2015 Writers’ Blog Hop Week 4 – Lifelong Learning

 

Today I’d like to share a couple of graphics programs that have made a huge difference for me.

WordSwag

Wordswag is a free app I downloaded onto my iPad. It’s very easy to use and is great if you want to create square graphics to use on your website or other social media. (All my blog hop graphics were made using Wordswag

Like:

  • Free app
  • Easy to use
  • Quick
  • Option to use your own photos or backgrounds included in the app
  • Includes free searchable pictures from Pixabay
  • Able to choose from many free font options; you can purchase other font options in the app
  • Built in share options to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Text, or E-mail.
  • Option to add a logo or watermark
  • Ability to use a graphic as a template

Don’t Like:

  • Not very flexible – can’t change the shape of the graphic (only options are rectangle or square) or select portions of font to change
  • Only available via iTunes

Canva

Canva makes design simple for everyone. Create designs for Web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations and so much more.” Canva is much more flexible than Wordswag, but it will take longer to get a graphic designed.

Like:

  • Available as an app from iTunes, or directly on the web at http://www.canva.com
  • Choose from presized canvases for social media, poster, presentation, Facebook cover, Facebook post, etc.
  • Make your own custom canvas size (in pixels, mm, or inches)
  • Free backgrounds, fonts, and layouts are available, as well as text holders, borders and other items
  • If you have your own picture, you can upload it to Canva and use it in your design
  • Other pictures, fonts, etc. are available at the cost of $1.00 each/design
  • Basically if you can imagine it, you can make it on Canva
  • When you’re done you can download the graphic as an image or as a PDF file
  • You can share the graphic right from Canva

Don’t Like:

  • It takes a lot of time to make a great design
  • Sometimes when you change something in your design, you can’t go back if you change your mind

What have you learned in the past year that has helped you in your writing?


 

[inlinkz_linkup id=498401 mode=1]

Although this is the last week of the general writers’ blog hop, there will still be a blog hop in two weeks:

Social Media Blog Hop
#1 Favourite Social Media Site – Tell us where (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) you spend most of your time/energy and why (Week of Mar 2)
#2 Graphics for social media – Share your favourite source/app (Week of Mar 16)
#3 Scheduling posts – How often? Do you use a program like Hootsuite? Other tips? (Week of Mar 30)
#4 Content of posts – What do you share? Where do you find content? Ratio of promotional/other? (Week of April 13)

Note: If you’re interested in participating in the social media blog hop and want an e-mail reminder, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.


2015 Writers’ Blog Hop Week 3 – My favourite character

Grade 7
Picture from Young Pilot September 1980

Thirty four years later I can still picture him: my grade 7 teacher, Mr. Arthur Freeman. (The picture above was taken while I sat in his classroom.) He taught junior high for decades at Prairie Bible Institute. When I met him, his silver-grey hair masked his quick whit, keen mind, and ready sense of humour. His piercing blue eyes often clouded with tears as he implored us to learn from his mistakes. He believed in discipline and structure, but the virtue of love pervaded everything he did.

He often told stories to break down walls and build relationship. Stories of his early years; stories of raising his family; stories of how he and his wife prayed, believing God would turn the hearts of rebellious sons; stories of students coming back years later to make things right. Along with lessons of history and grammar, we learned the lessons of life. Mr. Freeman not only challenged us to memorize 100 verses and recite them with no mistakes, but he also did it himself. While we were allowed to recite individually with him, he recited in front of the class, allowing us to correct him.

Mr. Freeman not only taught us; he mentored us. This mentorship did not end when we walked out the door of his classroom. For at least ten years afterward he was my teacher, I received a bookmark and personal note from him on my birthday. I’ve heard from others that he did the same thing for them, and am assuming he sent those birthday greetings to every student he had in his class. If you do the math, that action alone speaks volumes.

I’m grateful for the amazing legacy he left for those of us who had the privilege of learning with him.

Did you have a teacher or someone else who mentored you? I’d love to hear about that person.

 


2015 Writers' Blog Hop

 

[inlinkz_linkup id=492838 mode=1]


Writers’ Blog Hop – My Writing Goals for 2015

Writers Blog Hop

Welcome to my 2015 Writers’ Blog Hop! This week’s topic is writing goals for 2015

When I reviewed my writing goals from 2014, I noted that I had a few unfinished projects:

I thought these would top my goals for 2015. However, a week or so later, I joined the Kindle in 30 Challenge with Kristen Eckstein. One of our first assignments was a brain dump where I set the timer for 10 minutes and jotted down anything and everything I could write about. Next I put the topics together into groups (e.g. marketing, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads). I wasn’t overly impressed with what I had come up with, but I wasn’t able to continue the process until the next morning. When I woke up, I was amazed at what happened. By writing down all the topics, I had cleared my brain and made room for my creativity to kick into high gear. I realized I could create a series of non-fiction books combining several of my interests and passions.

