by edward | Jul 20, 2019 | Tools, Writing
Jeff Parish Library Workshop, just before the meeting of the RWA chapter
Jeff Parish Library Workshop
I had the privilege of speaking at the Jefferson Parish Public Library (East Bank Regional Branch) this morning. This Jeff Parish Library workshop was titled, The Importance of Author Websites.
The top-level topics of the talk:
- What is your goal? – you need to have an idea of where you’re going with this.
- Domain names and hosting – get YourName dot com at a minimum.
- Content Management with WordPress – It’s the easiest way to do this.
- Design – logos, banners, book covers, images/art, specific fonts
- Content – write! fire up the blogging!
- eCommerce – It’s OK to punt sales to Amazon and your publisher. There are ways to sell your own stuff (books and book-related merchandise) from a WordPress site.
- Connections – Start everything from your blog. Syndicate your blog to Amazon Author’s page and your Goodreads author page. Push your blog posts out to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr
- Personal Networking – promote your friends who are writers, as well as local booksellers, podcasters, and others.
- Search Engines – spread the word about your blog.
- Have Fun!
We went a bit over the time Chris set for us, but the group had fun, and that’s what it’s all about.
You can download the PPT file of the presentation here. This was a good talk, so we’ll likely jump off into some specific blog posts about this stuff. If anyone wants to discuss something in detail, find me on Facebook, or email me.
We did the “live” thing again today. I’ve got it sorted out now. You can click through and watch the entire presentation on my Edward Branley’s Author Page on the Book of Zucker. I don’t know which of Facebook and YouTube is the “lesser evil,” but I’m good with using Facebook Live for now. Fewer crazies and such there. YouTube is such a sewer.
Several folks asked after the wallpaper on my computer. Here’s the story.
by edward | Jul 9, 2019 | Time Management, Tools
How I use my BuJo Weekly Layout (Part 2 of Bullet Journaling)
BuJo: my weekly layout format
BuJo Weekly Layout
In Part 1, y’all learned how I came to BuJo as a time management/organization system. “Minimalist” characterizes my approach. At first, I started the ABC/123 of Franklin-Covey, but gave up on it quickly. I wanted a to-do list. I wanted to prioritize it. If I didn’t sit down and set it up one day, I didn’t want my planner to shame me. BuJo gets me.
A comfortable place for a daily to-do was a great start. Then I followed some of the BuJo groups on the Book of Zucker. Many members of these groups possess much more artistic ability than I. Their work challenged me to “do more” with my BuJo. I’m not the type to embellish my BuJo with drawings in the margins, etc. I do like color, though. So, I looked at layouts and spreads and templates.
Then my friend Grey posted a pic of her weekly template. I fell in love with it immediately. It offered structure and coordination beyond a daily list. Here’s the breakdown.
I start the week on Monday, in the BuJo and on Gcal. I like to indicate the week of the year, because my European colleagues regularly refer to “Week X” or “Week Y” when discussing projects and milestones.
Color appeared in my monthly calendar early. I usually have four pens in my bag, with blue, black, purple, and red ink. Sometimes the blue gets switched out for green. The calendar contained up to four colors: current month dates (black), current week dates (red), previous month (blue or green), next month (purple). This was before the Prismacolor set.
Essentially traditional, Monday to Sunday. The idea here is to force me to sync up Gcal with the BuJo on a Monday morning. BuJo notes transform into Gcal events/appointments. The engagement starts on the BuJo, since it’s easy to jot something down. Note on daily becomes item on next week becomes Gcal.
Master Task List
One of the features of the Franklin-Covey system I’ve always appreciated is the “Master Task List.” The F-C idea is, you put down all your tasks/to-dos. Then you designate them A-B-C, and prioritize within those larger designations.
We kick tasks down the road. When we do, they fall to “C”, and low in that pecking order. F-C recognizes this. After kicking the can a few days, the task moves to the “master task list.” When you have fewer tasks on a particular day, pick up something from the master list.
The sections at the bottom of the weekly layout are a take on the Master Task List. Some of the items are time-sensitive (podcast production, for example). They receive a “M” or other day notation. Others are flexible. I might not right something for a particular project on Monday. Then Tuesday becomes a hot mess. The writing moves to Wednesday. Maybe. Things move to next week if they’re not done. I should expand this to a master task list at some point.
Daily page from my BuJo
As mentioned earlier, the early BuJo presented in monochrome. I wrote a day/date in black, then to-dos kept going. Red joined in as emphasis for scheduled items and important tasks. Then tasks morphed into purple, notes later in the day in black.
Enter my Prismacolor pencil set. I occasionally color, part of the “adult coloring” fad. I extended that to the BuJo. Color is pure whimsy. Date numbers for the current week still appear in a shade of read, for the most part. Otherwise, it’s whatever mood strikes me!
Is BuJo right for you?
Give it a try for a week. Buy the book, if you’re inspired. Check out some of the Zuckerd00d groups. Let’s talk about it all!
by edward | Jul 8, 2019 | Time Management, Tools, Writing
Staying flexible with bullet journaling
Ryder Carroll’s book
I make attempts to keep organized. For the last couple of years, those attempts revolve around using a “bullet journal.” Bullet Journaling got its name and start from a blogger, Ryder Carroll. Carroll turned the concept into a book, The Bullet Journal Method.
