Erin Ritch

Author, Mom, Founder of No Wyverns Publishing

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Tag: thingsIlove

Things I Love…Beauty and the Beast

I’m taking a break my from regularly-scheduled-whining about editing to post something that makes me super happy…the new “Beauty and the Beast” trailer has been released! And it comes out the week before my birthday!!! It’s destined to be awesome!

Please don’t be surprised if you see a “Beauty and the Beast” countdown calendar appear on this blog. I’m very serious.

Things I Love….Canva.com

nowyverns.com

 

Social media is a big part of being a writer now-a-days – especially if you’re an indie publisher.

By incorporating images or graphics into your posts, it creates a “visual stop” for readers casually scrolling through Facebook or Twitter feeds. And every time someone stops to read your post, it could lead to a visit to your website, where you have a chance to introduce them to your writing.

I typically utilize my own photos or images that I find online which are allowed under Creative Commons. I always have some sort of image connected to each blog post, at this point it just feels weird not to. But due to my extreme lack of knowledge in design, I haven’t been able to include any graphics with my posts…until now.

A fellow writer introduced me to a design website called Canva. It. Is. Awesome. Right from the beginning, the site starts you off with a basic template in the correct dimensions for your desired social media account – ie, certain dimensions are better for Twitter vs. Facebook posts, etc. (Ever seen those images on Twitter that are cut off weird? Oh yeah, a few of them have been from me.)

Canva is very user friendly – they have free templates you can build off or some paid templates available for one dollar. Additionally, there is a plethora of free images, icons, lines, and most of all…text designs. I spent hours experimenting with different text designs while creating several graphics for my currently running Kindle Countdown deal on “Memories Wait Alone.” And I didn’t have to spend that long…I was just having a blast doing it. Here’s what I came up with:

99 SALE SALE (1)
SALE SALE2

Keep in mind the only media I supplied was the image of the book cover of “Memories Wait Alone.”

All other images, text blocks, bursts, and the grid of an E-reader were provided free by Canva. I scheduled these graphics to post three times a day on Twitter during this promotion and have had great success with “retweets” and new followers on my account.

I decided to also update my cover pages on both my Twitter account (graphic above) and my Facebook “Author’s Page” – took me less than 20 minutes each as I worked completely off one of the free templates built specifically for cover pages. Finished graphics can be downloaded as a JPEG or immediately posted to social media. Easy. Easy. Easy. I love it.

I will definitely continue to use Canva, I really recommend it for any artists out there trying to create eye-catching graphics for their social media. And did I mention, free? Have fun!

 

Things I Love…Gardening & Country Life

Carrots!

Don’t worry, I washed them again. And yes, that is a lone potato.

 

In most of my author bios, I say I am a “worker on my family’s fledgling farm” in the Pacific Northwest. You know, it’s just one of those lines you add to a bio so a stranger can pull together some sort of impression of who-I-am. Sometimes I wonder if that sentence conjures up an incorrect picture in someone’s mind. Maybe they imagine me waking up at the break of dawn, milking the cows and feeding the chickens. (Add a huge mug of coffee into that picture…now it’s getting a teensy bit more plausible.)

In truth, I love “working” on love our little farm/ranch in the mountains. Yes, you have to work harder for those garden vegetables. But as I stood, scrubbing the dirt off these carrots, I reflected at how I so quickly rinse a carrot I would get from the grocery store. These carrots I helped plant, water and pull from the earth…I should be scrubbing those darn grocery store carrots, not these.

Sorry, back to the food –  see Blackberry Cobbler below.

Our family picked these Blackberries from the many, many, many, many, many (did I mention, many?) bushes that grow around our house. They are fickle little stinkers, those Blackberry bushes. First, in the spring, they call you to them with their sweet little white flowers.

Come closer….we won’t hurt you, human…*insert huge, killer thorn hidden in the darkness*

Then, when the heat picks up, those flowers turn into beautiful, luscious berries. That’s when the real siren song kicks in. They become towers of fruit, all ripe at the same time, beckoning to you. You begin to dream of Blackberry jam or drizzle or….cobbler.

If I can just reach…right there…that’s a great berry, I wonder why no one ever…. *insert huge, killer thorn hidden in the darkness*

If you’re from the Pacific NW, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Hungry?

Hungry?

 

Oh, you should be...

Oh, you should be…

BRB…gonna go to the kitchen. Oh, no reason.

Things I Love….The X-Files

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I want to go there.

Image credit Alistair McMillan

Seriously, I love The X-Files. Like, seriously.

My brother and I were obsessed with The X-Files, I think I have watched the entire series twice through. (Although, that last season was a bit…well…we won’t talk about it.) I really credit that show with inspiring my love of the paranormal in storytelling. I loved the mix of conspiracy and “other worlds” in those quick sixty minutes. Of course, the show became even more relevant to me as it was obviously filmed in the Pacific Northwest. (*GASP* I live in the Pacific Northwest, too!)

I’ve read several articles on how many young women were inspired by the character of Dana Scully. I can understand that completely. She was analytical yet emotional. She was holding her own in a very male-dominant workplace. She’s also able to stick to her guns against her relentless male partner Fox Mulder. I liked and appreciated this dynamic. When I watched the show later as a more critical adult, I liked the mix of humor that the show creators kept throughout the series.

Tonight is The X-Files “revival” and I’m at close to same-level of excitement as I had for Star Wars/The Force Awakens. (Please be good. Please be good.) I think this excitement stems from that beautiful feeling of getting to revisit your childhood/teenage years, when you experienced these stories for the first time.

I wasn’t disappointed with Star Wars. I want to believe I won’t be disappointed with X-Files, either. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)