Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #140 – A Change of Scenery

The host for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #140 is Beth at https://wanderingdawgs.com and the theme is A Change of Scenery. We want to thank you, Beth.

A change of scenery can happen in a short distance such as from room to room, from outdoor to indoor or from indoor to around the neighborhood. But last week we changed a scenery from state to state.

Before leaving town, I took a few photos of the spring blossom in my garden. The Freesia was in full bloom. The plum trees just started blooming. It looks like we’d have a promising harvest this summer.


The scenery changed from sunny to rainy in the weather but our hearts are warmer.

My husband and I landed in Portland, Oregon last Thursday from California. We came for a week to spend time with our granddaughters. Our younger granddaughter Nora’s first birthday was Sunday, March 22. My daughter Mercy planned a party on Saturday in a park close to home. We had a wonderful time warming up with our granddaughters Autumn and Nora on the first two days. We had not seen them since October 2020. We canceled our trips for Thanksgiving and Christmas because of Covid.

It was pouring on Saturday early morning. Mercy changed the location to a school site with a covered area. We didn’t know how many people would show up. An hour before we left the house, the rain stopped.

Many families with kids came to the party. The school has a large playground for the kids. It was the first time some friends got together since Covid started. Both the grown-ups and kids had a wonderful time.

Later in the afternoon, the sky turned dark and it was pouring again. We were thankful that the rain stopped for a few hours so we could have a great party.


A friend made three dozen cupcakes for everyone. Mercy bought a small birthday cake for Nora. It was Nora’s first time to have cakes, and she sure loved it.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #140 – A Change of Scenery

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Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

This week for Lens-Artist Challenge #139, Tina invited us to visit our special moments. While there are so many, I would included three events.

Mount St. Helens in Washington state was erupted on May 18, 1980. I was a student at Seattle Pacific University. The 5.1 magnitude earthquake caused a lateral eruption that reduced St. Helens’ height by about 1,300 feet (400 m) and left a crater 1 mile (1.6 km) to 2 miles (3.2 km) wide and 0.5 miles (800 m) deep. It was a major eruption among the 48 states since 1915. The ash drifted over many states and could be seen as far as Chicago. The evacuation was announced before the eruption. Mr. Harry Truman, a caretaker of a resort lodge, refused to leave. He said he belonged to the mountain and would die with the mountain. He, along with fifty-six people were killed.

My family and I went back to visit on September 10, 2016. The mud and debris still filled the river, and the crater was still very much alive. It seemed like nothing or few things would survive. I was in awe to see miles of century-old forests destroyed by the eruption have come back, richer and different from before. There were many beautiful wildflowers. Life overcomes!

I came to the US as a student in 1977. In all the years I was in Hong Kong, I had never visited the Great Wall. In 2012, some family member expressed the interest to take a family vacation in China. I got some tour information from the Chinese Newspaper and made contacts. One tour company offered a private tour with a van and a driver for ten people. After I got the commitment of eight members, I started planning. By the time we set the itinerary, made reservations for air and hotel, three members couldn’t make it. I was a little disappointed. The tour company contacted the tour in China they agreed to accommodate the seven of us. It was a special vacation because I have other countries on my visiting list and may not return to see the Great Wall.

We rarely get to celebrate the birthdays or anniversaries on the day of the event. In 2016, I could plan a trip to Spain in August during our anniversary. When we visited the Mosque of Córdoba, the architecture fascinated me, and I was busy taking photos. The tour moved on without me. It panicked me. Fortunately, my husband is tall, and I spotted him, and quickly merged back to the tour saying nothing.

We were in Barcelona to celebrate our anniversary. I wish to tour inside of Basilica de la Sagrada Familia but the tour didn’t not schedule it. We only had time to take photos. I literally was lying flat on the ground to get the view from the bottom to the top. Of course, my husband was on guard so people wouldn’t step on me and kill me.

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc (Font màgica de Montjuïc) in Barcelona.

Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138 – Natural Light

This week, the theme from Amy for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is Natural Light. She invited us to look at photography uses the sun as a light source and share photos of changing light throughout the day.

I took this opportunity to study the phenomena of changing light.