How I came to BuJo
I’ve used a number of different systems, programs, websites, and apps for task and time management over the years. The one thing I got very serious (and consistent in its use) was the Franklin-Covey Method, using their Day Planners. Back in the late 1980s, I had the privilege of doing contract work at a local office of an oil/gas company. Their HR department brought in a Franklin Institute trainer to do a couple of professional development seminars. I was invited to attend. I bought into the Franklin Day Planner hook, line, and sinker, and used it for about fifteen years.
Reconciling paper and electronic
This was a huge challenge for me. I liked my Franklin Day Planner, but the company focused most of their electronic offerings and effort on add-ins for Microsoft Outlook. Since I use Linux more than I do Windows, this presented problems. I needed something to work on my Linux desktop. A number of companies offer open source planning/scheduling/task applications. Franklin-Covey created the “ABC/123” and combined it with the “7 Habits” philosophy. These are proprietary. So, using something that wasn’t Franklin-Covey created gaps.
Locked into the system
I’m not as organized as I could be. My day planner often had blanks for a week at a time. The Franklin-Covey systems offer the pre-printed packs, six months or a year at a time. But what if you need two or three pages for a single day? They offer blank pages, some even matching the pretty theme (I loved “Monticello”) you used in your binder.All that added up to some righteous dollars.
Something more flexible
Between the cost of “filler” packs, “expansion” pages, and subscriptions to on-line services, using Franklin-Covey becomes a commitment. That’s all fine and dandy, until you look at your binder and all those empty pages for the last two weeks. So, I drifted away from the company. Other apps offered to-do list function. Some even had web-based and mobile versions. This was good, right up until the app company got bought out by somebody bigger.
Enter Bullet Journaling (BuJo)
“Minimalist” in a basic notebook
That’s where Bullet Journaling (BuJo) came in. I learned of the concept from the lovely and talented Lady Duchess of the Red Pen, Dara Rochlin. Dara is a list-maker. When we’re in the midst of a writing project (she edits my books), I’m on multiple lists. Bullet Journaling offered Dara a method to organize her prolific lists. It didn’t do all that much for me, at first. I mourned the loss of my “ABC/123” structure.
I discovered that BuJo isn’t a “system” like Franklin-Covey, or Outlook, or any other commercial product. The primary principle of BuJo is that you can use any sort of notebook. You’ve sunk money into a Franklin-Covey binder? Buy blank pages that fit it and BuJo on them. You like basic, student, spiral notebooks? Do that. I like the Moleskine style notebooks. I use them for writing projects. An excuse to buy another notebook? I’m there.
So, I dedicated a Moleskine as a replacement for my day planner. At first, I didn’t do anything fancy, just put the date/day on the top of a page, list to-dos, then add notes on how things worked out. Phone call? Text? Note it below the to-do. Need more space? Keep going to the next page. Writing snippet? put it in the BuJo. Sometimes I’ll just take a pic of the snippet and post it to Instagram.
Expanding the concept
Dara found a number of Facebook groups where people share BuJo ideas. I looked into them. The “minimalist” concepts and designs offered me what I wanted. When my friend Grey posted a photo of her weekly planner layout, I was hooked. We’ll go into that layout in Part 2.
by edward | Jul 2, 2019 | Talents, Writing
Pincord dresses are classic New Orleans Summer
Elizabeth McKay Harriet Dress in Navy and White Pincord – Country Club Prep
Every spring, there comes a warm day when Southern gentlemen and women head to the closet and pull out something seersucker. While Seersucker is considered classic “Old South”, I personally prefer pincord. There’s something about a pincord dress or suit that feels more New Orleans to me.
Pincord and the Uptown Girl
Brooks Stirling Sumner, “Silver” to her friends, is one of my characters in Trusted Talents, the second novel in the “Bayou Talents” series. Silver’s story is a fascinating one, and suffice to say, she’ll figure prominently as the series goes forward. Silver is a 28yo former queen of one of the “old-line” Carnival krewes. She comes from money and privilege.
Silver is a running-yoga-pilates person, She cycles when she can, leaving the car in the garage of her condo building. Her wardrobe is, for the most part, classic Preppy. So, pincord in the closet makes sense. Classic preppy pleases her mum and grand-mama. Silver’s wild streak conflicts with their ideas, however. Therefore, her pincord dress climbs up the knee. Mum thought she outgrew that stage after graduating from the Academy of the Sacred Heart, but Pilates creates nice legs!
Last week, I threw out a question to my Zuckerd00d friends: do you prefer flip flops or sandals with a back? The responses were mixed. The big knock on flips was the sound of the shoe hitting the foot.
It surprised me that there were no remarks about driving in flip-flops. In the UK, most women opt for sandals with a back, lest the flip get tangled with the pedals when driving. Not a consideration in last week’s thread.
So, I’m still unsure about footwear for Silver and her pincord dress. Flips? Maybe when going someplace very casual, like meeting friends for happy hour. Maybe a nicer sandal for a date. Possibly a wedge to boost height.
I’ll try a basic scene and see what happens.
That’s silver on the left