Friday, March 27, 2015




A friend of mine recommended an “excellent book—a simply must read!”  Oh, how I hate those.  They interrupt my life.  Do I write or read?  Load of laundry or read?  Go to gym—or read?  It’s an addiction.  Be it flame to moth or winno to whiskey, I went to my Kindle and three clicks later, I got my fix.  True to tale, amazing book.
Not only is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerrbeautiful and engaging from every possible pore, one of the main characters is blind.  Doerr tells the story in third person omniscient; therefore, this character comes to us through sounds, smells, and touch.  Not only is this a refreshing way to know a character, it could be a great writing technique for our sighted characters as well.
I’m going to experiment.  I’m going to have my characters enter rooms and I’m going to write the scene as if that sighted character is actually blind.  As writers, we struggle to bring the scenes alive through senses—always adding this and that.  It never occurred to me to actually to take something away.  
I may or may not add vision to some of the scenes altogether.  Maybe it will be energizing for the reader to come back into a room visited many times before with the character (say the character’s kitchen, living room or office) but to experience this room through the other senses.  As I continue to brainstorm, maybe those smells can also “reflect” what is happening to the character.  For instance, tough times can have the smell of rot whereas good times can smell of roses.   If my character closed her eyes, what would she hear?  Close by and far away?  Are some sounds more comforting?  
Looking forward to a much needed Writing Group fix where I will bring my newest experiment to be poked and prodded.  

Sunday, March 8, 2015



Louis Tigh, veteran of the United States Marine Corps and website designer, is the founder of Prometheus Design ( Louis graciously 
donated his time to participate in the following Q&A about websites and blogging. This is part II of my Q&A with Louis. 

4) One of the biggest challenges for the aspiring writer/blogger is to attract an online audience. There are many useful tools that can enhance Search Engine Optimization; what would you classify as the number one most important blogging tool?

I believe you can learn a lot about how people find and interact with your website or blog by looking at the numbers. The best way to gauge this traffic is by using Google Analytics, a free tool offered by Google. It may seem intimidating at first, but I always encourage my clients to explore this tool to discover the viewing habits of their audience. For example, if you make a change to the site and people stay on that page longer, it may be wise to incorporate similar changes throughout the site to increase the amount of time people spend there. These numbers represent the culmination of direct marketing and you can quickly test and implement changes that will improve a users’ experience.

5) How often should a blogger add new content to a blog?

Realistically, I believe any regular interval is better than never adding new content. I have found that most people write one post per week, or one every two weeks, or even once a month. The important thing is to find an interval that works for you and stick to it. Before you know it, you will have added a large amount of content!

6) When a blogger provides a link to a website that is relevant to their own, does this help move their blog up the search engine train?

It may, however you usually want other websites to have links to your content. This not only looks good from a search engine perspective, but it will also lead people from their website to yours.

7) It's well-known that tagging helps link posts to the Internet. How does one go about selecting a relevant keyword or tags? What's the appropriate number of tags to add, and is there such a thing as adding too many tags?

Tags or keywords can boost your search engine ranking. To select keywords, compose a theme or a central idea behind your blog post. Choosing a few key terms that are associated or support this idea should be used. I would recommend no more than five tags per post.

8) Is it important to add images to a blog? What is “alt” text and why is it necessary?

Yes, I believe it's very important to add pictures because they break up the monotony of text. 'Alt’ text is short for alternative text and is used either because the image cannot load or the web user cannot see it, in which case their web browser will read the ‘alt’ text. ‘Alt’ text is also a great way of sneaking in some extra keywords that relate to your post.

9) Lastly, what role does social media play in optimizing a blog's exposure?

Social media is a great way to spread the exposure of your blog or website. While some people may feel comfortable trusting Google to provide them with the most relevant information, other people prefer to rely on humans instead of computer algorithms. By sharing your post or website on a social media platform, you effectively reach an audience you might otherwise have missed.

Louis, a veteran of the United States Marine Corp, is the founder of Prometheus Design launched in 2014. The company prides itself on offering powerful web solutions to small business owners throughout Southern California. In addition, they focus on providing timely service, cost-effective solutions, and outstanding customer service. Prometheus Design will sit down with you and combine imagination, strategy, research, and experience to craft a unique solution to fit your needs. To view a portfolio of their work go to


Prometheus is a Titan In Greek mythology, best known as the benefactor who brought fire to mankind. 


Louis Tigh, veteran of the United States Marine Corps and website designer, is the founder of Prometheus Design ( Louis graciously donated his time to participate in the following Q&A about websites and blogging.

When I stepped into the world of writing after a thirty-year hiatus, little did I know what I was getting into. Words like blog, website, platform and platform-building intimidated me. I struggled to write a coherent paragraph let alone create a website, and I sure as heck didn't want to write a blog! What could I possibly write about: Learning to love my delete button? The joys of writing in pajamas until noon?

I fancied myself a fiction writer, but a 2013 trek in Nepal led me down a different trail. Combining my lifelong love of journaling with travel, I wrote and published a memoir about the trek entitled Footsteps of Gopal. Blogging about my adventures soon became second nature, and the concept of a website no longer seemed foreign to me.  

Right around this time, I met Louis Tigh (pronounced tie) at a social gathering. He informed me that he'd just launched his web design company, Prometheus Design. Impressed by Louis' passion about web design, I hired him to create my website. Not only is my domain a place where I can blog and share my photos, but it's also  the perfect venue to advertise my memoir. Much to my delight over the past couple of months, I've also been able to track and watch my audience grow.

Louis graciously donated his time to participate in the following Q&A about websites and blogging. I share this information hoping to inspire future writers, bloggers, and website owners to reach for the stars!

1) For an aspiring writer, which is preferable: a website or a blog?

As a writer, your goal is to get your work out there and a blog is a great place to start. Once you develop permanent content you begin to attract users, and that’s when a website comes in handy. Hosting a blog on a website is a great way to keep the site fresh. As you add new content, it gives your blog a more professional feel.

2) What features does a website offer that a blog cannot and vice versa?

In my opinion, the key difference between a website and a blog is how the information is organized. With a blog, you have a lot more leeway in adding posts that are unrelated in sort of a ‘stream of consciousness’ manner. With a website, you're looking at how to take a lot of information that will more or less remain static, and organize it into a hierarchy that makes sense to you, your visitors, and the search engines.

3) What is Search Engine Optimization and how does it work?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as it is commonly referred to, is a collective term for incorporating strategies into your website that will allow your website to increase in rank on a web search. For example, if you have a website about haiku, you would optimize your website so it will rank high when someone searches for “poetry” on Google. While there are many different ways that you can optimize your website for search engines, the primary idea is to add relevant content. The easiest way to increase your website's search engine ranking is by writing unique content, or text, for the pages on your website or blog.

(To be continued in Part II)