Saturday, October 30, 2010

Does writing for the internet inhibit creativity?

I've been really busy this week and haven't had much time to dedicate to blogging. Hopefully I'll get some posts up tomorrow. I have some really exciting news to share. I wrote an article on creativity and thought I'd share it here. Below is the link to all the articles in the category but I've also included a link to mine personally.

Click here for my article.

HeliumDoes writing for the internet inhibit creativity?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How Stay At Home Moms Stay At Home

There are many work at home choices available to stay at home moms. I've had success working from home for over a year and I'm really glad I made the transition. With adhering to strict time management schedules and determination success is possible. Check out my article and if you need any assistance let me know. The direct link to my article is here. There are several others available on the subject.
HeliumHow stay at home moms stay at home

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Gotta Love Chevy

I'm really excited that I may be chosen to drive a Chevy Traverse for the month of November. This will be a fun opportunity as I'll be video blogging about all my adventures. I remember watching our local morning show a few months back and entering into the contest. Now thanks to Holly at June Cleaver Nirvana for stalking me when she couldn't find my email or contact me by cell phone.

Good thing for our little social networking tools like twitter. She didn't give up on me and ultimately found me by sending a tweet. Now I get to move forward in the process and possibly drive a Traverse. I looked the Chevy Traverse up online and I know this will be perfect for my large family. Now if I ultimately get selected in the coming weeks, you'll get to see how many times I visit the grocery store (actually everyday). It's like the Cheers song we go where "everyone knows our name." So stay tuned to find out if we actually make it to the end.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MTV Burlesque Dance Contest

Burlesque Dance Contest is sponsored by MTV in connection with Sony Pictures. They want to know if you have what it takes to be the best dancer. If you qualify, MTV is looking for you and they're offering $5,000 to the winner. So if you're over the age of 13 and a dancer check out the auditions. All dance types are welcome, hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, freestyle or lyrical, it doesn't matter all are welcome. Check out the below times and locations. Too bad none of my seven are dancers or I'd have them signing up to showcase their talents.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Burlesque: Christina Aguilera and Cher Together on the Big Screen

In the upcoming Burlesque, Christina Aguilera plays a waitress named "Ali" who would love nothing better than to star as one of Tess's (Cher) showgirls at a Burlesque Night Club. With Christina's power voice and Cher's star quality this looks to be a worthy musical film. We'll get to watch Christina's acting debut and Cher back in front of the cameras.
The first time I saw this preview was last week at the movies for my birthday. I had to edge closer as the scenes began to unfold. From the beginning of the trailer, I was hooked. The love of a good musical was winning before hearing a note. Not to mention seeing Cher.
Originally, I thought the blond was a new actress, until she opened her mouth. Then I recognized the voice immediately as Christina Aguilera. One of my favorite singers of this new generation she has really proven her vocal talents. Watching her sing Whitney Houston's song "I have nothing" came to mind.
Christina Aguilera looked like a young school girl, and Cher didn't look a day over 40. The film brought back memories of Moulin Rouge and the video "Lady Marmalade." Though Burlesquefeels more mainstream, though I've only viewed a two-minute trailer.
We've had our share of singers turned actresses, and now it's Christina's turn. Fortunately, from what little I saw I can't complain. Maybe it's her years of being on the Mickey Mouse Club. I'm sure it's helped with Justin Timberlake's acting. They just have to remember what they've learned and build. Obviously, she's had some type of acting training. 
I'll stand in line to get tickets if that's what it takes. The last good musical movie I can remember isDream Girls. But this one seems a more upbeat and full of positive energy. If it's worth it, I'll pay to see it more than once too. Burlesque opens in theaters November 24.
Article first published as Burlesque: Christina Aguilera and Cher Together on the Big Screen on Blogcritics

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Pretty in Pink" Cast Reunites

It's been over 24 years since Pretty in Pink first aired. I was in middle school, and I watched the movie more times than I can remember. Molly Ringwald was one of my favorite actresses at the time. The thought of being asked to a dance as some sort of amusement was real to young girls because of this movie. I thought the movie was classic and still do until this day.

Now the cast of Pretty in Pink came together for a photo shoot with Entertainment Weekly. Molly Ringwald, John Cryer and Annie Potts had a good time taking photos. They reminisced about filming the movie and John Cryer lip-syncing and dancing scene.

