Category Archives: Social Media

Blogging Highlights of 2013

I started blogging in March 2013, and…hey, I just noticed as I was writing this that I published my first post How I Discovered My Passion for Writing on the 13th. How serendipitous. Thirteen is my lucky number (yeah, I’m amused by happy little accidents).

Anyway, I wanted to present the following highlights from my blog for 2013:

  1. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I—I took the safer one, until now.
  2. What the Perfect Face Can Teach Writers About Characterization
  3.  A Long Overdue Thank You on Award Nominations
  4.  A Grammar Lesson From a Second Grader
  5.  More Awards? I’m Not Worthy
  6. Quote of the Week: Neil Gaiman’s Lecture on Why Our Future Depends on Libraries
  7. WORDLE: A Nifty Little Tool for Writers
  8. The Best Moment Award
  9. Would You, Could You Read a Fiction Book?
  10. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! I’ve been nominated for another award!

And there you have it, a review of my blog for 2013. It’s been a truly rewarding experience to meet all of you out there in the blogosphere.You inspire and uplift me daily. I wish you all a blessed 2014!


Google Authenticator Almost Killed My Blog

photo credit:
photo credit:

I thought my next post would be a eulogy to my poor old blog that I couldn’t access anymore. I thought it had gone to cyberspace heaven at the hands of Google Authenticator.

Okay, okay, at my hands. I’m the idiot who didn’t print out my backup codes. I had set up Google Authenticator when my laptop wasn’t hooked up to a printer, and being lazy, I thought, “I’ll just print them later.” Well, I completely forgot and never printed those precious backup codes.

Fast forward several months. My iPhone started to crap out. The screen kept fading to black. It had been days since I’d logged into WordPress because I couldn’t see the verification code on my phone. I headed to the Apple store to get a replacement. I had everything backed up on iCloud. The rep assured me that all apps and data would transfer. I wasn’t even remotely alarmed about Google Authenticator until I got home.

I sat down at the computer to log in to my WordPress account. It shouldn’t be a problem. I would enter my handy-dandy verification code from Google Authenticator.  I was humming as I began typing. Login: check. {Hmm-hmm-hmmm} Password: check. {Hmmm-hmm-hmmm} Verification code…I glanced at the app on my phone. There was no verification code. {No longer humming} I started to panic.  Where was my verification code? The app indicated it needed to be set up. {Gasp!}

Most apps will transfer seamlessly to a new phone. Not Google Authenticator. It would defeat the purpose of the application. {Duh} It didn’t occur to me until it was too late. When the old phone was wiped clean at the Apple store, so was my ability to access the verification code to log in to WordPress. Holy Crap!

I scoured the internet for possible solutions. I visited the support forums for Google and WordPress. I couldn’t find a solution to my problem. There was no support number to call or e-mail. But wait, if I upgraded my WordPress account to a paid subscription I could get help. I get it. People can’t work for free. I gladly paid the fee, submitted a support request, and prayed that one of the Happiness Engineers could help me. In the meantime, I started to plan the eulogy for my old blog:

She was born in March 2013 {sniff}. After a brief life, she was called to cyber heaven {sniff}. I will miss her {sobbing}.

Since I’m posting this from my blog, you know how the story ends. There is a reason WordPress calls their support staff “Happiness Engineers” (Bless you, Rachel!). After confirming several pieces of information that only the author of my blog would know, my blog was revived. I am, once again, a happy WordPress blogger. And ironically, I had scheduled posts for the last week that ended with this morning’s Word of the Day post. Weird, huh? So it would seem, on the surface, I’ve never been away.

Here is a word of warning to those of you who use Google Authenticator as an extra security feature for your blog: PRINT THOSE BACKUP CODES!

Google Authenticator is a two-step authentication application that can be enabled as an extra layer of security for other applications. It generates random access codes every few seconds. When enabled with other applications, this randomly generated access code must be entered after the log in and password to gain entry into the application.  Visit to learn more about Google Authenticator.

Life, The Twitterverse and Everything: Why Should You Use Twitter And How?

Helpful advice on Twitter for those who are still unsure how to use it.

Andy English


It has been kindly suggested to me by my fellow writing blogger Lara Chase that not everyone on here may be familiar with or confident in using the magnificent phenomenon that is Twitter and it may be a good idea to share my experience in how to use it and get the best from it. But to begin with, why would you want to use yet another social networking / blogging site? Well, let me explain why I feel Twitter is a great thing to have at our fingertips before I look at how it can more specifically help us writers.

1: Information Will Arrive On Your Timeline As It Happens.


I follow a guy who lives in Japan, no particular reason other than we share a love for the Terry Gilliam film Brazil. He can hardly speak English and I speak no Japanese at all. But when the awful…

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