranda ghost book” today and I found it! I was sure it was the same book as soon as I saw the book cover! I felt that connection to myself from so long ago. I remember how I felt then. A feeling of loss, sadness and the drive to never forget Miranda. I even decided I would name my first daughter, Miranda. (I never had a daughter but today I’ve read at least two other women named their daughter Miranda based on this book).

The book was written by Wylly Folk St. John and is titled The Ghost Next Door.

The best place to read more about Wylly Folk St. John was all the blog posts and photos from  Elizabeth Harper, her great-niece.

I don’t have a clear memory of the facts from the story but all the feelings are still there. Looking into the book again today the feelings are coming back, almost as fresh as the day I turned the last page when I was reading the book.

The book seems to be out of print now. Maybe the publishers thought the story had become too dated to sell. There is another edition but it lacks the illustration from Trina Schart Hyman.

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GoodReads: Wylly Folk St. John

GoodReads: The Ghost Next Door

Sherry Alston had never been told about her dead half-sister Miranda. So when Sherry came to visit her Aunt Judith, no one could explain the odd things that started to happen. Who was the elusive friend Sherry said she saw in the garden? Was she an imaginary playmate – or could she be the ghost of Miranda who had drowned in the pond years ago? Uncanny reminders of Miranda began to turn up – a blue rose, a lost riding whip…

Wylly Folk St. John’s house has been preserved as part of the historic preservation society.

Amazon: Wylly Folk St. John

Disney made her Secrets of the Pirates’ Inn into a TV movie. I found the full movie (1969) on YouTube.

A Better Display of Categories

I often get ideas from seeing things on other sites. This time I had two great ideas from How to Write it Better.

First, this idea for showcasing my categories. Instead of the standard flat intdex… why not promote them to the reader this way? On this site it’s posted as an image file and not linking to the categories. But, it could be done with HTML and links. Not difficult and yet very smart. I’m adding it to my to-do list!

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The other thing I like is the post for her email list. Fairly standard really but reading it sparked an idea for me. I content curate offsite, for Scoop.it mainly. But, I don’t really do much with that feed beyond adding a widget in my footer. Instead I could promote it as a source for fresh, daily information. I don’t want to get into newsletters and email lists again. Email seems to be a dead horse. However… why not push my curated feeds this way? I keep them active (if not daily, at least a few times a week). howtowritebetter2

Source: HowToWriteBetter.net | how to write better | Everything you need for great results, whatever you write

So today I found two great ideas from one blog I happened to read a post from today. Pretty nice.

Beware The Phantom of the Opera

I will never forget seeing The Phantom of the Opera in live theatre downtown Toronto years ago with my family. I loved it. The rest of them…. they mocked it and continued to mock the show for weeks afterward. Doesn’t it really bug you when someone else just doesn’t get (understand) something you love? Anyway, that was years ago.

Phantom of the Opera Live on Stage or Creepy on Film?

I don’t think anyone, having heard the music from Phantom of the Opera, will ever really get it out of their head again. The story is one which has been told and retold in endless versions and twists since Beauty and the Beast (likely there was an earlier version before then but we don’t know it).

Does anyone remember the Phantom of the Paradise which starred Paul Williams back in 1974? For me that was far creepier than the Phantom of the Opera performed live at the theatre. But, the theatre was meant to be for all ages. The movie was not. It had all the weirdness of a movie made in the 1970′s and then some. I still remember the feeling of being creeped out more than the movie itself.

I’d like to read the original book by Gaston Leroux.

The sad thing about reading books which were not originally written in English is having to trust the translator not to edit anything while they re-write the book for an English reading audience. No one should buy a book which has been translated without finding out about who did the work and how it was done. So much can be changed depending on standards and ethics at the time. I’d like to read the book as close to the vintage version (with all the signs of the times) left intact.

I’m adding Phantom of the Opera to my list of classic books to be read. It’s a long list but I’m getting there, one book at a time.

Discover Your Personality Type & Write Better

The INFP Writing Personality: Elegant Persuasion

INFPs have a natural aptitude for writing. In exploring this solitary pursuit, you can communicate your deeply held values and experiment with elegant, inventive uses of language. INFPs write best when their imagination is unfettered.

Writing Process of the INFP

INFP Writers:

Work best in a quiet environment where they won’t be interrupted. They like autonomy so they can perfect their writing according to their own high standards.

Prefer writing about personal topics. You may lose your creative drive if the subject isn’t meaningful to you. If so, try taking an angle that allows you to write about your feelings on the topic. Look for ways to connect with readers by anticipating and meeting their needs.