What was your favorite "Pretty in Pink" scene?

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Facebook and Bing Introduce Social Search

Facebook has found another use for the use of "like." Bing will integrate "like" data into their search engine database. When you use the search on Bing your results will show the best recommendations along with likes suggested by your Facebook's friends. The search tool will launch on Wednesday.
Now you can use Bing's profile search feature to find old friends or movies and other items liked on Facebook. As with most Facebook's applications you'll have to allow Bing to access your information. This will give them access to your information, so they can incorporate it into Bing's search feature. Facebook's found Mark Zimmerman stated, “This is just the beginning; there is going to be a whole lot more to come over time." 
Instead of asking a friend what they thought of a movie or restaurant you'll be able to find the answer on Bing. The results will range from the most popular choices to the least. This is only for Facebook users, those that aren't members on here or friends haven't opted in will see regular search results. 
One wonders how Google will respond if this catches on and more people start using Bing as a result. Social media have changed the way we make friends, conduct business and now use search engines. With the combination of search engine and social network marketing target markets will be even easier to reach.
Article first published as Facebook and Bing Introduce Social Search on Technorati.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

K-Ci & Jojo "Come Clean"

K-Ci and Jojo new show Come Clean is scheduled to premiere on TV One this month. The brothers began their careers in 1990 with the group Jodeci. They had success as one of the number one R&B groups of the '90s. Then in 1996 they launched their solo careers. As a duo brother group they were nominated for three Grammy Awards and one MTV Award. They eventually stopped singing in 2002, with K-Ci trying unsuccessfully to launch a solo album in 2006. 
There were always stories about K-Ci and his addiction, whether drugs or alcohol. They were making wrong decisions and getting a lot of negative press. K-Ci even passed out on stage during a live concert, while his brother continued to perform. Jojo is said to have an addiction to alcoholism. Now they are cleaning up and trying to re-launch their careers.
My first thought when I saw the preview was: I hope it's real. While I really want them to clean up and deal with their habit, I wonder at their motives. I find myself questioning if it's just another reality show stunt. When they were with the group Jodeci, I was one of their biggest fans. They were a product of my childhood. I was an even bigger fan of their solo careers, always first in line when their new CD dropped.
The reality show is just the tip off, as they also plan to release a new CD this month. Come Cleanwill air on TV One October 19 as a documentary consisting with nine episodes. We will get to view their daily struggles while recovering alcohol from abuse and trying to recapture their fans.
This show should be enlightening to say the least. It has good company with the many other shows about celebrities or ex-celebrities dealing with problems and letting the world watch. We've seen it with shows showing celebrities recovering from drugs before, trying to re-launch old careers, looking for love, losing weight, getting married and going bankrupt. 
The true question is: "Will they pull it off?" As a former fan of their music, I hope so. We need some real R&B singers around again, no offense to the new age R&B.

Article first published as K-Ci and Jo-Jo "Come Clean" on Blogcritics.

All My Life: Their Greatest Hits    Forever My Lady

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Whatcha Waiting For?

This guest post is from a fellow writer Pamela Fagan Hutchens at the blog Road to Joy. This is a blog where you can simply sit back, read and enjoy. Pamela's writing voice is one full of fun, creativity and writing tips along the way. Do join her as she shares her exciting tales of life. 

Do you ever find yourself staring at the proverbial blank page, whatever your blank page is?  Mine is, literally, a blank page (sometimes it is a filled page to be edited, not to add in too many confusing variables here). My blank page hasn’t gotten much attention in the last week.  I was sick with the stomach flu.  A few positive things did come out of the experience:

* My unwashed hair is shiny and bright (or is that greasy and oily?)
* I l
ost three pounds — bring on the bikini
* I was able to stay off my
injured “ultra marathoner’s” foot for four days of healing

Despite the positives, I wouldn’t recommend the experience.  I felt like a sticky larvae, cocooned in my blankets in a pupa-state of non-productivity.  I may have emerged a shiny and thinner butterfly, but I had too many days to think about everything I wasn’t getting done.

Today is the first day I have been able to sit upright with my laptop and pull myself back into life, albeit cautiously and in bursts.  I woke up excited to write but with other must-do’s weighing on me.  I was, in fact, so jazzed about writing that I dreamed of it last night — as in I dreamed the actual words while my sleeping mind wrote them, down to dialogue and a word count display in Microsoft Word (I got to 4,513).

