Posted in Creative Content, Culture, Faith Life, Lifelong Learning, Storytelling, Uncategorized

Kemelayefa Crisis- Identity Crisis

It had been three years since their meeting at IDC by the 7th floor elevator banks.

In spite of several invitations, Kem’s schedule seemed to never allow him make it to Bible study at Tam’s church such that he was pleasantly surprised when he got a call from Kem asking if he could join them at the next Bible study. 

Tam made a mental note to talk with Kem after their Bible study about finding a Bible based home church even if OTR was not an option.  From Kem’s questions asked during the Bible study, it was clear he had at a minimum, a curiosity about forging a personal relationship with God, but seemed to think he needed “to “be ready” before he could make himself fully available. 

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He suspected this desire to draw closer to God had something to do with Kem’s efforts to get back in Sammie’s good books. 

Sammie had made it clear that her relationship with God was her first priority.  In Kem’s words “I am pulling out the heavy artillery for this one.”.  He had met Sammie about  a year ago and things seemed to be going well.  But to his surprise about seven months into the relationship, Kem decided it was best for him and Sammie to go their separate ways.  Tam’s cue that things may be warming up between the two was how, Sammie seemed to come up more often, lately in Kem’s conversations. 

It had been two weeks since the Bible study at OTR when Kem called to ask that they meet up the next day to go over the design mockups for Kanyi’s group.   Continue reading “Kemelayefa Crisis- Identity Crisis”

Posted in Creative Content, Lifelong Learning, Taking Care of Business, Uncategorized, Writers Block, Writing

Before you draw up your next to do list, think Batch tasking

What is batch tasking? dedicating blocks of time to perform similar tasks that require similar resources thereby streamlining the process.  It differs from multitasking which has no structured way for handling the variety of planned and unplanned tasks.

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Why batch tasking? Helps with time management.  In addition to being a time saving mechanism, it reduces distractions; boosts creativity & productivity, by leveraging  the momentum garnered from the previous execution of similar oriented tasks; the need to make major mindset shifts when in the “groove of things” is minimized.

Zigzagging between answering phone calls,  creating content,  meeting with a vendor and then back to content creation should now be a thing of the past.  Batch tasking is more in the vein of  “we are on a roll, so why settle for one blog post when we can knock out three more within a shorter window of time!

Why take a break? Refreshing.  Well deserved breaks are the cherry on the sundae.   Batching tasks makes taking breaks an even more attainable goal.  It is an effective way of preparing the mind for the next batch of similar tasks.  Think reset button.

wordswag_1472440479210Is it me, but I already feel the stressormeter mercury levels travelling south!

Posted in Creative Content, Intellectual Assets, Lifelong Learning, Taking Care of Business, Uncategorized, Writing

Pressing the Publish Button

When, What and How to go from ideas to pressing the Publish button

How do you know when and what to post on your platform that will resonate with your audience?

Do you ever run out of ideas or topics to write about?

How do you know when to wrap up the research, begin the writing and finally press the publish button?

Let me put my disclaimer out there.  Continue reading “Pressing the Publish Button”

Posted in Lights, Camera, Shoot!, Photography 101, Storytelling, Uncategorized

A Flat lay Experience

Flat lay photography is where objects are laid flat on a surface and photographed from a bird’s eye view by standing directly over the display.

It is a simple way to create a clean visual display of items.

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Wrapping Paper against White poster board

 

Here are four tips on how to create a remarkable flat lay display.

  1. Versatility and Simplicity all rolled into one.  A variety of backgrounds can add a striking dimension to the display and the cost involved is not of breaking the bank proportions.  The dollar store or local arts and crafts store carry poster boards and cardboard sheets and you may even find a few props to boot at a reasonable cost as well.  You can never go wrong with the basics: A clean solid white sheet of cardboard or poster board.  Even within the home are a variety of resources to tap into such as, an accent wall, or exposed brick wall or even the wood planks of the deck.  These can all add a different texture to the display.  Colors and patterns add a striking dimension to the display making some items pop even more.

 

2) Stick to your Good Side – Select a space that allows the most natural light or other bright light without casting shadows on the flat lay.  This may require moving things around or even moving to a different section of the room or building that has large windows.  The time of day will also determine the quality of the natural light.

