Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why using First Annual [Anything] is incorrect

Ever wonder why some smarty pants editors maintain that "first annual" is incorrect?

Here's why: According to The Associated Press Style Book, considered to be the bible of newsrooms across the country, "an event cannot be described as annual until it has been held in at least two successive years. Do not use the term first annual. Instead, note that sponsors plan to hold an event annually."

Or, may I suggest using "inaugural."

Now that you know why the First Annual Anything is incorrect maybe you can be a smarty pants editor, too.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Take good pictures with a camera phone

From the Tools of the Trade department ...

I take good pictures with a camera phone. Nowadays anyway. Finally. And I owe it all to "Camera Phone: How to Make Pro Photos" by photographer Madeleine Vite and writer Kyre Adept.

"Camera Phone: How to Make Pro Photos" is chockablock with tips, how-to's, and examples geared toward the nonprofessional photographer who needs to take pictures on the job (that's me!). Specifically written for the camera phone, the book simplifies the process for taking good pictures and getting the most of a camera phone.

I highly recommend "Camera Phone: How to Make Pro Photos." You can get it on Amazon.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Great writer, greater man

According to The King Center, “Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Nobel Peace Prize lecture, and ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ are among the most revered orations and writings in the English language.”

I agree.

Apparently, academics and textbook writers agree, too, as the two pieces are studied by American schoolchildren across the country in English class. They are referenced in history class, but the beautiful use of language is studied in English class.

Though he was born on Jan. 15, 1929, today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Why? Well, thanks to thanks to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, the federal holiday marking his birthday is celebrated annually on the third Monday in January, That Act of Congress established the observance of certain holidays on Monday.

For example, George Washington’s birthday moved from Feb. 22 to the third Monday in February; Memorial Day moved from May 30 to the last Monday in May; and Columbus Day moved from Oct. 12 the second Monday in February.

Above photo, Martin Luther King Jr. is best known for his leadership of nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hire an accountant

Best thing I did for my writing and editing business was to hire an accountant. It took me a while (like more than two years!) to do so. No good reason why, but lots of silly reasons why not.

As a small business owner, I can't claim I was happy about mailing in my quarterly taxes today. I can claim, however, that having some fiscal structure to my business feels good. Sometimes I'm asked about how to start a small business. One piece of advice I am going to emphasize is hiring an accountant. Having administrative tasks like this taken care of clears the decks and allows me to focus on what I do best, which is not accounting.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Email - the good and the bad

One of the reasons I love email is that it really does the trick of giving me a false of productivity. Yep, I can beaver away for two hours and not get one business-related, income-generating task accomplished. For example, let's say this journalist is on deadline and needs to get a quote from someone known for his unpleasantness (toward her). What better way to stave off the dreaded phone call than to focus on cleaning out ye olde inbox?

Aren't the depths of fooling oneself are absolutely amazing!

OK. It's January and the jig is up. Oh, come on, you knew some kind of resolution was about to appear. It's January! Besides, the first paragraph gave plenty of foreshadowing. I'm changing my routine and it doesn't involve diet or exercise. For the first hour (at least) at my desk, there will be no email. There will be no Facebook or LinkedIn for that matter either. I'll be writing. Or editing. Or making phone calls. Or billing. Or making a book. Or brainstorming.

And, for the record. Not all email is great. You know the type. Asking you for money. Complaining (to put it mildly) about some sin unbeknownst to you, the apparent perpetrator. Want to know how to deal with those unpleasantries in a very professional, high-road sort of way? Check out this post from Alexandra Franzen. You'll love it, and her.

Friday, January 3, 2014

CEO of my SEOs

Quick refresher: This blog, Behind the Scenes at Orozco Ink, originated when I took an entrepreneurship workshop at the time I started my own business. Behind the Scenes was a marketing tool homework assignment.

Remember my previous post on acronyms? For 2014, Behind the Scenes is trying on this acronym: SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization. The idea is to direct Internet traffic by word usage. (And, no, the idea is not mine!)

Soooo, let's play a game. See how many of Orozco Ink's SEOs you can find in future blogs. Here are some hints: writer, journalist, editor, travel, social media, Carpinteria Magazine, journal, handmade books, marketing, blogger ... and the list goes on.
The above photo is an excellent lesson in NOT applying the concept of SEOs to one's blog. These beautifully displayed pregnancy magazines are from the Ear, Nose & Throat waiting room at Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara. (I had a follow-up appointment for an earache.) I thought it funny that the ENT waiting room would have these magazines. No, the OB/GYN department was nowhere near ENT. I thought maybe they shared the same waiting room. Funny, huh?