Unfortunately, my “night mind” was working on a new book — Young Adult genre — and that is not only unhelpful to me on Going for Kona today, but also I can’t remember a bit of the darn YA book this morning to make notes on it for later inspiration. #useless

So, it took me four hours to get everything done that was on the must-do-before-I-write list, before I pulled the blank page up in front of me. And I was stumbling, struggling, bumbling, and doing anything but writing for an hour after that, until the words of a song came into my head, a song I haven’t listened to in several years: “What You Waiting For” by Gwen Stefani, from her album Love.Angel.Music.Baby. (which effectively cross-marketed her “L.A.M.B.” clothing line — there’s a lesson to be learned there, too).

Here are a few of the lyrics she wrote about leaving the safety of a successful band, No Doubt, to write and record her first solo album:

Like a cat in heat, stuck in a moving car
A scary conversation, shut my eyes, can’t find the brake
What if they say that you’re a cloner
Naturally, I’m worried if I do it alone
Who really cares, cause it’s your life
You never know, it could be great
Take a chance cause you might grow
Oh, ah, oh

What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting

What you waiting for

Tick-tock, tick-tock
Tick-tock, tick-tock

Take a chance you stupid hoe

Like an echo pedal, you’re repeating yourself
You know it all by heart
Why are you standing in one place

Other than I wouldn’t call myself a “stupid hoe” (ha), this is how I feel about moving gradually from the consulting world, and the company I started with a partner 14 years ago, to an attempt to write — my version of “going solo” — and launch a new career as a novelist.

As I stare at the blank page, I wonder why I’m standing in one place with the same words of procrastination and self-doubt echoing in my head

Pamela, what are you waiting for?

What are we all waiting for?

Tick-tock: do it now, or you may miss your chance.  Tomorrow is not a certainty — you could get the stomach flu again, or worse.  Go find your inner Harajuku girl and write, right now, even if the writing is just words to fill a page; do it, and later, make it perfect.

Ciao, friends.  I can’t wait any longer.  I have to go fill that blank page.  What are you through waiting to start?


Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the blog Road to Joy.  JOIN HER FOR THE RIDE as she screws up her kids, drives her husband insane, embarrasses herself in triathlon, and writes utter nonsense on everything from rednecking to floaters.

Copyright 2010 Pamela Fagan Hutchins All Rights Reserved 

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

National Novel Writing Month

Will you participate? I found out about this through a writing class I'm taking online. I was so excited about the group when I signed up today. They have regional groups that are surprisingly local. You meet up at libraries, local bookstores and online to receive encouragement and support.

The National Novel Writing Month website has a platform for all writers during the month of November. The object of course is just to write, don't worry about grammar and editing. They will have lots of opportunities to gain support from other members. The cool thing about it too is that you can join other regions and meet people all over the world.

The goal is to write 50,000 words during the month. They have a tool where you can update your word count daily. You can also add excerpts of your book to share and receive input from other group members. You may be just as surprised as I was at the huge amount of participants. But the benefit of knowing you're not alone and others may be struggling as well is encouragement. Plus they will help motivate you to making it by the end of the month.

I bought Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days for myself in June and still haven't finished a book. Hopefully this tool along with NaNoWrimo will be encouragement enough. Please join me in finishing a book next month. I'd love to share this journey of successful writing.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Stephen King: America's Favorite Author

I thought it was interesting to see who the top five authors were from the Harris Poll. While Stephen King sits at number one I was a little shocked that only one woman made the list. The survey was conducted online with over 2,700 participants and all reading categories were included.

The top five:

No. 1: Stephen King
No. 2: James Patterson
No. 3: John Grisham
No 4: Nora Roberts, who also writes as J.D. Robb
No. 5: Tom Clancy

I've read at least one book from every author on this list. I also own just about every book written by Nora Roberts. Stephen King's book "On Writing" should be on the bookshelves of every potential writer. The material is invaluable. The tip about adverbs will save you countless time on editing. 