31 Days LogoThis year, I will be focusing on writing, publishing, and marketing a series of books (31 Days of . . . ) on Kindle. Each book will cover a specific topic. My first book will be Hope: Reflections to brighten the Dark Days of Life. In these books I will combine devotional thoughts, Scripture verses, quotes, and photographs I’ve taken. With my Brain Dump topics (Praise, Encouragement, Thankfulness, Prayer, Joy, Love, Peace, Comfort, Healthy Eating, Family Fun, Leadership, Time Management, Parenting) I have enough titles to publish a book a month and still have some topics left over. We’ll see how far I get!

Once I get the books published on Kindle, I’ll see about getting paperbacks printed as well. I need to decide whether I’m going to publish these as individual books or in groups.

If I find myself with time left over (which looks highly doubtful at this point!) I may return to some of the projects I was going to work on in 2014.

What are your writing goals? Please share them in the comment section or join the blog hop and link in below. On your mark, get set, GO!

 ______________________________________

Note: You’re welcome to put the Writer’s Blog Hop button on your website. The code is

<a href=”http://ruthlsnyder.com/writers-blog-hop-my-writing-goals-for-2015/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://ruthlsnyder.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Writers-Blog-Hop-300×3001.png” width=”300″ height=”300″ /></a> [inlinkz_linkup id=481901 mode=1]


2015 Writers' Blog Hop

Blog Hops in 2015: Come join the fun!

Thank you to those who gave input into the type of blog hop you would be interested in participating in. I’ve taken the feedback I received and compiled it, deciding to run several shorter blog hops in 2015. Look over the topics and let me know which one(s) you will participate in by sending me an e-mail. I also need to know which day works best for everyone to post – leave a comment below. (Most posts will be made the same day, but the link will be live for a week.)

General Writers’ Blog HopWriters Blog Hop
#1 Writing Goals – share what you’re planning to work on this year (Week of Jan 5th)
#2 Writing sample – share a sample from your current Work in Progress (Week of Jan 19)
#3 Favourite character – this can be a real person or a character from one of your fiction stories (Week of Feb 2)
#4 Lifelong learner – Writers need to be continuously learning. What did you learn in 2014 that helped make you a better writer? (Week of Feb 16)

Social Media Blog HopSocial Media Blog Hop
#1 Favourite Social Media Site – Tell us where you spend most of your time/energy and why (Week of Mar 2)
#2 Graphics for social media – Share your favourite source/app (Week of Mar 16)
#3 Scheduling posts – How often? Do you use a program like Hootsuite? Other tips? (Week of Mar 30)
#4 Content of posts – What do you share? Where do you find content? Ratio of promotional/other? (Week of April 13)

Parenting Blog HopParenting Blog Hop
#1 What do you find most challenging about parenting? What helps you get through the tough days?(Week of May 4)
#2 What parenting tip would you give to new parents? (Week of May 18)
#3 Share a family tradition with us (Week of June 8)
#4 Share your favourite holiday destination and/or how you make long family trips more enjoyable (Week of June 22)

Bloggers’ Blog HopBloggers Blog Hop
#1 Share your goals/mission statement for your blog and why/when you started blogging (Week of July 6)
#2 How do you engage your readers? (Week of July 20)
#3 Where do you find your blog graphics? (Share your favourite sources/apps) (Week of Aug 3)
#4 Share some blogs you guest post on and why (Week of Aug 17)

Christian Writers’ Blog HopChristian Writers Blog Hop
#1 Share your testimony with us (Week of Sept 7)
#2 Tell us about your favourite writing conference and how it improved your writing (Week of Sep 21)
#3 Share how your world view affects your writing (Week of Oct 5)
#4 Share a book which impacted your spiritual life and writing (Week of Oct 19)

Writers’ Marketing Blog HopMarketing Blog Hop
#1 Share your most recent published book/article with us (Week of Nov 2)
#2 Share a marketing idea that has worked well for you (Week of Nov 16)
#3 What advice would you give to someone who is wanting to market a book or article? (Week of Nov 30)
#4 Which websites/groups/social media sites have you found helpful? In what ways? (Week of Dec 14)

If you have any concerns or questions, let me know. I’m looking forward to learning with you in 2015 🙂


Thanksgiving Thank You from Helping Hands Press

Thank You

This is a guest post from Helping Hands Press

Thank You!

We can’t say it any more plainly.

As each day grows closer to those times of the year that makes one pause and reflect on what they are thankful for and what their year was like, we cannot help but come back to the one place any Author or Publisher needs to think of and consider with each and every word-YOUour readers and supporters.

We count on you each and every “Thirsty Thursday” Facebook Party for your feedback, every review you give, every email and direct message you send the Authors in our Community. Without your guidance and support we know that we would cease to exist. “THANK YOU!”

As a small token of our appreciation we are going to try to do a few fun things for you over the next 4 weeks.

We are going to offer all of the paperbacks, audio books and ebooks in the Helping Hands Press Store at 30% off from Nov. 20 to Dec.18th. All you need to do is use the code word “THANKYOU” when you check out to receive the discount.

