Farewell, 2014! From the learning geek

New Year's Anticipation with Snoopy

2015 Anticipation with Snoopy!

And… in by midnight.

This year had its ups and downs but I want to take a moment to highlight the good things. Basically this was a year filled with learning.

I read ALL THE THINGS.

This year I read ALL THE THINGS.

I read 31 books this year. I was going to scale back, but sometimes when I’m in a groove I can accomplish some cool things without much added effort, so I just went with it. I’ve tracked what I read on my Goodreads page. Feel free to connect with me there.

I also wrote a novel! I am pleased with the story but it definitely needs lots of revision. You can view my story synopsis here on my Medium page.

I can’t wait to reveal my 2015 plans which you’ll see in my next post. Until then, Happy New Year!


5 NaNoWriMo Thingies for Crazy-Awesome People

NaNoWriMo Participant 2014

Just keep writing!

Once again I’m writing a novel this month for NaNoWriMo! It’s not like me to have all this fun without you and so I’m inviting you to join in. If you’re in the Los Angeles area you could write your own using this county write-in calendar. Come write w/ other writers in person. Or write with others virtually!

Hey, where are you going? Okay, okay. You don’t have to write a novel this month if you aren’t so inclined. Perhaps you’re only curious to see how NaNo writers are living this month. If that’s more your style then follow my Tumblr. There I’ll give your mind a generous helping of NaNoWriMo life throughout November. On to the goodies!

5 NaNoWrimo Thingies for Crazy-Awesome People

  1. 50K in One Day (Kill Me Now) <– If you’re ever bored with the write a novel in 30 days challenge. Write a novel of at least 50,000 words in one day. Yes people do this. Not very coherently, but still. No, I’m not doing this.
  2. Five Day Novel <–  Less extreme than the aforementioned challenge but still quite a challenging writing feat. No, I’m not doing this.
  3. Reverse NaNo <– A fantastic method to help focus on front-loading your writing so that you write fewer and fewer words each day. Yes, I am doing this.
  4. Write or Die <– Your letters and words will disappear and other things will happen if you stop. So write, or else!
  5. Written? Kitten! <– If you’re not about that write or die life here’s some positive reinforcement for all of your writing needs. With Kittehs!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Using this month to work on another writing project (NaNoWriMo Rebel)? Connect with me on NaNoWrimo.org or on Tumblr (madelinewright.tumblr.com) and leave a comment with whatever writing project you’re tackling this month. Happy writing!


Maximize Your Social Media This Season

Social Media Week extends season

It’s been about a month since Social Media Week LA and I’m still absorbing an astounding amount of information. Because I couldn’t physically be in more than one place at once at the event I had to choose which panels to attend in-person. Fortunately, there was another option available. I signed up on my livestream account to receive an email whenever an archived SMW panel became available. Wallah! Now I can watch any of the presentations I missed, on demand.

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

The coolest thing about using Livestream is that you can connect with your friends and watch streams from anywhere and from anyone (musicians, vloggers, subject matter gurus, etc.). Essentially you’ll be everywhere at once, just not at the same time! Now that’s some wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.

I’m enjoying an archived stream on Beauty Bosses and Fashion Founders as I write this.

Beyond Fashion

SMCLA Presents Beyond Fashion: How Brands Build Community and Sales 10/21

Beyond Fashion: How Brands Build Community and Sales Tues., 10/21

The Social Media fashion fun continues with a Social Media Club LA event on Tuesday, Oct 21, at General Assembly, in Santa Monica. Check out the details and RSVP here: bit.ly/SMCLAoctober

 


What’s on your bookshelf? #shelfie

What are you reading?

Today’s 24-hour Dewey read-a-thon is in full swing.
In honor of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party roll call for shelfies, I bring you my #SmartGirlShelfie.

What's on your shelf?

What’s on your bookshelf? This is what’s on mine. Not pictured: All the books not on this shelf.

I enjoy Smart Girls via Google+ and sometimes YouTube but it’s always nice to see the things put out on the other channels. I like that there’s something different everywhere you go. Do you dare share a photo of your bookshelf?


My New Jam: Creative Live – This Week is All About Podcasting!

Power your podcast with Storytelling course.

View this course and others at https://www.creativelive.com.

Last week I learned about Creative Live and today I took my first course, called Podcasting 101.

It was an amazing course taught by John Lee Dumas and several other knowledgeable podcasters who’ve figured out how to make a living from their passion.

You know how swimmers turn their head sideways when they get water in their ears? My head is sideways now because of all the knowledge! I learned a ton.  :headphones:

You can too! Check out course offerings and start learning live, free. Access to the course and other materials once the live stream is over is available for a fee. Get those burning questions answered live and chat with your classmates in addition to learning great information about the topics you care about.