In photography

The different colors of the natural light determined by the sun’s rays during the light phases of the day. They depend on the elevation of the sun. The phases are the nighttime, morning twilights, morning magic hours, daytime, evening magic hours, evening twilights, and nighttime. The dramatic colors of blue, red, orange and yellow are in the golden hour and blue hour when the sun is lower in the sky during the morning magic hours and evening magic hours shortly before and after the appearance of the sun.

In science

Steven Ackerman, professor of meteorology at UW-Madison said, “Molecules and small particles in the atmosphere change the direction of light rays, causing them to scatter. Scattering affects the color of light coming from the sky, but the details are determined by the wavelength of the light and the size of the particle. The short-wavelength blue and violet are scattered by molecules in the air much more than other colors of the spectrum. This is why blue and violet light reaches our eyes from all directions on a clear day. But because we can’t see violet very well, the sky appears blue.”

Brian Resnick at the Vox.com further explained, “At sunset, light has to travel through a greater distance of atmosphere to reach our eyes — so even more blue light, and even some green and yellow light, gets filtered out. That leaves us with the warmer hues of the visible light, the reds and oranges, and it’s why many sunsets look like fire.

As we approach the winter solstice, the time the sun takes to set lengthens, due to the angle the sun takes in setting into the ground. During the equinoxes, the sun pretty much sinks into the ground at a 90-degree angle. Nearer the winter solstice, the sun sets on more of an angle, drawing out the time it takes to set. Which is to say: Sunset colors linger closer to the winter solstice, which allows us to enjoy them for longer.”

Here are some examples of my photography showing the colors of light shortly before sunset in different months.

These two photos were taken on my walk in the neighborhood in July. They were taken in a less than one minute apart.

These two photos were taken during a Columbia River Gorge Cruise, Washington in September. The two photos were taken in just minutes apart while the cruise ship traveled.

These two photos were also taken in my neighborhood. They sky was clear with spots of scattered clouds in this December early evening before the sun disappeared. Again, the photos were taken in a few seconds apart.

I love taking sunset photos because of the dramatic change of light.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138 – Natural Light

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Dr. Seuss Books Are Pulled, and a ‘Cancel Culture’ Controversy Erupts

The beloved author’s most famous books, like “Green Eggs and Ham,” were untouched, but his estate’s decision nevertheless prompted a backlash and raised questions about what should be preserved as part of the cultural record.

By Alexandra Alter and Elizabeth A. Harris, The New York Times, March 4, 2021

“If I Ran the Zoo,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “On Beyond Zebra!” and “McElligot’s Pool” were among the six Dr. Seuss books that his estate said “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
“If I Ran the Zoo,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “On Beyond Zebra!” and “McElligot’s Pool” were among the six Dr. Seuss books that his estate said “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”Credit…Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune, via Associated Press

In the summer of 1936, Theodor Geisel was on a ship from Europe to New York when he started scribbling silly rhymes on the ship’s stationery to entertain himself during a storm: “And this is a story that no one can beat. I saw it all happen on Mulberry Street.”

The rhymes morphed into his first children’s book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” about a boy who witnesses increasingly outlandish things. First published in 1937, the book started Geisel’s career as Dr. Seuss. He went on to publish more than 60 books that have sold some 700 million copies globally, making him one of the world’s most enduringly popular children’s book authors.

But some aspects of Seuss’s work have not aged well, including his debut, which features a crude racial stereotype of an Asian man with slanted lines for eyes. “Mulberry Street” was one of six of his books that the Seuss estate said it would stop selling this week, after concluding that the egregious racial and ethnic stereotypes in the works “are hurtful and wrong.”

The announcement seemed to drive a surge of support for Seuss classics. Dozens of his books shot to the top of Amazon’s print best-seller list; on Thursday morning, nine of the site’s top 10 best sellers were Seuss books.

The estate’s decision — which prompted breathless headlines on cable news and complaints about “cancel culture” from prominent conservatives — represents a dramatic step to update and curate Seuss’s body of work, acknowledging and rejecting some of his views while seeking to protect his brand and appeal. It also raises questions about whether and how an author’s works should be posthumously curated to reflect evolving social attitudes, and what should be preserved as part of the cultural record.

