Hold My Handwriting

It’s interesting that I drug myself kicking and screaming to digital journalling… ended up falling in love with it… only to be reunited again with pen and paper. While on my digital sabbatical (i.e. going “off the grid” for an extended period of time), I wrote by hand the whole time. When I came back, I was completely torn between digital and “analog” writing.   Continue reading “Hold My Handwriting”

Blogging Without a Blog

(click here to read this on Mode.com)

So… you kinda want to be a blogger…

Meaning you’d like to share your thoughts and stories in the digital space but you’re not much of a writer. Or maybe you are somewhat of a witty writer but the thought of the set-up and maintenance of an actual blog makes you cringe. Here are some ways you can still be an online storyteller without the hassle of “blogging.”

Making a case for Microblogging…

Microblogging is what we used to consider what “tweeting” is in the early days of social media. These days, we long to say more than what 140 characters will allow. Not all of us want to carry the burden of a regular blog. Microblogging makes it easy to not only quickly capture longer thoughts but spark conversations and more sharing that regular blogs.

Medium

If you actually want to blog… like write full on blog posts… but don’t want “a blog” to keep up with, look no further than Medium.com. I highly recommend it and, as you know, I write there as well. It is a haven for people who just want to write and for people who want to read good work. It’s like the “Reader’s Digest” or “The New Yorker” of the Internet. This platform is all about stories. If you’ve got good ones (any genre), tell them here.

Anchor

The newest kid on the microblogging block is the mobile app Anchor. Anchor is an audio representation of your content. You basically talk in “waves” up to 2 minutes in length instead of writing posts. Your listeners can talk back to you (in 1-minute responses) which you can in turn reply to and before you know it, your content has become a conversation that can be shared out on Twitter and Facebook.

Periscope

Mobile app, Periscope, is a video representation of your content. Think of it as you being a roving reporter broadcasting whatever you want to share live (unfiltered and uncensored) to a public audience. Viewers interact with you via comments and animated hearts… sort of like an “applause” when they like what they see. Scopes disappear in 24 hours but there are apps to save and share your videos.

Instagram

They say a picture is worth 1000 words… which is precisely why Instagram is a perfect way to blog without blogging. A simple (or elaborate) caption (with appropriate and applicable hashtags) to an awesome photo can go a long way in telling a great story. The ultimate version of show and tell.

Google Plus

Yes, the red-headed stepchild of the social networking world is PERFECT for those who want to write, share, and exchange ideas but do not want a full-blown blog. And yes, it is still one of my favorite platforms. First off, it’s THE GOOGLE! Your content will be FOUND by anyone who does a search for what you’re talking about! With text markdown and no character limits, you can say as much or as little as you want and make it pretty too!

Content Curation

This method of microblogging is great for information junkies (like me)! Do you love to absorb the best of the Internets and wish to share your thoughts in more than 140 characters? Sites like Mode.com, Pinterest, and Flipboard are exactly what you need to collect and categorize gems of content and add your prolific two-cents about them. A respected fountain of information you will be!

And speaking of Mode… Here’s the Mode version of this post 🙂

Check out How You Can Be a Blogger Without Having a Blog

by ChatterBox Christie at Mode

 

Finding My Words In Pictures (Carey Bradshaw #BlackHistory Series)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…

It’s funny… in my personal and professional writing career, I am often charged with finding the right image to match my words. I hunt, relentlessly, to find the perfect visual representation of what I’ve written. It’s rarely the other way around. That, too, is odd because in my early days of writing, I often found inspiration in photos. Funny how things have a way of coming full-circle…

I can trace my love for writing back to my childhood but it wasn’t until I was well into my 30’s that I could comfortably call myself a writer. I accepted it… yet I never really embraced the title. Even with a published book and a successful blog under my belt, I never truly acknowledged the impact of my words…

Until now… And because of a picture…

My dear friend and phenomenal photography genius, Carey Bradshaw, commissioned me to put words to images he’s created for a Black History project. I challenged myself to not only make the photos “speak” to everyone who laid eyes on them, but to also convey Carey’s sentiment, motivation, and inspiration for creating them. Here is first installment of our collaboration:

We Fed Your Legacy

If this image and/or the accompanying words disturb you… then we’ve successfully done our job. To say we caused quite a stir would be an understatement. Click the image to see just how much of a ruckus we kicked up.

This image did more for me than anything I have ever written…

Nearly 200K views, thousands of shares, and hundreds of comments… my work has never… EVER reached this far and to such a wide, unknown audience. Beyond that, working with Carey showed me that my words and my creativity have POWER! There is a force within me! I can move souls! I reacquainted myself with the muse that started it all and I like having her around.

Stay tuned for more!

The Wine Cellars: Wine, Wifi… Why, Yes!

Writing always seems to go a little better with wine.

Whenever I’ve had the occasion to relax and do some uninterrupted writing, I’d swing by The Wine Cellars…another one of Smyrna’s hidden treasures… and grab a bottle of whatever Renee recommends.

Renee, the owner, is truly amazing.  In the 9+ years of my patronage, she’s never steered me wrong.  Her recommendations are always on point.  She and the rest of her staff make a point to get to know their customers by name and taste/preference.  She knows what I like but she also knows how to get me to step outside my comfort zone.

In the last year or so (maybe more), this quaint little shop nestled in the rear of Smyrna’s Market Village has grown from a “very-convenient-wine-and-gift-store-to-pop-in-on-your-way-home-or-out-to a place to relax, enjoy friends, and for me…to write.

Renee transformed the back half of the space into a wine bar with lounge seating and bistro tables.  Wine is sold by the glass and there is WiFi.  Can you say “had me at hello?”

You are reading this post on your screen now, but when I originally wrote it, it was written by hand while sitting and sipping a glass of Jam Jar sweet shiraz, an awesome South African wine Renee poured when I asked her to “surprise me.”  Assistant Manager, Stephen (who I adore and who is equally wonderful with recommendations), set a bowl of “munchies” before me and soft sounds of jazz soothed me as I mused in my journal.  Can you see why this is and ideal #WriteSpace?

If your travels ever take you past downtown Smyrna (booming metropolis that it is) you must stop by The Wine Cellars.  If you need some incentive, there are wine tastings every Saturday, 2:00-4:00pm, but really…any day is a good day to go. Tell Renee and Stephen I said “hello.”