Friday, December 27, 2013

Anagram - One Kind of Word Play

In an alphabetical list of Word Play, anagram is one of the first you’ll see. Yes, acronym would precede it – if you call acronyms “fun,” outside of coming up with censored stuff, like my dad loving to say “sure happy it’s Thursday” instead of TGIF.

An anagram is a word, or phrase, made by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. And, get this, it’s a verb, too. (You learn something new every day!) According to, it means to rearrange letters in such a way, to anagrammatize.

The Jumble puzzle, found in over 600 newspapers in the United States and internationally, is an example of anagrams. The objective is to unscramble the words and then use them to solve a riddle. The solving the riddle part isn’t of an anagram, though.

How many words you can make out of anagram? I don’t think there is a one-word anagram. How about “a rag man?”

Above photo: my neighbor impressed us one evening by making different words out of silent. It took us a while to remember that the definition of this word play is anagram.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Social Media commitment

I have made a commitment to grow my business. This entails getting on the social media train. And, Lord knows, that train has left the station so many times with me not on it. So what does this mean? It means, not in any particular order, incorporating a social media schedule into my work week. On what days and what time will I use do my social media? What social media will I use? (This blog of course. Facebook. Get on top of my LinkedIn account. My Web site has been neglected for way too long. And, the list goes on ...)

My colleague, Sara Caputo, owner of Radiant Organizing, a productivity and organizing company, advises "if you wait for the perfect opportunity to do something, you will never get anything done. Stop putting whatever you are putting off OFF! The best strategy is to put time blocks around the overwhelming things and break them into chunks. This makes the entire process easier to wrap your brain around."

This hits the nail right on the head for me. Oftentimes, when I first see the big picture my reaction is I have to take deal with all of it all at once. I get overwhelmed, which results in abandoning the project. So, my first step is to make a schedule (and stick to it). The other steps will fall into place if I stick to my schedule. Also, am going to get a professional head shot taken. Really need to update the 2+ year-old phone photo I've been using.

Above photo, roughing out a social media schedule. When it comes to mapping out a schedule or strategy, I think best with pen in hand.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Copy edit or proofread? Do both!

When I don’t ask someone to proof my work it’s usually because I’ve mismanaged my time, i.e. waited until the last minute and am about to miss my deadline, or I’m being lazy. I give proofreaders a long leash. “Yeah, ferret out those typos, and don’t hold back on your opinions, either.”

When someone proofreads, what are they looking for? For example, a copy editor might change that sentence to “When someone proofreads, for what are they looking?” You know, so the sentence doesn’t end with a preposition. (Though that sentence ends with a preposition! LOL. Get it?)

A copy editor fine tunes the writing. Makes sure the syntax, grammar, and punctuation are correct. A copy editor makes revisions. A proofreader, on the other hand, checks a reproduction, or dummy copy, of the finished piece, such as a book or newsletter. A proofreader makes sure there are no typographical errors, whether in the manuscript or introduced in the production process.

Southern California Edison provided this excellent example distinguishing the two. The email was proofread but sort of missed out on the copy editing phase.

You are forecast to exceed your monthly spending goal for Service Account x-8464.
Your next bill is currently projected to be $35. That's $0 OVER your monthly spending goal of $35.
Your bill-to-date for the current billing period is estimated at $16 with 18 days remaining in this billing cycle. This means there is still time to reduce your costs!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Perks of Being a Writer

Above, the view on a December afternoon from the El Encanto Hotel in Santa Barbara.

No secret here – being a writer doesn’t pay much. Unless, of course, I ever get around to penning that great American bestseller “How to Live Very Well on the Very Little Money You Make Because You Are a Writer.” There are, however, some mighty fine perks that come one’s way. Take yesterday for example. Fellow writer Leslie Westbrook hooked me on to an invitation to the El Encanto Hotel’s spa open house. BTW, El Encanto = big time snazzy in Santa Barbara. My guess is that Leslie was invited to the open house because she wrote on the El Encanto’s remodel for Traditional Home magazine. Read it; it’s a great article.

In addition to soaking up the beautiful view, architecture, and ambiance, I had a mini-oxygen facial and a hand massage. Plus, tasty hors d'oeuvres and some bubbly. Then, we carried on to the Association of Women in Communications holiday party in downtown Santa Barbara. I had to pay for that … and it was worth every penny. And I’d do it again. Along with the mini-facial and everything.

Below, this is where I had my mini-oxygen facial. It was fabulous.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Pencil Bag -- this writer's toolbox

Last night my friend asked me, in a rhetorical, off-handed way, if I had some Scotch tape. We have a standing Sunday night meeting at a coffee shop to work on our respective businesses ... you know, catch up on emails, update web sites (here's hers: Curious Cup; here's mine: Amy Marie Orozco),and all sorts of little stuff so we can hit Monday morning running. But back to the tape story ...

Fully expecting a "no" answer, she was pleasantly surprised I had the requested item. I was pleased the tape had been returned (by me!) to my pencil bag. Yes, pencil bag. I carry it in my purse. It is filled with pens of different colored inks, a variety of highlighters, scissors, glue stick, tape, some loose paper clips and binder clips,and sticky notes. There are some other goodies in there, too. Pencils being one of them. Mechanical pencils and replacement lead. Had to switch, the pencil shavings were getting too messy.

It's a writer-nerd thing, the pencil bag is. You can always find a piece of paper if the notebook/journal didn't make it back to your purse, but it's not always easy to find a writing implement. (And if you can't find a piece of paper, writing on the wrist will do in a pinch.) Yes, I have a digital recorder and could use my iPhone notes function. It's not the same though. Maybe one day, one of those gadgets will replace my pencil bag, just as composing on a keyboard has replaced longhand. Until then, a good pencil bag is this writer's toolbox.