Blogging 411: Writing Professionally – Online

Since this blogging world is still kind of new to me and I’m still trying to make sense on what I am actually blogging about, I’m still doing a lot of research on writing. I stumbled upon this blog post while browsing through my university’s LinkedIn group and thought I’d share it. I recommend everyone to read it, even if you’re not “professionally” writing.

From OnlineCareerTips, “How to Keep Your Writing Professional Online,” by Adrienne Erin.

It made me think: Am I writing professionally? Can my blog be considered “professional?” My immediate answer is “no,” of course. But, the guidelines in the article is good information. I decided to do a mental check:

1.  Back Up Your Thoughts

Well, I do my best to back up my opinions. I mean, I understand it is important to know what you’re talking about. How embarrassing would it be to write about something that you know nothing about? *thinks* Ok, unless you sincerely didn’t understand the point or misunderstood it. But overall, I think I do manage to give examples, at the very least, about my position on things.

2.  Try It Without the Intro Paragraph

This is a new one to me since almost all my classes drilled into my brain to have an introduction paragraph. I’m not sure I even know how to write without an intro and conclusion. I’ll have to experiment with this. Ms. Erin makes an excellent point: “Readers of online material aren’t in it for the long explanations.” I also like her parting advice: “Your posts should be skimmable.” I don’t think some are “skimmable.” I have to make it a point to practice this as well.

3.  Use Headings

I love headings. I think I use them efficiently, but still. Now that I’m aware that it’s one characteristic of a professionally tone, I’ll be on the look out for it.

4.  Don’t Push It

Hm, great advice with this one. And you know, I agree with this. I love that this is on the list.

5.  The Importance of TL;DR

I absolutely LOVE this. [Too Long; Didn’t Read]. I most definitely will be using this as a guide in my future blog posts.

So, I would say I’m halfway there. And since I’m still feeling my way through this blogging world, I think I’m doing pretty good. There is always room for improvement though, so I’m not going to argue with progress.

Edited: 03 April 2015

Harry Potter, after “The End”

ThePotterFamilyI’m a Harry Potter fan at heart. Always will be. I mean, that story was … epic! So, imagine my excitement when I stumbled across this post through a friend on Facebook (who has her own blog by the way, Zemfrika Blogs) who shared this from BuzzFeed (you see how that whole networking thing works?). And I do need to give a shout out to Ellie Hall for this wonderful post!

Some of these events I was aware of, but others were a pleasant surprise. It’s always good to “peek” at those characters we’ve fallen in love with to see what they’ve been up to after “The End.”

Top 10ish Book Series Favorites

Every time I pick up a book that’s part of a series, an internal battle starts. I think I can handle it, I mean, it is just one book, right? Next thing you know, I’m engaged and in a long-term commitment–because sometimes that’s what it turns out to be.

The longest book series I’ve ever been committed to, fully invested in (and I know I’m not the only one), is the Harry Potter series, brought to us by the famous Ms. J. K. Rowling. Seriously though, that was a ten-year commitment.

With all the new book series emerging, I thought back to all the series I’ve read. Here are my Top 10 Favorite Book Series of ALL Time. Please keep in mind that these are series that has reached its end (with the exception of a couple and I’ll explain that when I come across it).

  • Dark Visions, by LJ Smith ~ It’s on my list because of two reasons: 1) It deals with various paranormal powers e.g. telepathy, telekinesis, physic and 2) It pursues another theory on vampirism.
  • The Blood Moon Series, by Connie Laux ~ I loved this series because it was different from the stories that were out circling the YA genre at the time of this one. This one deals with a magician and a twinge of native indian magic.
  • The All Souls Trilogy, by Deborah Harkness (ongoing) ~ This series still has one more book that is a work in progress with no release date yet. This was the first adult series that really intrigued me. So much so that after reading the first book I immediately flipped back to start at the beginning again. Brilliantly written. Ms. Harkness is a wonderful storyteller and she mixes the fantastical with realism in a way where you just have to question it.
  • The Fever Series, by Karen Moning ~ This was the second adult series that sucked me in and boy did I. Get. Sucked. In. This was the first story of its kind that I read. Moning deals with the Fae and their folklore and legends. It’s the first time since I’ve read been reading paranormal fiction that the Fae takes the spotlight. They’re usually in the background or behind the scenes. I’ve never came across a book, let alone a series, where it’s all about them. I loved it!
  • Encyclopedia Brown, by Donald J. Sobol (read all the books up until The Case of the Disgusting Sneakers when I lost track of the series) ~ This series is on my list because this is where it all started; my love for reading. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective was the first book I ever checked out of the library and as you can see, it was a series.
  • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins ~ I admired this story on so many levels. It’s the first I’ve read of its kind; a dystopian society that’s not sci-fi-ish. And the ethics and morals that Collins brings into focus is just amazing.

Okay, so it’s actually a list of twelve series, but that’s because two of them are still in the works and . . . well, I seriously had a hard time choosing. I mean, I can think of at least two more series that should be added to my list of favorites.

