Google PlusFacebookTwitter

What I’m studying today: the color wheel

on Jan 25, 2016

You guys probably don’t know that I build most of my websites and have been learning a lot about design in the last year (for designing t-shirts, mostly). I’m very much an amateur/hobbyist designer and always will be (this stuff doesn’t come naturally to me) but I have a lot of fun trying and consider it a worthwhile and productive hobby.   I’m pretty good at nuts and bolts stuff, but when it comes to being creative, I know my limitations. Color, for example. I don’t really have an “eye” for it, so I rely a lot of articles like this one.     Until today, I did NOT understand hues/tints/tones/shades. And while I did have a grasp of warm/cool colors, it never dawned on me that you just cut the color wheel in half for that. A lot of good stuff here for the amateur or hobbyist designer!...

Let’s talk about memory palaces, systems, and Swiffers

on Dec 20, 2015

I’m reading about memory on this Sunday morning. It started with this article: Top 10 Tricks to Boost Your Memory and Remember Anything As you all know, I’m fascinated with the mind and its capabilities and mysteries. My memory is….complicated. Like most people, I guess. I think I have pretty good mental alacrity and agility. I forget nothing…except soooo many of the “little things” that are really, really important to the people in my lives. I never forget intricate details about things that my mind processes as interesting and important. But… I’ve been called a “bad person” for not remembering birthdays, etc…The fact is, I barely remember my own. I forget doctor appointments. I forget plans with friends, over and over. No matter what I try to do to “remember.” I won’t bother to remember someone’s name unless it becomes apparent that they’re going to be a fixture in some area of my life. (my daughter’s gentlemen friends, for example….) On the other hand, I rarely forget where my hairbrush is and I never lose my keys. I also rarely forget where I am on a work project or specific phrases and quotes from books. The reason I’m good at remember those things is...

INFOGRAPHIC: Word Counts of Famous Books

on Sep 28, 2015

Is this awesome? Try to do the 30 minute reads. I will! I found this here. Image courtesy of Cartridge...

Video

on Aug 31, 2015

Green and clean

on Jan 24, 2015

One of my favorite stories, as told by Dr. Stephen Covey. Some years ago, I had an interesting experience in delegation with one of my sons. We were having a family meeting, and we had our mission statement up on the wall to make sure our plans were in harmony with our values. Everybody was there. I set up a big blackboard and we wrote down our goals — the key things we wanted to do — and the jobs that flowed out of those goals. Then I asked for volunteers to do the job. “Who wants to pay the mortgage?” I asked. I noticed I was the only one with my hand up. “Who wants to pay for the insurance? The food? The cars?” I seemed to have a real monopoly on the opportunities. As we went down the list, job by job, it was soon evident that Mom and Dad had more than sixty-hour work weeks. With that paradigm in mind, some of the other jobs took on a more proper perspective. My seven-year-old son, Stephen, volunteered to take care of the yard. Before I actually gave him a job, I began a thorough training process. I...

19 Blogs that pay $100 or more for guest posts

on Jan 21, 2015

I didn’t write this and have not checked out or confirmed any of these. It was originally published at Freelance Writers Lounge.There are some great leads here, though!    Whether you’re a newbie freelance writer or a professional blogger, one of the greatest ways to build your portfolio is through guest blogging. Not only does it give you a great amount of exposure, but you can alsomake money in the process! It’s a total win-win situation. That’s why I always emphasize the importance of guest blogging for freelance writers. What is Guest Posting: Guest posting means writing an article for someone else’s blog. This is an awesome way to get publicity for your own blog as most bloggers let you have an author blurb with a link back to your own site. And if you’re not a blogger, it’s still a great way to build your online presence (which is essential for a freelance writer). There are several blogs that pay a hundred bucks or more for a quality guest post. Here are some of them: 1. ListVerse: This website is all about lists. You can create a list about literally anything; the funnier, the better. They pay $100...

I might as well face it, I’m addicted to books

on Jan 10, 2015

I think this is how you know you have a problem! In cleaning my office, I found a box of books that I bought in December and forgot about! But it’s exciting like finding a Christmas present under the tree when you take the tree down. They’ll fit in nicely with the other English books, on this dedicated shelf (and I need to move them to a bigger one, I guess….). The irony here is this, a book that was in the box: Don’t judge me. There ARE worse addictions, after all....

