Study Hall: On Timely Tweets, Our Uteruses, ETC

How many of you use Twitter? Many women my age don’t. Let me tell you why I think that’s a bad idea.

First of all, #writingcommunity will get you everything from journals open for submission now to lit agents looking for specific kinds of writing. Don’t know what a hash tag is? Well, it’s a way to shorthand and categorize your tweet so people can find it. And you can find tweets on almost any subject by searching for the topic in Twitter’s search engine. So if you use the #writingcommunity, your tweet will likely get seen by more people. In my haste, I often forget the hashtag, and thus are speaking only to my followers. But, hey, it takes practice, like anything worthwhile.

Writing these days is all about “platform,” it seems. Agents and publishers want you to have a few thousand Twitter followers, at least, and so forth on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and other social media apps. So learning the ropes is definitely worth your while if you want to be more widely published.

Speaking of which, I am very happy to have an essay on the speculative work of Caren Gussoff Sumption on the new website Caren is one of my favorite writers with whom I’ve become friends. Her latest, Three Songs for Roxy, is a wonderful example of how Romani characters should appear in spec fiction, instead of the glaring stereotypes we often find (Witches, anyone? Hag? Dazzling Esmeraldas?) Give it a look and let me know what you think. Caren has a new book coming out soon, and I can’t wait to read it.

In the meantime, Twitter is all, well, atwitter, about Elon Musk’s purchase of the platform and the leaked Supreme Court decision on abortion. So, of course, two clever writers merged the two issues into a hilarious but ominous piece:



So, you see, it’s worth it to plumb social media for all it’s worth.

As always, please like and comment below, use the social media buttons to share and RT (retweet) if you’re so inclined. Thank you for reading! I’ll be here all day to answer questions, reply, have conversations, whatever you like.

The World TWIRLS along–or not!

It amazes me that we can feel so abandoned by a game that generates random letters. That a logarithm rolling along produces near-depression when it is no longer available. The game TWIRL is no longer functioning on Facebook, and many users, including myself, have pleaded with the "admins" to fix it. They are not listening, apparently. Meantime, how did we get so hooked?

My, how I have been conditioned by Social Media. Truthfully, I have a hard time imagining my life without checking it at least twice a day. What do I most love? Here's my list:

1. I love that my nieces and nephews will actually drop me a line or even a few photos now and then, when they'd never think of writing me a letter or calling me, because, well, they're young, and busy inventing their lives.

2. I love that my friends and I can so easily post photos, stories, other items that we can share at large, thus spurring a potential sunami effect. I didn't know that Joanne was an art lover until I posted a "What's your favorite masterpiece" to someone else, and she responded to me with a Kandinsky–one of my "favs!" And now another friend, who has never invited me to a museum, undoubtedly because she thought we shared only a love of literature, has responded in kind. The serendipitous wonder of eavesdropping is reinforced.

3. The opportunity to get to know, at least a little, writers whose work I admire, is not to be missed. When we trade garden plants or book lists, or fill in rote formulas like "The ABCS of ME" with personal details, I learn a little about what is behind their words.  It makes me think that random and trivial, isn't.

4. Knowing the latest of what is affecting my writer world. Readings, events, upcoming publications, conference workshops, show up here first, if in a somewhat spotty fashion. Anyway to put your ear to the ground is a plus, right?

5. Okay, I love my farm in Farm Town. I created it from scratch. It has a large farmhouse surrounded by lemon trees, a small artists' cottage in a meadow of flowers, a market stand for produce sales, and all the cherry trees a girl could want. It's my world, and I spend about twenty minutes a day in it and feel refreshed. Who cares if it's a fantasy?

6.I love not knowing what will show up in my feed today, but trusting the people whom I have "friended" to steer me straight to the heart of their day.

7. I love all the new language this communication revolution fosters, words like "admins" and "favs" and "friended." Words that don't make sense elsewhere except in the loopy, bopping world of the latest fads.

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