Have a keen insight into the nature of things. Their prose often conveys startling images of mood or atmosphere rather than objects. They enjoy complexity and can patiently unravel dense material. They are able to see many sides of an argument and so may have difficulty reaching a conclusion. During the writing process, they may often pause to consider alternatives or to seek connections between seemingly disparate things.

Potential Blind Spots of the INFP

INFPs may:

Strive for elegance in language and may want to polish the work too soon. INFPs tend to write long, meandering first drafts, so you’ll likely need to synthesize and cut material later. Save the search for that perfect metaphor until the revision stage.

Write in purely abstract terms. INFPs communicate their values and personal vision through their writing. They search for the meaning behind the facts, and so may consider the facts themselves to be of marginal importance. This is not true, however, for most of your readers. During revision, add concrete details. Appeal to the five senses. Include statistics. Incorporate other points of view for balance. Make sure your research backs up your conclusions.

Tend to be sensitive to criticism. Nevertheless, consider showing your work to a trusted friend or colleague before you begin the final draft. This feedback may be especially helpful in focusing your work and ensuring that it includes enough facts to sway your audience to your position.

via Discover Your Personality Type & Write Better Content For Your Website.

If you’ve read this site awhile do you think this describes the way I write?

I do. However, there is the danger of perception. Reading horoscopes/ predictions should be a communications science.

Use caution when reading predictions and forecasts. I think you need to read them as a skeptic not a full believer, especially when you want to believe what you read.

Don’t Apologize for Reading

Jade Walker posted a quote I really liked today:

“[D]on’t ever apologize to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologize to this author for buying books second hand, or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read…” –Neil Gaiman

Are you Sure your Site is Readable?

CaptureOutbrain Inc | 5 Creative Marketing Ideas for Your Smal….

I found a link to this post on another site. I went to the source to read more… However, it is almost unreadable.

I actually did not even try to skim this. Yes, I am no longer reading with the eyeballs of a 20 year old. A site should be readable for anyone, of any type of vision. (Blind people use technology to read on the web so they may find it easier to read this post than I have).

For me trying to read this post is a chore.

If you hope to get your ideas read make them easy to read – readable. Even if it seems a bit too far for you, it may be just what someone else needs. You already know what you wrote but someone else is starting from scratch.

Chopped Blog Posts are Frustrating!

I really am getting to hate these kind of chopped blog posts. You can’t see the full post without clicking next and next and next and next… until you get through all the points. Seldom can I find an option to read the full post, on one page all the points together. I far prefer this option. I am frustrated and annoyed with articles which require me to open more posts to read each point. Who started this idiot idea?!!

Most often I read the first point. When I notice it is yet another chopped up article/ post I tend to stop reading. Too often the rest of the points are more filler than real content worth reading. If there was something worth reading they wouldn’t be playing games with the reader.

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Buying and Selling Ads at Project Wonderful

Originally posted to HubPages, 2012.

I’ve been a member of Project Wonderful for more than 5 years.

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You can begin running ads on your site/ blog without investing a cent. Publishing ads (as a publisher) is easier than starting to run ads for your own site (as an Advertiser). But, it’s interesting to create your ad campaigns and get more involved with selling ads as you get the hang of the Project Wonderful network.

If you do have any problem on the site, try the help section. But, Project Wonderful isgreat for giving real time support and feedback to anyone who contacts the site. This is one huge plus point in their favour.

This is what a Project Wonderful 125X125 Ad Looks Like on your Site

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Publishing Ads with Project Wonderful

Start by putting the code on your site. Wait for advertisers to begin picking your site to run their ads on. Then select the ads you want to run. You can investigate the ads and the products they want to sell. Just click on the ad before you accept it. I like to make sure the product being sold isn’t something I would find disagreeable. In the early years of Project Wonderful there were some spammy ads. I haven’t found that to be a problem these days.

Advertising on Project Wonderful

As an advertiser with Project Wonderful you don’t need to spend big money getting started. Ads can run for as low as one cent. You can even run your ads on sites which accept free ads.

I don’t run a lot of ads for my own sites. Most of the time I let the money I make build up and then I will run a few ads until I’ve spent about half of the money I made by just letting ads appear on my own site. In this way, Project Wonderful can be used without spending anything of your own money. If you want to spend money on running a lot of ads, of course, you can do that.

Read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Get started at Project Wonderful by clicking here and reading the FAQs on the site. If you need extra help send in a note through the site. They will give you any help you need to get started buying and selling ads on your blog or site.