Tag Archive | social-media

Easy Life?

Who said life was easy?

My mother died when I was a teenager. Many years have passed but I’m still learning about her, not from family or friends. When she married my father she distanced herself from the only friend she had and there is no family.

My mother is still a mystery to me. I discovered many things about her after her death, through letters and legal documents. Photos revealed a woman who was a far cry from the old-fashioned, prim and proper mother I knew.

Writing has helped me sort out my feelings and offered perspective. Friends never understand how I’ve forgiven her for the miserable childhood  I had.

As a mother I’ve struggled to understand the hows and the whys. I also missed the special bond most mothers and daughters have when a grandchild is born. Knowing this would not have happened didn’t lessen the void. Seeing friends with their mothers sometimes hurt.

Life is a long path of recognition and learning. Not so long ago, it finally dawned on me that more than having just grown up in difficult circumstances, my mother was suffering from a mental illness.

It all came clear to me that morning. Why did I never even suspect it? I was raised not to question things, but I did. I kept it all to myself. But my mother, well, I was so afraid of her. She was so strong, indomitable.

All the crazy spells, smiling and screaming the next minute, throwing a basin full of water at me in public, trashing my room in the middle of night while raving.

Still, I didn’t click. Because for years I lived with guilt, like many children who have suffered abuse, I thought it all my fault. I was conditioned to believe everything that happened was somehow my fault. It’s not easy shaking those labels.

Her son from a previous marriage is schizophrenic. I wasn’t told this until after she had died. It was not something my mother wanted known, another secret under the carpet. I didn’t even find out he was my half-brother until I was 12. He terrorized me through my childhood. I remember my mother taking him to this centre, it was only years later that I learned what this centre was.

So here I am, all these years later, proud mummy to my gorgeous children. Who said life was easy? But one thing is for sure, you learn something every day, and with love you cannot go wrong.

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A digital break

Do you feel overwhelmed sometimes? I do, often. 
Don't get me wrong, I love social media and the doors it has opened up for me.
New friends, new connections, opportunities, ideas you wouldn't have thought of
otherwise. 
The downside is sometimes it's too much information, and you can only have so much empathy
before it destroys you. This is when I know I have to step away, when I just can't take it anymore.
Then, of course, you also have the wrong information, the people who are not so nice.
Well, just like in real life really! You need to be able to wade through the bits of information
and be able to see others for who they are.
I stand well clear of digital spats, I have no desire to be involved of that. I cannot be witness to
bullying or ego wars.
Recently I've really taken to Pinterest, I love creating mood boards on there, mainly for my novels.
Pinning beautiful pictures and great quotes is very addictive.
You can check out the mood board I created for my Paris novel here,
http://pinterest.com/elleamberley/lost-in-your-time-in-paris/ 

I wasn't going to write a post today but was inspired by my lovely new friend, Cate Russel-Cole's
post. Check it out http://cateartios.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/overload-revisited/
So thanks for distracting me Cate, only kidding, after all writing is writing. 

So, how do you feel about social media and all things digital?
Do you feel sucked under or have you found the right balance?

I did wonder what it said about me when a few days ago I learned about 
Whitney Houston's death via Pinterest. Or rather I suspected it, someone had posted
a picture of her with 'We'll miss you'.
It was very early in the morning and I blinked, wondering for a moment if it was 
yet another sick joke like the ones I've so often seen on Twitter.

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Author to author with Janice Horton

Today meet the lovely Janice Horton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Chat about Social Networking and Marketing.

 

Marketing – a necessary evil?

No – not evil – but fun! You see I actually look forward to the marketing part. I see it as a reward. For me it’s something to look forward to after the long hours of self imposed solitude required to write a full length novel. Don’t get me wrong – I love writing – but I don’t find it easy. I think it’s really hard work. Something I do find easy however because it’s lots of fun, is hosting a party, chatting in an interview situation, or taking part in a forum that involves my readers or other writers. I just love to talk about writing and my books!

A few years ago, after finishing a book, getting it published and launching it off into the world as a paperback, the party and the raucous celebrations would have been with family, friends, book groups, writer’s groups etc, in a physical setting like a local book shop with fizzy wine and nibbles and a short reading. I’d have worn a posh frock, no doubt bought especially for the occasion, and after a couple of hours when we were all done and it was time to go home, I’d have been exhausted, happy, and no doubt a bit tipsy.

These days, as an indie author and because I publish ebooks, that has all changed completely and yet I still have just as much fun. After the hard work of writing, re-writing and editing (I also employ a professional editor) and consulting with my (professional) cover designer, the no-less raucous launch party will launch from my blog and it will be supported by Twitter and Facebook and all the other social networking sites I can muster support from. Instead of doing a reading, book bloggers (having been sent an advance copy) will review and rate the book (hopefully favourably!) and while all this is happening I can answer reader comments in real time, check sales figures directly, chat to other writers, and appear in many different countries all over the world – simultaneously!

Now that’s what I call fun – and I can do it all in my pyjamas if I like!

What is your favourite social network and why?

I have to say that being part of Loveahappyending.com is my favourite social networking experience because it’s a interactive network, a magazine style blog and an innovative reader/writer website all at the same time. It’s a great support to me as a writer and it encourages me to expand my repertoire as an editor with my regular ‘Review Chair’ feature, where I interview authors and readers about a Loveahappyending.com author’s book.

This year, on 16th June, Loveahappyending.com will be hosting its first Summer Event in Tetbury, Gloucester. It will be a day when readers can meet authors and aspiring writers can get tips from those who currently writing successfully in many different genres. There will be something for everyone including a light lunch. I can hardly wait and will be flying down from Scotland especially to attend. So do join us!

How much time do you waste, sorry, spend on social networking?

Well, I don’t consider that time spent building and maintaining my social network as time wasted but it certainly should be time managed! I must easily spend at least a couple of hours each day on-line and the only way I can manage this is by not watching television at all. So for at least an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, I check and respond to emails, take part in several writer group forum chats, follow back on Twitter, send tweets and links and thank those who retweet for me. Then of course there is Facebook – and I have a personal account and an author page to regularly update, maintain, and share. I blog once a week usually but will always check my own blog daily for comments. I enjoy visiting and supporting other people’s blogs too and I spend quite a lot of time reading and commenting on other blogs. I also spend lots of time off line doing social network related writing: writing up blog posts for my own blog, for The Review Chair feature on Loveahappyending, and doing on line interviews (like this one!). I realise that I couldn’t do all of this effectively if I didn’t absolutely love it – but I do!

Janice Horton lives in Scotland and writes romantic novels with humour. Look out for her Amazon bestselling ebooks ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’ and her latest novel ‘Reaching for the Stars’. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association.

Links:

Find Janice’s books on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Janice’s Blog: http://www.janicehortonwriter.blogspot.com

Janice’s Facebook Page

Follow her on Twitter: @JaniceHorton

And on: http://www.loveahappyending.com

Don’t forget there is a giveaway on my Facebook page. Join to win freebies and my latest novel, Lost in your time, based in Paris.

Elle Amberley Facebook

 

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