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King: On Writing

Among the top five fiction genres:

No. 1: Mystery, Thriller and Crime
No. 2: Science Fiction
No. 3: Literature
No 4: Romance
No. 5: Graphic Novels

Among the top five nonfiction genres:

No. 1: History
No. 2: Biographies
No. 3: Religious and Spirituality
No 4: Political
No. 5: Self-help

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Social Media Helps Business Growth

Small business has gained a competitive edge in reaching customers by using social media. Effective management of social media offers an inexpensive way to engage with potential customers. Businesses are able to increase visibility of their services and products through low-cost or no-cost channels. 
The massive growth of social media has aided businesses in tapping into unknown markets. They are able to conduct online research and solicit customer opinions. Marketing through social media is time consuming, but it's beneficial to business success. 
Customers want to feel connected to companies without being spammed. The following social media tips help to streamline customer interaction build online business relationships.
Know your customer
Research where to find your customers. Discover what works out best online. There are many different social media platforms, use them to locate your customers. Don't wait for the customers to find you, find them first. Listen to the customer this will help you gain more inside knowledge of likes and dislikes.
Educate yourself on social media tools
There are many social platforms, it's important to know how each of them works. Find out their benefits and how they can help grow your business. Facebook allows you to build a fan page where potential customers can "like" your page and interact with the business. Twitter is a way to market free to your followers and drive traffic to your website. Blogging offer credibility to your business and is another way to speak personally to your customers. There are many other social media tools available, research and find what works best for your business. 
Have a personal touch
With social media customers expect a personal touch. They want to connect personally. This is an opportunity to showcase your business more intimately. The customer signs up to follow, because they want to know not only more about the business but the person behind the business.
Giveaways and promotions
Customers like to enter contests and win free stuff. Promotions or giveaways will help drive potential customers to your website. This is also a way to build a contact database. If it's managed correctly they can increase your online business visibility.
Time management and scheduling will help streamline the time you put into creating a social media presence. Develop a strategy and start engaging customers online. With effort and time, you should begin to see the benefits of your online social media online presence.

Article first published as Social Media Helps Business Growth on Technorati.

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Mark Gray - The Money Hunt - The Secrets of Attracting Capital

This is actually an article I started to write for publication. But I thought it was a good seminar for anyone to attend. Given the opportunity I'd like to see what this seminar offers. I'm definitely registering, this is a good chance to learn more about growing a business.

October 8, 2010/PRNewswire/Mark Gray author of "The Money Hunt - The Secret to Attracting Capital" announced  the second release of his book. The book release will begin with a kick-off "Free Tele-Seminar." Success Seminars will host the event on Monday November 1, 2010 9PM EST.

The program was updated for 2011, designed for CEOs, entrepreneurs or business owners seeking capital to start or grow a business or to buy an existing, cash-flow positive company. The series has been featured in The Wall Street Journal - Marketwatch, CNN, CNBC, and dozens more publications. Financial publications and sites say it's because the program works.

Gray has over 20 years of investment banking and completed over 300 million in equity transactions. Register for this FREE tele-seminar or for more information about "The Money Hunt - The Secret to Attracting Capital" visit us online at Gray Capital or contact the company via email at

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Day Five: Review, Catch-Up And Relax

The first step is to review your week. See what you've accomplished on your To-Do list and what's left undone. What do you have to catch up on? What's on that list that just has to be complete before the weekend?

Michael Jackson Relaxing

*Follow up on emails and phone calls - Answer all important messages. Give a final check on Friday and catch up on significant work. Then let it go, don't worry about an emergency someone will call you.

*Saying the word "NO" is easy - Let it roll off the tongue. Don't take on more than necessary. An overworked person will end up doing more harm than good. Enjoy your weekend. It also gives you a chance to wind down before it starts again on Monday.

*Let your weekend be free of work - Leave it in the office even if it may seem difficult. However, guess what it'll still be there for you on Monday.

*Schedule mom time - If you haven't added this to your To-Do list now's the chance. Try relaxing and doing something just for you and/or the family. This can be the most rewarding of all.

This week we just went over the basics. Next week we'll get into more exercises and techniques that'll help you better manage your time.

To Recap:

  1. You should have reviewed what you do all day to see where you can make changes to use your time wisely.
  2. You should have started a To-Do List.
  3. You should have looked over your list to see where you can combine activities to shorten your days.
  4. You should have looked over ways to manage time when on vacation and how to use Outlook Tasks to manage your list more effectively.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day Four - When You're Away

Learning to prioritize when you're away is a challenge. When you go on a vacation you take time out to plan that trip. Do the same with the work you leave behind? Don't panic but prioritize. Make lists or piles and label according to importance.

