Sunday paper, book fair and other notes

For those of you following my Sunday search for a copy of the New York Times in a fly over state, I finally found a copy last weekend. And I enjoyed reading it Sunday afternoon and evening. There is something about flipping through the printed pages of the weekend edition of a newspaper that is a luxurious activity.

Other notes of interest:

  • Last weekend was the Racine & Kenosha Authors Book Fair. Photos of the event will be posted here later this week.
  • The production and editing of the upcoming audio podcast is almost complete. It is running a bit long for this episode. So, I may cut one segment to fit the desired time slot of 20 to 25 minutes. What am I going to do with the extra segment? Suggestions?
  • On that note, Nick Demske — who curates the BONK! performance series in Racine — suggested contacting a few of the musicians and singer/songwriters to feature on upcoming audio podcasts. I am very excited to announce that two musicians — who performed at BONK! performances — have provided permission to feature their work on future episodes of the Coffeehouse Junkie audio podcast.

That is all for now, friends!

If you are interested, here are a few things said elsewhere:
[1] I really should not be allowed on social media. It no doubt alters and disrupts neural pathways.
[2] One feature I like about the @Kenosha_News paper is the Off the Shelves section. Kenosha Public Library staff feature authors & books.
[3] According to @WSJ (pg D2), corduroy is back in fashion. Yay! Since @goodwill is where I shop, my wardrobe is finally in style. I haven’t been this excited since the 90s… when grunge rockers brought flannel to the mainstream…

Autumn bee in a cafe

“There are not enough bees on the planet,” he tells his daughter as he captures a bee in a disposable cup from the coffee shop. He has gray hair and wears camouflage fatigue pants and an white maintenance and management crew t-shirt. He releases the bee outside the cafe and returns to get his coffee and sit with his daughter.

Google reports that it is the first day of autumn. Technically, Google is correct. It is the first day. Though my calendar says the first day of autumn was yesterday. At 10 p.m.

Ever feel like a bee bouncing around the inside of a cafe trying to make sense of this strangely confusing world?

Top read posts of the day

Every year around this time (and through to the end of the year), the most read blog post is a list of Christmas poems I compiled. So it did not surprise me that the most read posts of the day included that one. What did amuse me is that only one of the top read posts was written this year. Here is what you are reading today:

  1. Is commercial radio extinct? (2010)
  2. Advent Poems (or the 12 days of Christmas poetry) (2012)
  3. Two reasons why I quit Tumblr (2012)
  4. The purpose of sketching your ideas (2011)
  5. [Podcast] When the lights go out (2014)

Thanks for visiting (and reading)! Please be sure to share it.

This week: Racine & Kenosha Authors Book Fair

10565080_10152376419532804_4810709820636602796_n

The countdown is nearly complete. The Racine & Kenosha Authors Book Fair us this Saturday from 6-9 p.m. Since I am somewhat new to the regional literary scene, I am looking forward to meeting local poets and writers.

Here is a link the event’s Facebook page: Racine & Kenosha Authors Book Fair.

Podcasts – delayed, but not forgotten

To all three of you have inquired as to the absence of the monthly podcast, please forgive the delay.

My voice got sidelined for almost a month by a horrible summertime flu/virus/thingy. And then I had a week or so of heavy design projects. And then lost my voice again for a couple weeks due to another summertime allergy/virus/whatnot.

And then there is the issue of selecting and securing the rights to use guest music on the podcast.

I know, enough excuses. Thanks for your patience. I think you may enjoy the upcoming episodes.

Thanks for your support!

Free e-book. New e-book. Book Fair.

When it comes to promoting my own work, I am extremely self-consciousness. However, here are three announcements that may interest you.

Continue reading

How much time do you spend on Facebook?

FB-Screen-shot-2014-08-22

In a GTD[1] effort to increase productivity, I studied my online activity this spring using time tracking software. Currently self-employed, I wanted to make sure time is not wasted but used wisely.

For the most part, social media is out. Same goes for video games and online audio and video streaming sites (not that I ever play video games online anyone, but I do allow myself to listen to music and audio podcasts while working).