“It will cause people to re-evaluate the legacy of Dr. Seuss, and I think that’s a good thing,” said Philip Nel, a children’s literature scholar at Kansas State University and the author of “Dr. Seuss: American Icon.” “There are parts of his legacy one should honor, and parts of his legacy that one should not.”

He added: “They may be motivated by the fact that racism is bad for the brand, or they may be motivated by a deeper sense of racial justice.”

“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” was the first book Theodor Geisel, right, wrote under the pen name Dr. Seuss. He died in 1991.
“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” was the first book Theodor Geisel, right, wrote under the pen name Dr. Seuss. He died in 1991.Credit…Burt Steel/Associated Press

Classic children’s books are perennial best sellers and an important revenue stream for publishers. Last year, more than 338,000 copies of “Green Eggs and Ham” were sold across the United States, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks the sale of physical books at most retailers. “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” sold more than 311,000 copies, and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” — always popular as a high school graduation gift — sold more than 513,000 copies.

“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” one of the six books pulled by the estate, sold about 5,000 copies last year, according to BookScan. “McElligot’s Pool” and “The Cat’s Quizzer” haven’t sold in years through the retailers BookScan tracks. Putting the merits of the books aside, removing “Green Eggs and Ham” would be a completely different business proposition from doing away with new printings of “McElligot’s Pool.”

Dr. Seuss is perhaps the most beloved children’s book author to come under criticism for outdated and insensitive depictions of racial, ethnic, cultural and gender differences.

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I agree with Valerie Lewis’s comment included in this article:

Regardless of the content, books go out of print every day if they don’t sell, and indeed, some of the Seuss books would likely be in that category if they had been written by another author. Valerie Lewis, a co-owner of Hicklebee’s bookstore in San Jose, Calif., said that sort of attrition is perfectly sensible, but pulling a book altogether for political reasons makes her uncomfortable.

“I think when there is something in a book that you find offensive, what a great teaching opportunity,” Ms. Lewis said.

“We all have a choice as to whether we buy it or not,” she added, “but removing it kind of makes me want to shake my head.”

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Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137 – Soft

This week for the Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137, Ann-Christine wanted to continue with another S – Soft. This is all about how we interpret Soft.

I see soft Physical appearances, softness of characteristics, and hear soft sounds everywhere. The photos included here represent the several things that are soft in sight and in touch.

“Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events.” – Sharon Draper

This photo was taken from the ship of the Ensenada Cruise. It was my first time watching the soft glow of sunset in the middle of the ocean, even though we were not too far from land.

“Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We saw the fluffy clouds all the time when we were in Maui, Hawaii. They don’t seem to bring any rain except on one trip among our multiple trips.

“Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This clearly shows the principle of softness overcoming hardness. ” Lao Tzu

Water is soft, but when it combines with other natural phenomena, it can be powerful. The tide was coming in this sunny afternoon on the Makena Beach, Maui.

“The red rose whispers of passion, and the white rose breathes of love; O, the red rose is a falcon, and the white rose is a dove. ” – John Boyle O’Reilly

I love the softness of the Iceberg Roses. The innocent color brings me refreshing calmness.

“The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats…” – Albert Einstein

This was my daughter’s neighbor’s cat. She had such an unusual combination of soft fur colors and soft blue eyes, and I wondered if it was a kitten. I would love to have a kitten like this one.

“A wee bit of Heaven drifted down from above, a handful of happiness, a heartful of love.​When the baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into thousands of pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.” From Peter Pan

Thank you for Balroop Singh‘s comment on the softness of a newborn baby. I added this photo of my younger granddaughter Nora. My daughter Mercy did a photoshoot of her when she was three weeks’ old. Nora will be one-year-old on March 22! I look forward to going to her birthday party.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137 – Soft

Weekend Sky #19 – March 6th

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Welcome to Day 9 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 9 and the conclusion of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Nonnie Jules, who is also the Founder of RRBC & RWISA.  Take a peek at her writing below…

A LIFE ISN’T WORTH LIVING IF NOT IN SERVICE TO OTHERS

I’d like to begin by thanking two of my fellow RWISA Authors who were also on this tour, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko and Linnea Tanner, who both had the courage to write about, or reference the ills of our world, that many would like to keep deeply hidden.  I speak of hatred and systemic racism.  Again, thank you both for your courage to write with such substance and I hope that it is still resonating with all who read both of your pieces.  I am honored that your words are a continual ring in my ears.