10 Tiny time management tips from Time Management Ninja

on Nov 12, 2014

Time Management Ninja is a site that I love. I’m hoping to get some of the writing of Craig, the owner, on Liberal America. I just found this little gem over there: 10 Tiny Time Management Tips. This article intrigued me because some of these are things that I actually do, so it sort of validated some of my own methods! Craig works this from the premise of people complaining that they dn’t have time to deal with time management. His site is a treasure trove of good information about how to avoid getting into the “next big thing” trap when it comes to organization and time management. These “tiny tips” are a good place for anyone to start. My responses in orange. 1. Plan Your Day – Spend 10 minutes planning your day each morning. (Set a timer if you must…) These few minutes can save you hours of misfortune and wasted effort. They can prevent missed opportunities, last-minute scrambles, and life stress. I fail here a lot, actually. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I work from home, I think. When I worked in the Real World (which really wasn’t at all real now...

My new manifesto

on Nov 12, 2014

I’ve developed a new manifesto. This isn’t an overnight development. It’s years in the making. I’m 47 years old. Some of this is “about time,” but I’ve always been a late bloomer. I suspect this happens to everyone over the course of their lives — they change, evolve, grow….maybe even regress. Anyhow, here is what my friends and family can expect from me. I’m much less tolerant of BS. I don’t want even one minute of confusion. You only get so many chances and I’m not obligated to outline the terms. By that same way of thinking, I’m much MORE patient with the people who matter to me. You’ll get more chances in some cases. I’m much more likely to be outspoken. I’m not going to keep any concerns I have bottled up anymore. Very few people’s opinions about me matter to me. I can count them on two hands. My dad, my kids, and a few of other people. And BTW, if my dad is reading this, that doesn’t extend to politics! There are things I’m not going to explain anymore. A few sensitive topics only get one explanation. I’ll be watching your face (if I can) while I explain...

I’ve changed my mind

on Sep 13, 2014

OK so I went on a date. I was actually walking out the door to go and had second thoughts, so I came back to my office and called him to say I had changed my mind. I had just spoken with him, so I thought he was still at work and had not left. It went to voicemail and I left a voicemail telling him that I’d not be coming. I sent several texts, AND I sent him a message on the dating site. He called me 45 minutes later and he was already at our destination and had not seen the messages because he was driving. He lives an hour away. I sighed and apologized and went ahead and went. He was a bit confused but WOW very understanding and patient. I had a great time! Am glad I went and I’ll go out with him again. So what gave me second thoughts in the first place? Little things. It will be interesting to see if these small things are genuine concerns. A good test for my intuition, I...

It’s not that hard….

on Aug 24, 2014

It’s not that hard to be decent. It’s hard to be a superstar. It’s hard to even be just plain old awesome.  But it’s actually very easy to be a decent human being. Basic decency is effortless. It means treating people as you’d like to be treated. It means not taking from people who are starving — either physically or emotionally. It means not going back and farking up that which you’ve already farked up enough. It means not manipulating situations for your own gain. It means giving a damn. Having empathy. Maybe avoiding doing evil stuff. Is that so hard? Not everyone can be awesome. But almost anyone can be...

Susan Cain: The power of introverts

on Jul 14, 2014

It’s OK to be an introvert. In fact, it’s desirable. I grew up in a generation, time, and place in which it wasn’t cool to be introverted. In fact, any research on introversion/extroversion never hit the news stand in my world. Introverts were “bookworms” or “wallflowers” or “snobs.” Not necessarily so. I don’t apologize for my introversion...

What I learned from watching ‘Jobs’ — the Steve Jobs story

on Jun 27, 2014

I watched Jobs a few months ago and I jotted down notes during the movie, but haven’t had time to put them onto my blog yet. I put on my Franklin Covey planner last month to do it on 7/27/14, so here they are! Note: I don’t always follow my Franklin Covey, but if I even strive to do so, it helps me to be more organized. 1. Never give up. Steve Jobs made hundreds of calls to try to find people who would sell the first Apple computer in their stores, and then, to businesses who would finance the parts to build the computers. The average entrepreneur might give up after the first dozen or so rejections. Don’t do this. From my own life experience, the things I was successful at were the things I refused to fail at. 2. Don’t accept “no” as an answer. When someone tells you “no,” try to reach win/win so that they will maybe move to “yes.” In regards to employees, help them get to “yes” or let them go — make quick decisions about this. Coercing an unwilling person to do anything is a waste of time. Learn how to ascertain...