3) Keep the Creative Juices Flowing – Flat lays allow a lot of room to be creative.  First identify what the underlying theme is and then lay out in a manner that balances out for shape and size.  The bulk of your time should be directed towards selecting the items and the background and mapping out the layout of the chosen items.  Standing on a  step stool or a chair will give the photographer additional height.

4) Just a click away – Even a phone camera can get the job done.  Most smartphone cameras have user friendly interfaces that allow for sample shots to be captured and reviewed and the layout tweaked accordingly.  Experiment with different backgrounds to see what makes the items pop, what takes full advantage of the lighting before shooting off the finished image to a social platform of your choice  – Do I hear Instagram calling?

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Blue and white Striped background

Have fun in the process!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Priceless -the Power of Synonyms

Synonyms are words or phrases that mean exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language.

Adroit use of synonyms can transform the mundane to phenomenal. The objective is to conjure in the mind of the reader a certain mental imagery, feeling or sensation.

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Same image – different emotions.

Commenter 1 – Nice one!  Great angle that draws in the viewer.

Commenter 2- Captivating composition! The richness and intensity of color of the red peppers is mouth watering.

Analysis – Same subject evokes (bring to mind, conjures up, summons (up), elicits, induces, kindles, stimulates, stirs up, awakens, arouses, calls forth😉 different descriptions in the mind’s eye; the human ability to visualize, to “see” things with the mind.

In this day of social media marketing or branding using hash tags that are synonyms can be of great application.

Hash is short for hash mark, which is the pound sign(#).  Hash tags are words or phrases preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.

For the image of the peppers, here are a few synonyms that can be used as hash tags: #capsicum, #peppers #piquant, #spicy, #fiery #smokinghot #fierce #pungency #redhot #peppery which could make it easier to search for.

When next you come across an image of an ALLEY, beyond the obvious descriptors such as  #backstreet, #walkway, what other descriptors come to mind?

Dictionaries and Thesauri are valuable tools for identifying synonyms that can serve as hash tags that make it easier to locate content or information of interest to the searcher and inevitably boosting social media traffic on the source site.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Unearth your Spirit of Altruism

Give a little and Gain So Much More

Are you the one jumping in to help with tasks beyond your normal scope of duties because of a fast approaching deadline or the parent teachers appreciate, because even on last minute notice, you take the day off to chaperon the school day trip?

How about where there is no direct or indirect, tangible or otherwise benefit to the giver; that is, service essentially done out of sheer altruism, will you still be so quick to jump in?

Research shows that one of the advantages of volunteering is that it shifts the focus from the individual to others.  Although the focus of this article is on traditional face to face volunteering, there are a plethora of remote volunteering opportunities.  They offer the added convenience of making that difference sometimes from the comfort of wherever you have internet access.

Continue reading “Unearth your Spirit of Altruism”

Posted in Uncategorized

Flash Fiction – Forever Hold your Peace or Pace or Pain

“Tiffany, I am confused or is this some sort of twisted joke?”

“Blaine it is in both our interests to end this thing between us.  I have accepted Roy’s proposal.  We get married a week from today, next Saturday.  I cannot do this anymore… not knowing for certain how much longer you will be away is emotionally draining…”

Only a few hours earlier he had gone over how he was going to surprise Tiffany with the good news of his early release from deployment.  His assignment was officially over on Sunday.

“I guess the surprise is on me”

There was silence and then continued.

“Tiffany, hold off on the wedding plans.  I will be back in about three days”

Even though it all seemed to be working against him, beginning with the cancellation of his connecting flight after a two hour delay due to inclement weather, Blaine arrived town in the wee hours of Saturday; just enough time to make it to the combined wedding ceremony and reception venue.

“Tiffany don’t do this to us”.  As Tiffany recognized the voice, rushing towards the sudden commotion in the back, the officiant stopped reading and looked up from his script. On the concrete floor, Blaine lay in a fetal position clutching onto the ipecac bottle, shivering.

A few minutes before, Blaine had helped himself to some of the punch at the beverage table.  The timing had to be executed with laser precision.

In that moment, bent over while clutching onto his midsection, managing to whisper a few words in between shivers he said ” i was left with no other choice” and immediately the retching began.

The original response to a Flash Fiction writing prompt has been modified.