Wishing you a Merry Christmas

A Christmas greeting from Media RisingThis is an iPhone photograph I took on Johnson Street in Victoria, BC on a rainy evening. I then passed it through some funky filters using Instagram – I LOVE Instagram, it’s my favourite app. I post the photos to Facebook and Twitter, and I’m going to find a plug-in that allows me to post here as well…

Talking of my blog, I’ve made a new year’s resolution to blog regularly – at least once a week starting next week. I love to write, I’ve starting thinking in blog posts, but somehow, my musings rarely make it to the er, well, screen. Considering I’m always recommending regular blogging to my social media clients, I think it’s time I practice what I preach, n’est ce pas? *ahem*

Which neatly segues to a delightful meeting I had with two digital divas today, Jane Victoria King and Angela Hemming, of AHEM Productions (hence the segue). Angela and Jane both blog regularly five days a week, and our conversation inspired me. Thanks ladies, this blog post is for you…

Watch this space…a blog post a week is the challenge. I give you all leave to pester me on twitter or facebook if I fall short of my goal. Please, hold my feet to the blogging fire. (eek!)

Enjoy the festive season, and if you have any blogging inspiration to offer, I’d love to hear from you…

The Story Behind Social Media for Writers

I’ve been working with a lot of authors recently. Social media, writing and storytelling make cosy bedfellows; no matter which way you fold it, they need each other, and together they make a great team.

Wired Words Logo

Wired Words: A Symposium for Writers of Every Ilk

Last weekend,  I was invited to speak at Wired Words, the first BC Federation of Writers annual festival on Saturday September 10th, 2011. 50 local authors, writers and storytellers gathered in the stunning historic courtroom of the BC Maritime Museum to talk about everything narrative, ePublishing and digital media. It felt particularly poignant for this old-time house of law to host a twitter workshop.

Wired Words at the BC Maritime Museum Courtroom

BC Maritime Museum Courtroom, VIctoria BC

Writing in the 21st Century

A plethora of insights and tools were discussed at half a dozen insightful presentations: ePublishing, blogging, online marketing and digital printing. I gave 2 presentations, one on Social Media for Writers and the other explored film editing as it relates to writing and literary editing (more on the that later!). All were extremely well-received. Here’s a review of the day, with video interviews of Lorne Daniel and yours truly, written by Craig Spence.

Mandy Leith at Wired Words Festival, Victoria BC

Wired Words participants talk social media with Mandy Leith. Photo: Kim Goldberg

Connecting the Dots

Social networking is a great way to engage with not only readers, but the bookstores that sell your tomes, the publishers who print them and the reviewers who get the word out. Plus, writing blog posts is great way to practice word craft. In addition to a blog (I recommend WordPress.org), Twitter and Facebook page and Youtube (for video trailers of your book), there are a wealth of useful social media tools for authors. LibraryThing, Shelfari and Goodreads are only a few of the sites that offer online networks for sharing your personal library, reviews, published works, and of course, connecting with other writers and readers.

Writers need Social Media: Social Media Needs Writers

“Online tools are the fastest and easiest way for writers to begin building an audience, get better at their craft and network with others.” comments publisher Jane Friedman, whose blog is a great resource. Another great website, chock full of social media tips and links is The Creative Penn.

It’s very rewarding to provide social media support to authors as they launch their new books. I’m currently assisting local author John Shields’ new virtual book launch on September 21st, 2011: The Priest Who Left His Religion: In Pursuit of Cosmic Spirituality. I simply love the myriad of places that story and media come together. As a media-savvy storyteller, it’s my stock-in-trade.

What social media strategies have worked for you and your book or publication?

A Good Story Isn’t Perfect. Neither are Blog Posts.

It’s been far, far too long since I last posted here…why is that?

Blogging is a Commitment

It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about interesting stories I’ve wanted to share over the last few adventurous months (more on that later, promise!). But every time I’d think about writing a blog post, I’d feel strangely daunted and intimidated by the task. What to do, what to do…

I recently had an aha moment — I realized I’ve been labouring with this idea that everything I publish here needs to be polished, poignant and, well, perfect. After all, I’m an editor who understands just how long it takes to craft good, meaningful stories. And yet I’m starting to believe that the true value of blogging is to offer up authentic, tasty, narrative bites that can be easily digested. That’s an art in itself, that I have yet to master.

So when I came upon this inspirational video the other day, it seemed like a perfect  segue and a great opportunity to approach blogging with a different perspective…

Creativity is a Process

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

So I need to give myself time to find my own blogging style by experimenting and practicing, to see what works for me and of course, you, dear reader. So I’m going to keep it simple and keep sketching in order to find my own natural, easy blogging voice.

Sketchblog v. Masterpost

I’ve had this conversation with a lot of other bloggers and I suspect it’s a common complaint. How to do you deal with the practice of blogging? What are your stumbling blocks? What’s worked for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

It’s all about story

When I was 8 years old, I started writing a novel about a young tomboy’s adventures and I decided that I wanted to be a novelist. A year later, I was given an instamatic camera and I fancied myself a photographer. Later I took up singing and I dreamed of being a musician. I always adored art classes and at age 14, I was commissioned to make a series of silk batik scarves for sale at a chique shoe store in Brussels – it was an artist’s life for me!  I spent much of my teenage years working with school plays and by the time I played Juliet, I was convinced that my real future was in the Theatre.

Finally at age 18 I found myself at film school, almost by accident (that’s another story!). Now 30 years later, I’ve enjoyed a fulfilling career in the film and television documentary industry only to discover a passion for social media’s kaleidoscope of creative engagement apps and opps. Now that I’m putting it all together, it’s clear that when  it comes down to it,  I’ve really been exploring different aspects of one thing my whole life: storytelling.

I’ve wanted to get back to writing and get this blog out into the world for a while. Blog posts have been writing themselves in my head for a few months now, so it’s a relief to finally be here at the keyboard.  The outcome is unknown, dear reader. But here we go…..

What place does storytelling have in your life? I look forward to exchanging all manner of tales with you around this virtual campfire…where will it take us, what will we learn in the process…? Let’s hope there’s some fun along the way.

Sheesh, what happens next…?