You know what? I’m just going to add them.

  • Queen of Babble Series, by Meg Cabot ~ This was the first series Cabot did for adult readers and I loved this one too. She sticks to her same style of writing that I love and it’s hilarious. I’m a big fan of Lizzie’s grandma! She rocks!
  • The Mortal Instruments, by Cassandra Clare (ongoing) ~ The final book–The City of Heavenly Fire coming out Sept 2014–such a long wait, but I bet it’ll be worth it. Clary and Simon, best friends for life. LOVE IT!
  • The Wicked Series , by Janet Evanovich (ongoing) ~ Okay, so I’m pushing it. Sorry! But Evanovich’s Lizzie and Diesel novels have been good so far. I admit, the two books that are out so far are quick reads, but it’s a cute storyline and the fact that it deals with SALIGIA is kinda cool.

I’m sure there are many more series that could be added, but I’ll stop here. If you have any to suggest, please do. I’m always open to reading something new.


What a beautiful poem! I didn’t realize what was tracebacks (?) until now and what a lovely surprise. Beautiful.

Coming Soon: Checklist for Reviews: Books

I promise I’ll return soon to provide you with my checklist for Books. I’m almost done with it, but I figured I’d do a little PSA because it’s late and I need to get to bed! Until then . . .

Movie Junkie 411: Checklist for Reviews, TV & Movies

Ok, so I’m like the worst critic because I’m generally positive. If something makes me laugh, cry, think about things, or keeps me interested from beginning to end I generally give a positive review. In one of my English classes, when we got to the assignment on writing a film or television review, my professor said I should set up a rating scale. She counseled that it is wise, when writing any type of review, to think about what makes it good and what makes it bad then judge your item from there.

It’s good advice; great advice even, except that–again–I’m generally positive so . . . yep, worse critic ever. But I decided to give it shot. I decided that perhaps maybe I should just sit down and think it through. So here goes.

Edited: Ok, I’m editing this draft to separate guidelines for a good Film and TV and guidelines for books.

Firstly, it has to be a good story. “Well, what’s a good story?” That’s a tough one. A good story, to me, would be anything that’s a different from what’s already out there, a new take on something that’s already out there, or a really good remake of something that’s already out. I know that doesn’t say much, but really, can you actually describe a good movie? In general? If you can, props to you. I’m interested in hearing how, sincerely. For now, that’s my basic guideline on bullet number one (not that there’s actually a bullet, but you know what I mean . . . right?). Some movies that I watched recently that I loved because of the story line are Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Jack the Giant Slayer, and Whip It (but this was an adaptation of a book so I’m not quite sure how to grade it, just yet, but it’s an example).

Secondly, if the movie or TV show is doing graphics, it has to be good. But not only good, it has to be balanced. Any movie or tv show that over does it in this department irritates me–just a little. Of course this bullet (because, you know I’m using “mental” bullets; it’s why you can’t see the bullet points–FYI) is null and void if that’s the effect the director is going for, but if the story is about everyday life and you’re doing heavy graphics, then it looks fake and throws off the “escape from reality” feel that movies and tv are suppose to give. You know? A movie that I thought did graphics well was Journey 2: the Mysterious Island. I was really impressed with the blend of graphics I gave the whole graphics department a shout out on my twitter feed. What I really loved was the play of color, angles, and slow motion shots during the “bee chase” scene. It really did amaze me.

The last on this list is the acting should be decent. When I can tell it’s acting, it’s not decent. I don’t mean to sound so harsh, but there are some movies out there where the acting is sub par and it’s distracting. It looks fake and it feels fake. Again, it really screws up the “escape from reality, come have a good time” feeling that film and TV are supposed to create (thinks It’s common sense, but in case it isn’t–I’m not talking reality TV). Now, I can usually forgive this if it’s a really good story or the graphics and camera angles are nicely done, but it’s still worth a bullet (because, remember, I’m using “mental” bullet points).

Not as important as these elements, but something I keep in the back of my head about a good movie is sound and audio. I know it doesn’t seem important, but for me, if the audio is shotty, I won’t be able to continue watching the movie and/or TV show. For me, it’s so much more than just good sound quality. This also applies to “cue ominous music” or more specifically the timing and music score. There has to be a good balance of dialog and music.

That kind of sums up my criteria for a good movie. I know, I know. “Really, Jei-Nhy? That’s it?” Yep. Like I mentioned, worse critic ever, but hey, I’m being honest.

So, to give you an example of a movie that scores high on all the points I just mentioned, a movie that my husband and I call it a “go to” movie–a movie we fall back on when there’s absolutely nothing to watch and we’re bored–is Reign of Fire. Yep. It’s a unique storyline, the graphics are good, and the acting is good. It has a bit of action, a touch of romance, and it gets the wheels churning in your head. It’s one of those movies that is all-around, you know? A little bit of everything. The perfect “go to” movie.

If I ever do a movie/TV review, this is what’s going through my head when I do it. It’s my mental checklist, if you will.

That’s a wrap!