A couple times during this period I noticed that the weekly report showed that I spent four hours on Facebook. I was shocked. Maybe I left the computer on while running an errand (which could take hours due to my current rural location) and left the internet browser window open during that whole time. I made immediate efforts to close that open loop of un-productivity.

Those reports intrigued me and I wanted to find out how many hours most Americans spend on Facebook per day. According to a 2011 source, the average American spends

“15.5 minutes … on Facebook every single day.”[2]

But, as you know, three years ago is a century ago in the digital world. A 2013 study reports that an

“average user spends 23 hours a week emailing, texting and using social media and other forms of online communication.”[3]

23 hours! That is a lot of online time. But that statistic does not surprise me. As a professional graphic designer, I spend at least 40 hours a week in front of a screen. And now, most design and communication applications are cloud based or at least supported online. So, as you can see by the screen shot at the beginning of this post, much of my time is designing books, book covers and other marketing and print materials while listening to podcasts or music.

A month ago a new report says

“the average American now spends 40 minutes a day checking a Facebook feed.”[4]

That is a huge increase from three years ago — 280 minutes a week spent on Facebook. 4.6 hours a week. 18 hours a month! I can layout a 240-page book in that time and maybe have time left over to design the book cover (of course, that depends on editor and author changes and corrections, but I digress).

I am sure there is a lot of news from family and friends that I miss by avoiding Facebook. But when you are self-employed those 18 hours can be used resourcefully and effectively to provide for your household — and to secure and maintain future clients. Or, at least, that is the strategy.

NOTES:
[1] GTD, or Getting Things Done. http://lifehacker.com/productivity-101-a-primer-to-the-getting-things-done-1551880955
[2] “You Spend 8 Hours Per Month on Facebook” by Ben Parr, September 30, 2011, accessed August 22, 2014, http://mashable.com/2011/09/30/wasting-time-on-facebook/
[3] “Americans Spend 23 Hours Per Week Online, Texting” by David Mielach, July 2, 2013, accessed August 22, 2014, http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4718-weekly-online-social-media-time.html
[4] “Americans Now Spend More Time on Facebook Than They Do on Their Pets” by Joshua Brustein, July 23, 2014, accessed August 22, 2014, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-23/heres-how-much-time-people-spend-on-facebook-daily

Racine Public Library presents: BONK! 71

From an email about the event:
unnamed

BONK! 71
SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 2014 
ECO-JUSTICE CENTER
7133 MICHNA ROAD, 
RACINE, WI
6PM (doors open 5:00!)
FEATURING:
AM RINGWALT is a writer and musician (Anne Malin) from Racine, Wisconsin and currently studying in Boston, Massachusetts. Most recently, her words have appeared in:  “Whole Beast Rag;” “DUM DUM Zine: Punks and Scholars;” “The Interlochen Review;” and “BROWN GOD.” Last year, she was a YoungArts finalist in fiction and a US Presidential Scholar in the Arts semi-finalist.  Ringwalt’s debut chapbook entitled “Like Cleopatra” is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.  More information about her work can be found at annemalinringwalt.tumblr.com
JOE HALL is the author of three books of poetry: “Pigafetta Is My Wife” (Black Ocean 2010), “The Devotional Poems” (Black Ocean 2013), and, in collaboration with Chad Hardy, “The Container Store” Volumes I & II (SpringGun 2012). He currently resides with fellow poet Cheryl Quimba in Buffalo, New York where he is studying commons, excess, and waste flows.  Learn more about his work at joehalljoehall.wordpress.com
NAOMI MARIE is a born and bred Midwestern minstrel of sorts. Transplanted from the rich musical culture of the twin cities, she has discovered a fresh folk sound and form from the third coast of Lake Michigan. Having recently released her first full length, Primary Colors, in May of 2014, she sets to connect with friends, fans and artists in continued pursuit of her music’s authentic expressions.  For more information about her music and schedule go to naomimariemusic.org

Wordshop

Wordshop
The weekly Racine Public Library Wordshop gathering of poets and writers is always lively and engaging. Last week there was a special presentation of Beat literature.