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Amazon continues to move the publishing world in to the future.  They are now changing the literary journal world.  They announced on Tuesday plans to launch, Day One, a weekly digital literary magazine focused on short fiction and poetry, including works from new and foreign authors.  The journal will focus on one writer and poet per week.
The first issue features Rebecca Adams Wright and a poem by Zack Strait.  The issue downloads automatically to subscriber’s Kindle libraries.
Go to Amazon for more information.
Happy Halloween!

Every business needs a web site.  Hey, even every author, artist, dog catcher, mom need a web site.   Having an online presence is so valuable and needed in this 21st century society.   If one ignores this, many will look at your business as being behind the times.   If you are not into technology, I understand.   My favorite TV channel is Turner Classic Movies and I wish it was 1947 and my phone number was Melrose 22334.  I need a Party Line!
However, here is my philosophy.  One needs to grow with the times but don’t forget the past.
So what does one need to create a great web site?  Well, I recently received an email from Sara Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing and here are her ideas:
•    Aesthetically Beautiful – be visually appealing so visitors stick around
•    Optimized for the User – make it easy for visitors to understand the next step
•    Personalized and Contextual – show the right content to the right people
•    Optimized for Mobile – make your site experience consistent on phones and tablet
Wonderful ideas, that are very basic but vital.
Here are my two cents. Make sure your web site does not have Flash.  Many people have Mac products and the web site will not work on their devices with Flash.
Also, don’t get too fancy.  It will confuse and a user may log off.  That’s a big no-no.
Until Thursday… be good.

“Project Glam 2013”

October 24th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Today is Project Glam 2013 Day!

With October being national breast cancer awareness month, the Park Nicollet Jane Brattain Breast Cancer month is celebrating with Project Glam 2013. Tonight at Seven Sushi on 700 Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesotans can raise awareness for breast cancer in a glamorous way.

The event includes shopping, spa treatments, food and cocktails.

It is a special night to support breast cancer research.

Music includes performances by Ragtown and Tim Sigler.  Other sponsors include Mammo a-go-go, BMw of Minnetonka, WCCO radio, WCCO as well as Envy Skin Clinic, Buzn radio and Jack fm radio.

The event goes from 5-8 pm.

See you there!

So…Kanye West proposed to his Baby Mama last night in San Francisco.  Evidently it was an over-the-top, extravagant proposal at a sports arena with musicians.  Wow!  The ring is huge and I’m sure it will garner great viewers for their reality show.
Now, I’m just as guilty of watching their program; When I’m sick and on the couch, it’s the perfect brainless fare.  But why do we care?
Why do we care about a family who has no talent other than harnessing the appeal of mass media.  They are not singers, actors, dancers, or educated professionals.   I’m hoping it will all run its course.
So will someone explain to me why this is news and what is the appeal.
Stay tuned …

This morning I can across something shocking on Twitter.   I was scrolling messages and suddenly I see a message about the “Ten Twin Cities ladies you’ve probably dated.” It was posted by City Pages, a very respectable magazine in the area.
The article was in response to a New York Times article about the dating scene in Minneapolis.
I clicked on the link, which is what they wanted, and this elaborated article opened with detailed illustrations of different types of Twin Cities’ women.
I was flabbergasted!  I thought the days of objectifying women were over or at least we try to act as if they are over.
The article stereotypes women as “Social Girl,” “The Lady Bro,” “The Young Professional,” “The College Clinger,” and it continues on.
I was so surprised by the blatantly sexism.   I would have been fine with the article if there was an article about the ten men you’ve probably dated in the Twin Cities as a partner to this article, but no.
Come on City Pages … you can do better!

“Monster Needs a Costume”

October 15th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays: candy, spooky stories and costumes.  When I was a little girl, we had the hardest time decided what to dress up as for Halloween.  One year is was a punk rocker and the next year it was flapper; but mostly we reverted back to the punk rocker every year.  I don’t think my mother looked forward to the holiday at all.
Although I rarely dress up for Halloween, there are wonderful options out there from the traditional ghost or vampire to more pop cultureish costumes like Miley Cyrus or Jennifer Lopez.   One of my recent discoveries that can help make this critical decision is a new children’s book called, Monster Needs a Costume.  This story is about a little boy and his monster.  Monster cannot figure out what he wants to be:  a ballerina, ninja, or cowboy.  Why not all of them?
Paul Czajak’s book teaches readers to be creative and strive to be different.
Check out the book at http://scarlettapress.com/store/monster-needs-a-costume/