I look forward to taking Power Your Podcast with Storytelling from Alex Blumberg (NPR’s Planet Money, This American Life) Thursday and Friday.

A special shout-out goes to We Are LA Tech Podcast host, Espree Devora, for flying to San Francisco to attend in person!

LA Locals: I think I’m sure she’ll be happy to give you a great download of this experience if you RSVP to the next LA Podcasters Meetup on Tues., Oct. 21, at Bodega Wine Bar, in Santa Monica.

Have you taken (or taught) any courses on Creative Live? Which ones?


Lessons From Fancy Dark Chocolate

8th Annual LA Luxury Chocolate Salon #darkchocolate #lemoncello #pasadena

A photo posted by @socalmad on

Thanks to a wonderful experience at yesterday’s 8th Annual Luxury Chocolate Salon in Pasadena, I learned something new about myself. What I learned there has nothing to do with eating chocolate.

1. I’ve learned that genuinely complimenting people makes me feel happy.  This sounds like a no-brainer to do and yet I have to make a conscious effort to give compliments to people that I encounter most often, even when I find myself silently admiring something about them. I enjoy being around happy people– who doesn’t? People naturally tend to feel good about themselves after receiving a genuine compliment. I’ll try to do this more.

2. I’ve learned that I like Earl Grey. Never realized that before this week. I’m not a coffee person, and for the longest time I only drank tea that tended to be on the sweet side (before addition of any sweetener). I chose ones with herbal sounding names and fruity aromas. Earl Grey is supposedly citrus-based but it was never a dominant flavor in previous cups I’ve tried. At some point, I tried and enjoyed a cookie that was made with ground Earl Grey tea. Pretty tasty.

Later tried an Earl Grey infused muffins. Also delightful. Last year was my first taste of Earl Grey infused pie, which quickly became my favorite flavor of pie that I am not inclined to make myself. Yesterday I tasted Earl Grey infused chocolate and then it hit me. I am a fan of Earl Grey. And I suppose most tea-infused treats.

3. I’ve learned that I’m borderline mysophobic. I valiantly tried to disprove that in my efforts to be social yesterday. Now I’ve got a scratchy throat and I’m sitting here bemoaning my life choices over the last 24 hours and gnawing on my single luxury purchase of a deliciously smooth spicy chocolate bar. It’s all good. Tonight I’ll try to enjoy my fond memories of the weekend. There will be plenty of time tomorrow to regret that I don’t have any throat spray. And to eat more dark chocolate.

Have you learned something new about yourself in September? Let me know in a comment!


SMWLA Highlights: What’s Good?

For this week  I purposely haven’t scheduled more than two panels to attend each day. If there were others I stumbled upon outside of that then I just went with the flow. It has turned out wonderfully.

SMWLA Panel 9/23

Erik Deutsch (PRSA-LA moderates a panel with Michael Slate (KPFK Pacifica Radio), Stacey Leasca (LA Times Social Media Editor), Chris Schauble (KTLA 5 Morning News Anchor)

I started Tuesday afternoon at the Broad Stage for the “From Headlines to Hashtags” panel. I enjoyed the venue’s air conditioning after walking a few blocks there from where I parked.1 After lunch I dropped into a fantastic masterclass for”Using Your Camera Phone to Take Pro Photos” by @LanBui of Bui Bros fame.

I live-tweeted as much as the available wi-fi connections would let me. That was fun because as much as the live conversation happens in the room, online there’s a broader conversation happening that is always fun to explore later. The hashtags for the day were #SMWNews, #SMCLA, and #SMWLA. Search those terms Twitter and Instagram and you’ll see what I mean.

First visit to Philz Coffee newest location in Santa Monica!

First visit to Philz Coffee’s newest location in Santa Monica on Tuesday! Photo by Lindsay M.

After the last panel I meandered down the street with Lindsay from the SMCLA board to grab a snack at Philz Coffee. The drinks are fully customized to ensure you won’t be disappointed. For instance, when you order a drink– in my case a chai latte– you’re asked to specify how sweet (not sweetened, medium sweet, or sweet) and how spicy (mild, medium, spicy) you want it, in addition to the size and whether you want cream. I don’t think they actually asked me to specify what type of milk (not lactose intolerant so I don’t care) but I was still tickled with the choices to make a cup of spicy black deliciousness. I’ll definitely stop by there again.


1. Santa Monica’s parking situation is fodder for an entirely new post but I’m not going to get into it here.


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