It can be as easy as printing out your To-Do and breaking it up into smaller segments. Create lists and put the in order of importance, for instance,  Urgent, today, tomorrow, wait to next week and so on. Do only what has to be completed while you're away. The work will still be there when you return. Remember to avoid panicking and stressing yourself out.

You can also use Outlook to prioritize your tasks. A function in their tasks allows for you to color coordinate your schedule, and it helps with grouping your workload. You can update tasks for completion or percent of work finished. The tutorial below will help you get started with Outlook.

Stay on track with Outlook tasks

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day Three: Let's Combine Our Activities

Group all like items together. Look over the To-Do list and see what things you can combine to save time. This is essentially finding meeting your obligations by combining tasks. The combination of tasks in a particular period is considered time management. This is the beginning of reducing your workload and managing your time more wisely. What are some tasks you can combine?

You should now have a to-do list you update daily. Go over it and see where you can combine activities. Whether it's spending time with the family or writing out your blog posts for next week. For example, while on the phone look through your email or finish reading the mail. 

To-Do List
Combination of activities





Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day Two: Stop Waiting For Perfection

Are you still procrastinating? What could you have done differently? Where is room for improvement? How much time did you spend on any one task? 

The picture says it all. Not only that but it takes up so much of our time just to try and get to a place unreachable. Managing your time appropriately doesn't mean that you have to rush and end up with substandard results. Stop harping over whether it's done right, if you've checked and checked again, then most likely you're fine. Have someone else look over your work if you're still doubtful. But don't spend your day going over the same work only to realize that you've waisted valuable time.

It's easy to get caught up doing one thing because you're not sure it's right. Sometimes you have to set your current task aside and work on something else or take a break. However, "DO NOT" let it consume you. Learn to move on to something else. 

Answer these questions:

  1. Are you guilty of finishing your work at the last minute or leaving it for another day?
  2. Have you set up a time to schedule or plan your day?
  3. From the activity yesterday can you figure out how much time you spend on various tasks throughout the day?
  4. How often were you interrupted?
  5. How do you deal with unexpected events?
  6. Are the interruptions keeping you from completing your work?
  7. Do you find yourself stressed over not meeting deadlines?
  8. Are you making your To-Do list a priority?
  9. When taking on other tasks do you prioritize what to do first?
  10. Are you taking time for yourself?

  •  Look back over what you did yesterday and prioritize your day.Plan out your day for tomorrow. Come back and share what you were able to accomplish on your list. Try to stick to it and remember to prioritize

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Day One: Stop Procrastinating

It couldn't get any simpler than this, just stop procrastinating. However, we know this is easier said than done. Overcoming procrastination is something most of us battle with daily. Some of us do this at a minimum and still manage to complete their workload. Then there are the ones that are probably like me and procrastinate so much they feel as if they accomplished very little if anything at the end of the day.

Procrastination is defined as the act of procrastinating, putting off or delaying an action until a later time.

Some suggestions to battle procrastination:

  • Use the To-Do list - Don't just write it but refer to it repeatedly. 
    • For example, I have taken to updating my to-do list daily by either adding more or taking off what I've completed.
  • Manage your email, set times when you'll check and answer messages. 
    • I get around 300 emails a day, and if I stop and check and answer my emails all day I can spend more than three hours just catching up on messages. 
    • Prioritize what you have to get to immediately and what can wait. Take advantage of your email programs. Google has a filter option where you can have emails feed into a folder. They also have a filter that marks emails important and separates them from the others.
  • Don't just organize your work schedule but also your home as well. 
    • Being a mom of seven and working from home can get hectic. Learning to fit in my house, work and schooling has become more than necessary. To-Do lists work for the home as well.
Day One: Workshop Activity

  1. Write down everything you do today, and how long it takes. This may seem crazy, but this is where you'll first begin to see what you do all day. It'll also give you an idea of what you can do differently. 
  2. Think about why you procrastinate? We all have a reason.
Come back and share what you've found out about your day. What do you think of your daily activities? What have you discovered about yourself and procrastinating?

You can also join the discussion on blogfrog workshop. Click here to join the community.

Post the banner onto your blog. You can also tweet about it using #timemgmt


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