New book about solar energy

October 10th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

On October 8, Mortenson Construction released the second book in their “Discover Renewables” series.  Catch the Sun is an educational tool for children of all ages.
Here is more information:
Enjoy your weekend!
Sara
MORTENSON CONSTRUCTION PUBLISHES SECOND CHILDREN’S BOOK ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY
“Catch the Sun” is an effort to educate and inform the next generation about solar energy
Minneapolis, MN (October 8, 2013) — As the demand for solar energy continues to increase at record levels, Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction announces its release of a children’s book entitled Catch the Sun, designed to educate future generations about the importance of solar energy.
Catch the Sun is the second book in the Mortenson “Discover Renewables” series.  The first book in the series, Catch the Wind, which was launched in 2008, was designed to teach readers about wind energy and the importance of making environmentally responsible choices.  The book reached thousands of students in classrooms across North America.
Targeted to reading levels for ages 6-12 years, Catch the Sun will help readers understand:
•    How solar energy works
•    How solar power helps save energy
•    Introduce students to careers in renewable energy
“Like our first book, we view Catch the Sun as a perfect vehicle for spreading a positive message, not only about clean energy, but about the opportunities afforded to society because of the renewable energy industry,” said Tom Wacker, SVP of Mortenson Construction’s Renewable Energy Groups.  Both Catch the Wind and Catch the Sun are part of Mortenson Constructions’ ongoing nonprofit outreach efforts. Profits will be donated to nonprofit entities promoting the development and use of renewable energies.
For more information please visit www.mortenson.com/discoverrenewables
About Mortenson Construction
Founded in 1954, Mortenson Construction is a U.S.-based, family-owned construction company. Ranked as the 25th largest contractor in America, according to Engineering News-Record, and the 13th largest power contractor, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build, and turn-key development.  Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Seattle with international operations in Canada and China.
Since entering the renewable energy market in 1995, Mortenson Construction’s Renewable Energy Groups has become a leading builder of wind and solar power facilities in North America. To date the company has been at the center of constructing more than 140 wind and solar projects generating more than 14,000 megawatts of renewable power across North America.
About the author:
Author of both Catch the Wind and Catch the Sun, Anne Johnson is currently employed as a community relations specialist with Mortenson’s Renewable Energy Groups. Ms. Johnson graduated from Purdue University with a degree in engineering and joined Mortenson in 2007 as an estimator.

Writing to Tell a Story

October 8th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

In my line of work, I see a lot of manuscripts come and go.   While I applaude writers for putting pen to paper,  not everyone should be an author.   Let me repeat, authors are a unique breed of workers who take pain-staking care with every word and phrase. Not everyone should be a writer.
Writers tell stories and are trying to entertain and educate the reader.
In this blog, I would like to give readers my thoughts for creating wonderful words.  A small disclaimer, I am not saying I’m the best writer in the world but these are my thoughts.
1.  Do not assume you know how to tell a story.   Take a writing class and develop your voice.
a. Many times writers will write as they speak.   This means run-on sentences and bad grammar.  Try to be consise.
2. Please buy a grammar and style book.  Strunk and White, AP style, Chicago Style Manual.  The rules do apply to you as well.
3. Learn how to synthesize your thoughts.  Do outlines before you start to write and organize your thoughts.  When a writer rambles on and on they will lose their reader.
4. Always write for story.  This was the number one rule in journalism school.  We are constantly telling a story.
5. Show me, don’t tell me.  We are not writing a police blotter.  We are writing for a diverse audience. Describe what you see for the audience.
6. Always remember your audience.  Do not assume I know all about religion, the military, the media, and medieval times.  Educate me!
7. Have beta readers!  Before you show the work or submit to any publisher, find a reader who will tell you the truth!
Those are my tips!
Have a great day!

Tom Clancy

October 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Tom Clancy passed away on Tuesday, October 1.  He was the award-winning author of Hunt for Red October and Clear and Present Danger.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Some of my Favorite Recipes

October 1st, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I like to cook.  I don’t love to cook but give me a recipe and I’ll follow along.    My inspiration is Campbell’s Soup.  If you look closely, each can of Campbell’s Soup contains a recipe.   Clip them and use them.  Each is simple and delicious.
So while I blog, I decided to post a few of my favorites.   (I’m not a big measurement person, so I rarely include them.
First, is my go-to recipe.  When I do not have any ideas, this is what I cook.
Cheeseburger Pasta
Includes:    1 pound of ground beef,  1 can of beef broth, 1 can of cheese soup, 1 can of tomato soup, ketchup, onion powder, garlic, ¾ cup of water, and 2 cups of egg noodles.
I use an electric fry pan.   I brown the meat, then add the liquids.  You stir and mix in uncooked noodles.  Then let it cook for about 15 minutes.  Mix and then let it simmer.
It is delicious and so easy.
This one is from my mother
Pork Chops and Baked Beans
So simple.
Spray a casserole dish with Pam.  Pour 1 can of baked beans in with 2 pork chops.  Cook at 350 for an hour and a half.
Done.

I’ll be sure to include many more recipes as I continue to blog.

Have a great day!