Janet Sumner Johnson
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Not Quite Twitterpated


09, 2012 |

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So I did it. I finally took the plunge and signed up for a Twitter account.

For the past month now, I have been peeking in, scrolling through the tweets and trying to figure out what in the world half of them are saying. Perhaps I should have read “Twitter for Dummies” (that’s got to exist, right?) before launching in.

I think I got the @ symbols, but the pound signs? Or are they called hashtags (hash tags; hash-tags; hatch tags; has tags; has-been tags; has-anyone-got-a-clue tags)? Twitter groups perhaps?

Not to mention coming into a thread halfway through a conversation. There’s got to be a way to read what someone responded/replied to, right?

And lists . . . groups with shared interest? But then what about the hash tages? Plus I’m not sure I get the purpose just yet. Though I’m sure there is one. There’s gotta be.

Alas. So much information. So much I don’t know.

This is, of course, where you come in. Shoot me your best piece of Twitter advice. Please? Pretty please with a strawberry (much better than a cherry) and fresh-whipped cream on top? And fine, if you insist I’ll throw in the chocolate syrup.

Because I need it (I mean your advice, not the chocolate syrup). I need you! Explain this Twitter-verse to me.

And oh yeah. I’m @MsVerbose if you wondered.

Speak up:



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Conference Advice, Part 2


17, 2011 |

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So it’s lunchtime at the writing conference. My friend and I had been at separate sessions just prior so I’m looking everywhere for her in the dining area. When I’m certain she’s not there, I find a mostly empty table and ask the women sitting there if they don’t mind if I and a friend join them. Of course they graciously let me sit.

I found my friend, sat down and after catching up, turned to our neighbors. It was a woman and her 13-year-old daughter. Very nice. Her name was Bonnie. So here’s a bit of the conversation that ensued:

BONNIE: Have you attended many conferences?

ME: [shrug] I’ve been to a few. How about you? Have you been to many?

BONNIE: [shrug] Yeah, I’ve presented at quite a few conferences.

ME: [choke on my salad] Oh. Yeah, I guess there’s that.

SENIOR EDITOR BONNIE: [graciously ignoring my red cheeks] So what do you write?

Okay, so the point of this little story? STUDY THE LIST OF PRESENTERS BEFORE YOU GO. Cyber stalk them. Find their picture and know who they are. In fact, the conferences usually post these on the website. Then maybe, just maybe, you can avoid embarrassing yourself like I so thoroughly did.

Speak up:



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Just a Spoonful of Sugar . . .


25, 2011 |

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Before going to Paris, we were informed that we absolutely had to stop at Angelina’s for the most amazing cup of Hot Chocolate we could ever hope to taste. Expensive, but definitely worth a visit for all you chocolate lovers out there.

So here’s the deal. See those white packets behind the hot chocolate? Those are sugar packets. What no one told us was that it comes unsweetened, and that we were supposed to sweeten the hot chocolate to taste.

Uh huh.

Let’s just say that first sip was a doozy.

I kindof wish all those people had mentioned that part.

So swinging this around to writing (or whatever activity you love), what extremely helpful advice would you give to a green beginner?

Speak up:



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