Tagged ‘writing’

642 Things: A Houseplant Is Dying

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Writing Prompt:
A Houseplant is dying.
Tell it why it needs to live.

Dear Sonny the Plant,
(more…)

642 Things: What can Happen in a Second

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Writing Prompt:
What Happens in a Second

As I bring my hand towards my face, I can feel the cold black plastic against my skin. It's refreshing but warm and familiar. I close one eye and stare.

It's dim now as I stare, but that's part of the familiar appeal. (more…)

642 Things to Write About

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

If you hang out on this blog long enough, you'll see that I write about a bunch of different topics.

I really enjoy writing about technology from a woman's perspective as so much of technology coverage doesn't really speak to how products are (or in some cases are not!) designed with women in mind. To this end, I also enjoy writing about customer experiences in general. For me, user experiences are all around us waiting to be examined (i.e. functional design).

However, I've also enjoyed writing creatively. I say this in the past tense because it's been a while since I've finished writing something creative. And, while I enjoy writing about the real world and what's going on in it, I'd love to get back to creative writing.

And… I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

For my birthday, I received a book called "642 Things to Write About." It wasn't something I'd heard about and it wasn't like I had this in my Amazon wish list. But it came at just the right time. That's what I mean by "the universe" — this book came to me by no action of my own exactly when it should.

So, I'll be taking on the 642 writing prompts in the book, one blog post at a time. I'll still blog about the stuff I always do, but the creative writing will take precedence here. I'll tag each post as "642 things" and "creative writing" so you can find them by tag if you are so inclined.

Hope you enjoy!

The State We're In

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but last night I got sucked into a British gossip website. I think what particularly struck me was that Rod Stewart was expecting his eighth child (at 66 years old, which I think is terribly irresponsible, but that's a story for another day…). Of course, once you are in a gossip site, you can't disengage. I clicked around for the better part of a half an hour, consuming silly articles about celebs behaving (mostly) badly. I got around to one article about Lady Gaga where the author wrote something along the lines of she'll be performing her next show at "New York's Staples Center."

I could let the reporter slide for not being from the United States, but I won't. For the record, the Staples Center is not in fact in New York but actually in Los Angeles (it is where the Lakers play their games). This error really struck a chord with me in part because it is so lazy. The writer of this article should have done some fact checking prior to reporting something so completely false. If one were to google (or even bing, for that matter) "staples center," it is very clear from the ensuing results (like press releases that begin with "LOS ANGELES, CA") that there is definitely no Staples Center in New York. Furthermore, the writer's editor should have noticed and corrected this pretty egregious error.

In general, though, I've noticed a lot of errors in online journalism (not just the lack of fact-checking, but also spelling and grammar mistakes). It's really a shame because bloggers often are overlooked by mainstream media as amateurs yet it is this kind of thing that fuels that notion. My opinion is if you are doing any kind of journalism (not all blogs do this, but some — like technology-focused blogs, for instance — report on news that very few print outlets touch), you really need to maintain a level of professionalism and maintain that everything that prints (even if it is printed onscreen) has been thoroughly reviewed for accuracy.

Several large magazine retailers (that have been hurting very much with ad sales plummeting) began a campaign a few months back called "The Power of Print." While at first it seemed a bit pretentious, I think they do have a point (besides protecting their livelihood). Something about the nature of a magazine, perhaps the fact that it is written word, makes it tangible. There's also a definite craft to it — a page can only be so long, a layout must be aesthetically pleasing. And I have to say that I do enjoy reading magazines because the distractions (like typos and errant facts) are very rare.

In short, you can distill my thoughts down to the fact that quality control is incredibly important. For any brand, whether you are Conde Nast or Gawker, maintaining a consistent product is vital for enduring in any market.