14 FREE brilliant pieces of literature you can read in an hour

on Jun 6, 2014

14 FREE brilliant pieces of literature you can read in an hour I stumbled across this on the web and wow! Let’s get busy, y’all. I think I’ll put all these on my summer reading list. You can read any of these on your lunch break. I’ll try to get them on my Kindle and read them while waiting places for kids. Summaries by PolicyMic. ‘Happy Endings’ by Margaret Atwood John and Mary meet. What happens next? If you want a happy ending, try A. So begins Atwood’s sassy and inventive story that at least pretends to give the reader the choice of which ending they want for the story’s two characters. Even with options for endings, which Atwood clearly labels as if part of a multiple choice test, the story makes clear that there is really only one ending to any story. ‘Pygmalion’ by John Updike Inspired by the story of Pygmalion from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the story follows a sculptor who falls in love with a statue he carves. Updike transforms the narrative’s message to reveal the narcissism we all bring to love. Updike makes every sentence of this brief piece count, nonchalantly surprising his readers with a...

The Speed of Language (Infographic)

on Jun 1, 2014

I found this at Visual.ly. They’re awesome, BTW. You can actually make your own amazing infographics like this there. Just remember this: some languages, according to this research, do move just a little faster, but generally, it’s not that folks are talking fast — you’re understanding slow. From the site: Ever wondered why some languages sound like they’re spoken much faster than others? Yet, in dubbed movies the words seemingly fit the actors’ mouth movement. That’s what researchers at Universite de Lyon wanted to explain when they set out to research one phenomenon: the speed of language. This infographics shows how they did it, and what they found. Design by Sofya Yampolsky...

In support of naps…yeah NAPS, haters. I like naps.

on Jun 1, 2014

From NASA: June 3, 2005: Space travel is sleepless work. Despite NASA recommendations that astronauts sleep 8 hours a day, they usually don’t. Strange sights and sounds, the stress of riding a powerful rocket, the lack of a normal day-night cycle–all these things tend to keep space travelers awake. Studies show that astronauts typically sleep 0.5 to 2.5 hours less than they do on Earth. Although many astronauts report feeling fully rested after only six hours of sleep, the fact is, sleeplessness can cause irritability, forgetfulness and fatigue–none of which astronauts need to deal with while piloting complicated ‘ships that hurtle through space at tens of thousands of miles per hour. The solution seems simple: Take a nap. But naps are a double-edged sword. Sometimes napping can leave you feeling even drowsier than before. If your body enters a deep sleep, trying to wake after only an hour or so can be very unpleasant, and you might remain groggy for some time afterward. This is called “sleep inertia.” Why do naps sometimes backfire? Researchers don’t yet know the physical causes of sleep inertia, but they would like to be able to predict, at least, when it’s going to strike....

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – AMAZING LIST

on May 26, 2014

  I’m really trying to write some fiction. So far, I’ve done these things in my efforts to get started: nothing Fact: I don’t even know if I can still write fiction. I’ve lived in a non-fiction and technical writing world for so long. We’ll see! To get started, I’m perusing some helpful sites for info. I found this at Aerogramme Writers’ Studio, and it is a list that was originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s former Story Artist. Good stuff! You admire a character for trying more than for their successes. You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different. Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite. Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___. Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free. What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them....

What I’m reading: Kate Morton and ramblings

on May 25, 2014

I just finished reading Kate Morton’s The House at Riverton. This story and its characters won’t soon leave me. I stumbled upon Kate Norton when I searched Good Reads for “books like” The Thirteenth Tale, which remains one of my favorite novels of all time. It’s not a huge favorite with many reviewers, but alas, I love it. I’m not big on doing book reviews. It’s time-consuming and time better spent reading. So I won’t review The House at Riverton here; you can easily find reviews online. I’m grateful to reviewers, however. I rely heavily on reviews. Although I don’t write many reviews, I do enjoy conversations about my favorite books. I’m thinking to find a book club, maybe? God and all of you know that I’m NOT NOT a club joiner. I don’t really like “hen gatherings” and “occasions.” But maybe a bunch of nerdy book people like me? I’m going to look into it as a summer project. Have you joined Good Reads? You should. I’m a lurker more than anything, but it’s a really cool community, introduced to me by my friend Liz some years ago. I escaped into The House at Riverton, and indeed all of Morton’s...