We are also starting a contest that will run the same length of time. There will be a Rafflecopter located on the Helping Hands Press blog that will have all the details. There are a lot of prizes:

Grand Prize -Kindle Fire HD6

Second Prize– 12 paperbacks-Full list is below

Third Prize-6 paperbacks-Full List below

Fourth prize-6 audio books-Full List below

Fifth Prize-audio book of choice

We hope that you have fun, enjoy the contest, and most of all know that all of us here at Helping Hands Press are very thankful for your support each and every day!

THANK YOU!

01 A a AKindle Fire Promo

Second Prize-12 paperbacks: Declaration of Independence Series I, Colony Zero Complete Series I, The San Francisco Wedding Planner Series I, ’Tis The Season in Sweetland Complete, No Revolution Is Too Big Complete Series, Marsha Hubler’s Heart-Warming Christmas Stories Complete Series, No Matter What, Uplifting Devotionals Book I, 12Days of Christmas Complete Series, The Ambassadors, Preacher Man Volume I, Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine

Third Prize-6 paperbacks:Dark Enough To See The Stars, The Blizzard, The Christmas Wish, Mother Can You Hear Me?, Homeschool Co-ops 101, God,Me and a Cup of Tea

 


Five Minute Friday: Notice

Five Minute Friday: Notice

Five Minute Friday: Notice

What do you notice when  you go somewhere you’ve never been before?

  • People?
  • Natural beauty?
  • Houses?
  • Flowers?
  • Something else?

What about when you meet someone you’ve never met before? What do you notice?

  • Hair?
  • Eyes?
  • Shape?
  • Smile?
  • Personality?
  • Gestures?

We all notice different things. Ask five eye-witnesses what they saw at an accident site and they’ll give you five different descriptions. For better or worse, we tend to see people and things through our own unique filters. We notice things that other people gloss over, but we also overlook things that other people think are obvious. We need to ask God to help us see people and events the way He sees them:

  • He sees the sparrow
  • He knows how many hairs are on your head
  • He understands what it’s like to be deserted and alone
  • He feels your sorrow

Nothing is ever a surprise to God. He notices everything.

Especially you!

 

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

Those who’d like to participate in Five Minute Friday will write for five minutes on the topic of the week, post it on their own blog and link up the post on Kate’s blog (via the InLinkz button at the bottom of the post).

This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.

Just write.


5 Minute Friday: Leave

Alzheimer’s/Caregivers Blog Tour, & 5 Minute Friday

Caregiver's month

President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s; today, the number of people with the disease has soared to nearly 5.4 million (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014). The Author Community of Helping Hands Press is getting involved in November, and hopes to help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.

Starting Nov. 3rd, with Anne Baxter Campbell’s blog post and Sue Badeau’s appearance on blogtalk radio, and finishing on Nov. 25th with Mark Venturini’s blog post, many of the authors in the Helping Hands Press Community will be sharing their personal stories.

Take time to tour the blogs and increase your awareness.

Here is the list:

Nov.3rd-Anne Baxter Campbell- http://pewperspective.blogspot.com/

Nov.4th –Doris Gaines Rapp- http://dorisgainesrapp.blogspot.com/

Nov.5th-Marcia Lee Laycock- http://marcialeelaycock.com/thespur/

Nov. 6th –Ruth L. Snyder- http://ruthlsnyder.com/

Nov. 7th –Sheila Seiler Lagrand- http://sheilalagrand.com/

Nov. 8th –Giovanni Gelati- http://gelatisscoop.blogspot.com/

Nov. 10th –Cindy Noonan- http://www.cindynoonan.com/

Nov. 11th-Sue Badeau- http://suebadeau.webs.com/apps/blog/

Nov. 12th-Peggy Blann Phifer- http://www.whispersinpurple.com/

Nov. 13th-Sandy Sieber- http://pahistorybooks.blogspot.com/

Nov. 13th– Joy Ross Davis- http://joyrossdavis.com/blog/

Nov.14th –Karen Gass- http://www.cottonspice.net/

Nov. 17th –Patti J. Smith- http://gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/

Nov. 18th-Tracy Krauss- http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com/

Nov.19th –Melanie M. Jeschke- http://melaniejeschke.blogspot.com/

Nov. 20th-Richard L. Allen – http://www.christianwritergroup.com

Nov.21st– Andrea J. Graham- http://www.christsglory.com/

5 Minute Friday

5 Minute Friday: Leave

Leave is a word that has negative connotations for me. I spent the early years of my life as a missionary kid – my parents were missionaries in southern Africa until I was 11. To be a missionary family, you LEAVE many things and people you love to serve God. I came to hate the word, “Goodbye,” because that meant that we were LEAVING again. Leaving friends, leaving familiar places, leaving things I enjoyed.

Now that I’m older, I realize that leaving doesn’t have to be negative. Sometimes we NEED to LEAVE things behind – bad habits, sin, choices that aren’t the best. When we are willing to leave these things behind, it frees us to be the person we should be.

I’m grateful for God’s patience. (And now it’s time for me to leave this exercise, because the timer’s ringing!)

5 Minute Friday is a weekly challenge for bloggers to write for (you guessed it) 5 minutes on a given word. No editing. No deleting (it’s HARD!). If you would like to join me and other amazing 5 minute free writing friends, please visit Kate’s blog and linkup!