Saturday, December 29, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Recently, I confronted the dilemma that many authors and writers eventually face. I wrote text for a website.
A tool like Wordtracker or Google Trends will tell you the most popular keywords and phrases related to your topic. It is now your job, as website writer, to pepper those keywords throughout the website and do so as often as possible. The more you repeat, the more Google algorithms will associate your site with those keywords and therefore rank it higher in the search results.
For instance, place your identified keywords in your global navigation or in a tagline under your name. Or refer to them when flagging your next speaking engagement or workshop, and in your bio. Collect your most important keywords in the site description that accompanies your site submission to Google.
Friday, December 7, 2012
|Mom and me: Easter 2012|
For most of my writing life, my beloved mom, Dorothy, has been one of my greatest supporters and fans. When I wrote my first children’s book, Sydney the Koala, I read the manuscript to Mom over the phone and she loved it! Whenever any new writing project came my way, Mom always shared in my excitement. She also helped dissipate any self doubts I may have had about my writing ability. Mom was my mentor and editor—until about 15 years ago when her memory started to fail her and her vocabulary dwindled.Now Mom is 94 ½ years old and is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. She lives near one of my siblings and me in an assisted living home, where she is wheelchair bound and needs help in every aspect of her existence. One of us (and usually both) visits her daily and works with the staff to make her life as enriching as possible.
When Mom speaks—which isn’t often--her vocabulary is extremely limited and much of what she says in unintelligible. Her journey through this debilitating disease has been long and challenging for our entire family. Instead of grieving for who she was, though, I decided to appreciate and cherish who she is now. Anything she says that I remotely understand is a true gift to me. Simple words, phrases, and sentences that I took for granted for so many years are now precious and meaningful.
My most memorable day by far, though, happened in early fall. Mom looked at me and without prompting said, “You’re Georgeanne.” I was taken aback as well as touched deep within my heart. She hadn’t called me by name in years! Seconds later, her recollection of my name was gone but that fleeting moment of lucidity was priceless. “You’re Georgeanne”—such simple words from anyone else but words from Mom that l will treasure forever.
San Diego native Georgeanne Irvine has devoted more than three decades of her career to raising awareness about animals and wildlife conservation. By day, she is associate director of development communications for the San Diego Zoo, where she has worked for 34 years. George is also the author of more than 20 children’s books, plus numerous magazine, newspaper, and Web articles. George’s most recent work is the coffee table book, The Katrina Dolphins: One-Way Ticket to Paradise, which is a true story about 8 dolphins from an oceanarium that were washed out to sea during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and dramatically rescued a few weeks later.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
I first applied to Hedgebrook in 1992, and was accepted for a five-week-long residency the following year. Surrounded by nature, by fir and cedar, ponds and meadows, eagles and deer, I was in heaven. There was no telephone, no television, nothing to interrupt the chain reaction of my thoughts. My handcrafted little cottage opened onto a fern-filled meadow with view of