The theme of this year’s REVOLUTION tour is A NEW YEAR – A FRESH START, and with that theme in mind, I’d like to share my thoughts on what a fresh start in this new year looks like for, and, to me.

My quote above, “A life isn’t worth living if not in service to others,” is what gives my life meaning and purpose.  RRBC and RWISA came to be because I didn’t see enough service being spread around the web when I came aboard.  I noticed a ton of selfish behavior, “me, me, and more me” attitudes, and a strong indifference to lending a hand to help the next person climbing after you, also reach the top.  I felt myself drowning in an ocean of “gimme,” and surrounded by a nation of takers.  In my mind, I had to do something.

With the inception of RRBC, the rules of the land were (and still are) that members support members.  Some came aboard and quickly embraced the concept, either because it was inherently part of their makeup, or because they realized it was the fastest route to gaining support for their own agendas.

And then, there were the others – the takers and the ones from the land of “gimme.”  They came aboard in droves – taking all that they could, and once they realized we were on to them, they quickly abandoned their squatter positions.  By the way, we do so appreciate their exits as they made room for the uber-supportive members I’ll reference below.

The members on our roster who are constantly being profiled, promoted, pushed, and honored, are the members who show, by their actions, that they are living in service to others.  They don’t make excuses, they make a way.  They don’t see a tweet and merely re-tweet it, they click the link first to see how they can support their fellow members even more and even better.  They don’t re-tweet only tweets with their Twitter handle included.  They don’t show up only when they are the ones being profiled, interviewed or whose book is being discussed. And their social media feeds?  Well, they are clogged with promotion of others! 

Their support doesn’t stop there.  These members consistently show up to support in a myriad of ways, including the following…

  • following along member blog tours, leaving comments and sharing the posts on social media
  • hosting fellow members on their blog tours, such as our “SPOTLIGHT” Authors
  • sitting in the audience of member interviews on our RAVE WAVES shows,
  • showing up to our book club discussions to support BOOK OF THE MONTH Authors
  • purchasing, reading and reviewing fellow member books from the RRBC & RWISA catalogs
  • sharing members’ RRBC AUTHOR PAGES and RWISA PROFILE PAGES to social media
  • sharing members’ books directly from Amazon, along with the purchase links and book covers
  • visiting members’ book trailers on YouTube, leaving comments and sharing to social media
  • following members’ blogs and websites and ensuring that they are active in these blogging communities
  • and even showing up to participate in club activities, to ensure that our organizations remain fluid and not stagnant and boring.

These are but a few ways that the supportive and active members of RRBC/RWISA ensure that they are exhibiting a life of service to others, especially on social media.  We are not an organization interested in supporting those who don’t support others.  If you show me that I’m not that important to you, then why would I go out of my way to place you on my special pedestal of support?  If you’re not purchasing, reading and reviewing member books here, then guess what, you will never find yourself in the BOOK OF THE MONTH hot seat.  Why would we tell others to run out and support you, when you don’t bother to show up to support them?  And by the way, showing up is more than just sending out tweets and re-tweets.  It takes so much more than that to create success.

2020 was a hard year for all of us, but 2021 rolled right in, giving us a clean slate to write new, more positive chapters in our life stories.  Lucky for us all, this new year opened the door wide for us to make positive changes.

So, today, I ask you, what kind of life are you living?  When we drop by to support you and we peruse your Twitter feed, will we see that you are in love with you, OR, will we smile when we see how hard you’re pushing someone else?   When we look out into the gallery of our RAVE WAVES shows and our monthly book club discussions, will we see your pretty smiley face, OR, will we see only the beautiful faces of those who typically show up with their amazing support?  Will you be counted among the many (who do nothing to support others) OR, will you be proudly counted among the few (who do more than their share to push others to the top?)  Where will you stand when the roll is counted?  With the givers or the takers?