So what do you do for fun…..?

on May 7, 2014

What are those questions that stop you in your tracks? The ONE that gets me every single time is the innocent “what do you do for fun?” question from well-meaning people whose lives don’t revolve around esoterica. And yeah, esoterica is a word, Google Chrome. Don’t red-line me. And THAT is why I have a dictionary collection, BTW. Time to break out the big boys.   So the last time I was visiting my hairdresser, she asked me “the question.” Now, she’s been doing my hair for going on two years, but this is indicative of how I interact with people. In these necessary life relationships that I have, I simply don’t talk about myself (yeah, I know it’s hard to believe!). I listen to them. So when Belinda asked “so Tiffany, what do you do for fun?” I was thinking…“look….I don’t come here to be subjected to loaded questions, OK.” It’s not that I don’t know what I do for fun. It’s not that I don’t HAVE fun. I have as much fun as anyone, and probably more than many people. It’s that in those “what do you do for fun” headlight beams, I know I’m going to misrepresent myself. I’m going to suddenly give...

An update on my bookshelf project

on May 3, 2014

As a reminder, the photo of the rustic shed is a stockpile of old wood we have in the pasture. Much of it is rotting, but I don’t mind digging for the good pieces. A month or so ago, I went and spent some time finding some decent pieces to build bookshelves from for my home office. The other photos are different views of the shelves I’ve been building in my office over the last few days. Here’s a tip I learned halfway through. Put the brackets up first. Then lay the boards on top and screw them onto the brackets from the bottom. Much easier than trying to maneuver the boards alone. The brackets are the ones at Home Depot that are a couple bucks each. I never said it would be elegant — I said it would be DONE. Want elegance? Call a carpenter. Want done and free? Call a resourceful single mom! I’m delighted with...

The way these parents keep imagination alive is incredible

on May 2, 2014

I guess all parents have regrets. One thing I regret is that I’m not a whole lot of FUN when it comes to little kid stuff. Like this, for example. I’d never have thought of this. This is a parenting win. I found it here....

13 of the coolest business cards you’ve ever seen

on May 2, 2014

OK it’s been my experience, in working a zillion trade shows, that paying the price for cool giveaways (like these plunger business cards) generally doesn’t pay off. But it sure leaves an impression! Some of these cards are hella cool, however, and WOULD be worth the investment. Where you definitely need to use them is networking events. They would also be awesome job search tools and would definitely leave an impression. Some are even as cheap as the cheapest of cards. Think creatively with your business cards.   1. Plumber business card 2. Landscapers seed packet business card 3. Cheese grater business card 4. Photographer’s viewfinder business card 5. Cargo or moving company business card 6. Yoga instructor straw card 7. Adventure company’s edible (beef jerkey???) business card 8. Designer’s transparency business card 9. Investment firm/broker business card   10. Hairdresser business card 11. Bike shop business card   12. Yoga mat business card 13. Personal trainer business card     h/t Viral...

For each ecstatic instant…

on Apr 28, 2014

Shared with us by my friend Thomas tonight. Love this. For each ecstatic instant We must an anguish pay In keen and quivering ratio To the ecstasy. For each beloved hour Sharp pittances of years, Bitter contested farthings And coffers heaped with tears. ~Emily...

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method

on Apr 27, 2014

I’m going to be testing out the “Snowflake Method” of writing a novel. From eHow: The snowflake method of writing a novel is a scientific approach to writing a book that was invented by Randy Ingermanson, an award-winning author of fiction. This novel-writing method resembles the way a mathematical snowflake is created by repeatedly adding more steps in a structured manner. By starting with small ideas, writing them down and then adding to previous steps, you can soon have a novel ready to send to a publisher. Instructions for the Showflake Method of writing a novel: Write a summary of your novel in one sentence. Take an hour and write out your 1-sentence summary. This sentence will be how you hook an editor into buying your novel. Therefore, it should be the best you can think up. Turn your sentence into a 5-sentence paragraph that outlines the beginning, conflicts and the end of your novel. Next, give each of the major characters a 1-page biography. Put down what motivates each of them and the conflicts they will endure. Go back to the paragraph in step 2. Turn each of the five sentences into individual paragraphs. All of the paragraphs...