Yes, it’s a new year, and also the most perfect opportunity for a fresh start!  If you have been straddling the fence, finding it hard to get down, take that leap of faith and jump right in … somewhere … anywhere you can make a positive difference in the life of someone else.  When you support others, you are supported ten-fold within RRBC/RWISA.

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution on December 31, 2020?  I didn’t.  I made an Intention, and that is, I intend to continue sharing and educating as many as I can on the importance of living a life of service.  Less selfishness and more selflessness will continue to be my mission’s slogan. 

I’ll ask once more, which road will you take?

Did you enjoy Nonnie’s writing?  Then please, help us support her and her work along this REVOLUTION tour! We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What Nonnie has to say about RWISA…

Check out Nonnie’s book…

OPEN, SHUT

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #136: Subjects Starting with the Letter–S

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #136, we’re circling back to the alphabet. This time, Patti invited us to focus on the letter S. She quoted Mike Wilks who strung a sentence with all the words begin with the letter S and indicated on the shelves in his store stacked with stock of 1,234 Ss to see.

I don’t want to list some seventy-seven S-things. I only chose several to be included in this post. I simply tried to have samples.

“May you see sunshine where others see shadows and opportunities where others see obstacles.” – Anonymous

Sunny sky above the summer sand

“Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.” – Mario Fernandez

Sunny sky above the snowy summit

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” Helen Keller

“If roses tried to be sunflowers, they would lose their beauty; and if sunflowers tried to be roses, they would lose their strength.” Matshona Dhliwayo

Sunflowers surged into the sky searching the sunlight

“Millions of trees in the world are accidentally planted by squirrels who bury nuts, then forget where they hid them. Do good and forget. It’ll grow someday.” – Anonymous

“Little squirrel opens human heart because they have lots of practice with the nuts.” – Swapna Ch

Squirrel, squirrel, what do you see?

“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” -Tom Wilson

“Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you.” – Peace Pilgrim

Sweet smiles from my daughter Mercy

“Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of. You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there.” – Amy Li

“Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.” – Margaret Mead

Songs sisters Autumn and Nora sing together

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #136: Subjects Starting with the Letter–S

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Welcome to Day 6 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @JanSikes3 @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 6 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Jan Sikes, who is also RWISA Vice-President.  Take a peek at her writing below…

How Blogging Keeps Me Sane

As with each new year that rolls around, I view it as an opportunity to start with a fresh perspective and clean slate.

When I looked back on my goals for 2020, I found with some sense of satisfaction, I had accomplished almost all of them, despite the pandemic.

Some goals remain the same from year to year, such as clean eating, exercising, practicing meditation, being kind, and gentle with myself and others. I classify those as my permanent or ongoing goals. They never change.

Setting expanded goals for 2021 was quite different. COVID19 has affected us all. Not only in the way we socialize, but also in every other aspect of life, from how we shop to the way we promote our books.

The necessity for self-preservation has catapulted us into a virtual world. We order groceries online and have curbside pickup. We now visit with family via Zoom calls, and so much for getting out and attending book festivals to promote our books. That simply isn’t going to happen.

So, when I took an elemental look at how to market my books in 2021, I realized I needed to harness social media’s power. 

The most powerful tool I have for marketing my work is, hands-down, my blog. I am fortunate to have built a substantial following over the years, which works to my advantage now.

I want to share with you some of the nuts and bolts of this fabulous tool, as well as some of the things I’ve learned about the art of blogging. Hopefully, you will benefit from them as well.

One of the greatest joys in my life is promoting and uplifting others. Because of this, I am always happy to offer my blog platform to support others, whether they be authors or indie music artists. And each time I spotlight a new author or artist, I gain a handful of organic followers. It’s a beautiful equation that works every time. It is the classic win-win for everyone.

The first and perhaps most important aspect of a blog is the title you create. There are many reasons for this, but mainly it is because the title needs to be eye-catching. If it isn’t, many potential readers may scroll on by and never take a peek. I know this from experience. I subscribe to a lot of blogs, so my email inbox is flooded each day. The blog titles are how I decide which ones I will pass on or read.