50 Sophisticated Words You Should Start Using Instead

on Apr 27, 2014

OnlineCollege.org compiled this supreme (wink wink) list of words that you could/should be using instead of cheap imitations. I happen to like words like “epic” and “fail,” but yeah these are some really cool substitutions. Here are my favorites from this list: Blunder: For the love of grammar, “fail” is not a noun. On the other hand, “blunder” works as both a noun and a verb. How supreme. Triumph: Instead of “FTW,” you can say, “For The Triumph!” We bet you money you can’t say it without feeling like Maximus Fidus Achates: More than some internet acquaintance, a fidus Achates (“FEED-us uh-KAH-tays”) is a true friend. It’s like “BFF” in Latin. Fancy: It’s only a matter of time before you’ll be able to “fancy” a link or status update for which you wish to show appreciation. Piquant: If you simply must inform the world how scrumptious the food you are currently eating is, please refrain from saying “nom nom nom.” Use this descriptor instead to convey appetizing flavor. Ergo: Starting a status update with “so” is nonsensical because “so” means “therefore.” But if you’re going to use “so” correctly, “ergo” works just as well. Assiduous: Don’t bother telling employers you are “dynamic;” everyone they’ve interviewed has...

The Best Underrated Books List Anywhere!

on Apr 26, 2014

I posted earlier about Hidden Gems, a site that aggregates books and movie info. Here is a page with The Best Underrated Books List Anywhere. I intend to check some of these out....

Free books that are in the public domain

on Apr 26, 2014

I found this resource page with the headline “Your Hidden Gems Free Kindle Books.” The books appear to be downloadable, so not sure if they’re Kindle books or not, really. But it’s a good list, anyhow. We already know that these are in the public domain, but nice to have it handy. If these aren’t Kindle books, you can search Kindle for free public domain books....

The 7 laws of attraction

on Apr 25, 2014

I’m not really very into New Age stuff, but much on this list is common sense. 1) The Law of Manifestation: Consciousness is always a choice. It’s the choice to bring your awareness to the present moment. 2) The Law of Magnetism: We can only attract the same kind of energy frequency that we put out ourselves. 3) The Law of Pure Desire (or Unwavering Desire): When you’re driven by pure intention, free of fear, doubt and desperation you can be certain of a beneficial outcome. For your wishes to be pure you must genuinely believe that you are worthy of what you want. 4) The Law of Paradoxical Intent (or Delicate Balance): Desperation creates the Paradox, in warning that you’ll get a return of your negative energy, if you’re desperate to make things happen. That repulsive vibration will push it away. 5) The Law of Harmony (or Synchronization): When you consciously choose to create balance and align yourself with the Universe, your intention and energy open the flood gates of Universal abundance, allowing you access to all the insights, power and blessings that the world has to offer. 6) The Law of Right Action (or Conscientious Action): Your...

‘God’s in his heaven — All’s right with the world!

on Apr 25, 2014

This is a piece of verse that I have used much in my life. It’s from Robert Browning’s Pippa Passes, published in 1841 — it’s a very small passage of a larger work. Pippa’s Song The year’s at the spring, And day’s at the morn; Morning’s at seven; The hill-side’s dew-pearled; The lark’s on the wing; The snail’s on the thorn; God’s in His heaven— All’s right with the world! It describes (to me) a perfect day or moment. When things are going well and everything is about as perfect as things can be, or if I’ve been worried about something and received the news that all is OK, I say “God’s in his heaven, All’s right with the world!” It’s comforting, no? The exclamation point in that passage is wonderful, because it wasn’t used as often in the 1800’s as it is now. The message that Browning probably meant to convey in that passage is interesting. The wonderful thing about it is that even if things really suck, one moment can be right. In the middle of a sucky day, there can be a moment when “all’s right with the world.” Perhaps I’ll stumble upon a beautiful flower unexpectedly, or...

A 5-Minute Guide to Fonts and Typefaces

on Apr 24, 2014

  This is awesome. I found it at The Muse. It shows all that the average person needs to know about fonts and typefaces....