Some of the best practices in naming your blog post are asking a question, offering a solution, a list of solutions, or just making it fun and quirky. One recent post I wrote for a blog tour was entitled “The 3 P’s of Writing.”

That title makes you wonder what the P’s could be. I had a lot of success with that post. Fun and quirky will get me every time. You can also offer a promise of something in your title, such as a “How To” or a giveaway.

Another super important thing to add to a title is your guest’s Twitter handle (when you feature a guest). Why? Because each time that blog is shared on Twitter, it will tag them. It serves as a timesaver, and keeps the guest in your loop. I have found adding that one simple piece to a blog title gets it shared at least fifty percent more than a title without a tag.

Hashtags are another great way to get more shares. For instance, when I post a blog advertising a new book release, I will add #NewRelease to the title, which increases exposure in the feed.  

Whatever your subject is, try adding a few hashtags to increase visibility.

Another super important detail, as a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club and The Rave Writers – Int’l Society of Authors, includes adding those handles and hashtags to the blog title when the content is relevant to the organizations. Again, it is proven to increase visibility and sharing.

Blog content can be about anything. I have found my niche, and although it is broad, it works for me. I blog about every aspect of the craft of writing, books I’ve read, feature guests, new music from indie artists, and all things spiritual, from meditations and Tarot cards to Runes. Those define me and my interests.

It’s good to brand yourself. Make a statement as to what you are about through your blog posts.

Once you publish a blog post, I cannot stress enough the importance of engaging. When someone takes the time to comment on your blog, please respond. Just as it is rude to ignore someone who is speaking to you in a physical setting, it is rude to ignore blog comments.

When I host a guest, I emphasize the importance of engaging and responding to comments. If my followers and I are taking the time and effort to promote you and your work, the least you can do is engage and respond. Most authors are outstanding in this area. Music artists, not so much. No matter how many times I say the words, “You need to engage,” they don’t seem to get it. I think the biggest reason is the fact that many music artists hate computers and don’t have a lot of tech savvy outside the recording studio. Nevertheless, they miss out on potential new music followers when they don’t bother to stop by.

These are a few of the basics; things I’ve learned through my experience of blogging.

Facing an ever-growing reliance on a virtual world in the days, weeks, and possibly years ahead, by fully utilizing my blog site, I will continue to grow and flourish despite COVID19.

My blog is the compass, my North Star, which helps me navigate the turbulent waters of the world in which we live.

See you there!

http://www.jansikesblog.com

RWISA Profile

What Jan has to say about RWISA…

Check out Jan’s book…

“GHOSTLY INTERFERENCE”

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Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

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Lens – Artists Challenge #135: Glimpse into your world

This week, the theme from Sheetalbravon is ‘A Glimpse into your world’She invited us to show the things we love that make our world spin or things about our world that make us delirious with joy.

The immediate world that fills me with inspiration and amazement is my garden. My morning routine, especially in the summer, is to visit the garden while I drink my coffee. After coffee, with the gardening tools in hand, I check the flower bushes, trim the dead branches, or dig up weeds.

I started feeding birds from 2014 and the regular visitors are Ruby Throat Hummingbirds, mourning doves, American Finch, American God Finch, Scrub Jay, Song Sparrow, White-Crowned Sparrow, and a few I couldn’t quite identify. Over the years, there were baby Mourning Dove, baby House Finches, and One baby Hummingbird born in my garden.

There are other animals such as squirrels, stray cats, and lizards roaming during the day or at night.

I have many hobbies, more than I have time to fully enjoy each of them. Not included in the images here is photography, which I started as a teenager when the photos were black and white. Another hobby is ceramic. I did the whale free hand with clay. I made it into a nightlight for my baby daughter. When my daughter was nine years old, we took a ceramic painting class together in the summer. It’s something we continue doing separately until these days.

I learned to draw and watercolor painting as a young adult. After retirement, I took classes on both and used some watercolor painting to illustrate the poems in my book.

My immediate community of 35 years is a church fellowship and the group of ladies. They are a part of my world for fun, for friendship and support. Some of these friends’ kids and my daughter grew up together. The ladies gave a bridal shower to Mercy for her wedding. Some friends still send gifts to my granddaughters as their own.

Music has been my world since I was a kid. I didn’t have a family background to nurture my love of classical music. It seems to be a natural favorite. The first time I performed Handel’s Messiah was when I was still in Hong Kong.

Most of my family except for one sister are in Hong Kong. Lynton’s family is my extended family, and we see each other regularly.

The biggest world to me is my daughter’s family. My granddaughters lighten my heart and give joy every day. My daughter has a TinyBeans.com account where she posts multiple photos and videos daily to chronicle the kids’ growth and family activities. There was not one day I go without checking on what they do. Nora’s birthday on March 22, and I wish to visit them.  

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Thank you for reading. I hope to hear what the things you love that make your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.

Lens – Artists Challenge #135: Glimpse into your world

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Welcome to Day 3 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @YvetteMCalleiro @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 3 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Yvette M. Calleiro.  Take a peek at her writing below…

EMERGENCE

The cocoon –
Formed because of a virus,
Reinforced by fear and anxiety.
Surrounded
Protected
Sheltered
Imprisoned

The incubation –
Agonizing silence led to loneliness.
My inner voice tormented
Until the tears flowed freely
And the salty river healed the soul.
Meditation led to self-reflection.
Acceptance
Forgiveness
Release
Self-care

Emergence –
The walls slowly crumble.
Timid to step out but
Resolved to join the world again,
To rise up and feel whole.
Resilience
Strength
Courage
Hope

The RWISA Revolution Blog Tour challenged its authors to write with this year’s theme in mind: A New Year – A Fresh Start. Immediately, I thought of a cocoon. A caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly is not an easy one. This past year has not been easy for any of us. Even though I’m used to being home most of the time, being isolated and fearful of getting COVID (or worse, giving it to someone I love) has crippled me at times. I spent this year working on my inner self. I took meditation courses and worked with my therapist to manage my anxiety better. I’m a constant work in progress, but I feel stronger and healthier today than I was a year ago. For that, I am grateful. RWISA (Rave Writers – International Society of Authors) asked us to ponder a few questions, so here are my thoughts.

What are your plans for the new year?

This year, I plan to continue being careful and cautious when out and about. I will continue to strengthen my physical, emotional, and mental well-being. I will nurture the friendships that held firm despite the distancing. I will continue to create memorable moments with my family. Without them, this year would have been much more difficult.

What are your goals?

I had hoped to write an entire novel during COVID since I was home so much, but my muse locked herself in her own cocoon and refused to cooperate. She, too, has burst through and has begun to share her mojo with me. With the help of my RWISA critique group, I am going through my final edits for a new novel. It’s a young adult novel with no connection to my current series. I will publish it at some point this year.

I am also writing Drake’s story once again. For those who have read my Chronicles of the Diasodz series, you know I’ve been working on this for a few years. He and I have had a bit of a difficult time in telling his story, but we are finding our way through. My goal is to finish writing his story this year. Then, I’ll use next year to revise and edit it before sending it out into the world for everyone to enjoy.

What will you do to contribute to the betterment of our society?

I believe in the energies of the world, and I choose to spread kindness, love, and laughter as often as possible. As a teacher at a middle school, I empower my students to be confident in their abilities and challenge them to be positive and productive members of their communities. I also post inspirational quotes on my Instagram. I have a separate Instagram that focuses on being proud of the beauty within. It’s been dormant for a bit, but I’m hoping to get it restarted. We need more positivity in the world, and that’s my little contribution.

How will you succeed in the midst and in spite of COVID-19?

One needs to define success in order to answer this question. For me, success is a day when I stay present in the moment. It presents itself as a moment where I notice my anxiety and allow it to flow down my mind’s river of worry without me. It’s when I make a student feel accepted and cared for or when my son sits with me at night to watch a show together.

I do not measure success by money earned or by a title. Instead, I measure success by the impact my choices have on those around me and on myself. As we continue to deal with COVID-19, any day where those whom I love are alive and well is a successful day for me. This year, I celebrate the little things because those are what matter most.

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Did you enjoy Yvette’s writing?  Then please, help us support her and her work along this REVOLUTION tour! We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What Yvette has to say about RWISA…

Check out Yvette’s book…

“BREATHLESS”

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Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

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