Tag Archive | twitter

For Anna

So there’s this lovely woman on twitter. Her name is Anna Meade. She dresses like Hermione Granger for Halloween and she’s a Dark Fairy Queen. She’s also getting married, sings, and is totally adorable.

Being a writerly type, it only makes sense that she has a writerly type bridal shower online with other freaky people.

Because I heart her tons, here’s my entry!

Moss flitted between the three tables of fairies making wedding favors. Everything had to be perfect, not just because she was coordinating the wedding of the year, but because the Dark Fairy Queen was the one getting married! If ever there was a time for perfection, this was it.

“Excuse me. Are you or are you not supposed to be making sugar swans?” Moss tapped her dainty foot and glared about her. “These look more like ducks! DO IT AGAIN!”

Checking her list, she drifted past the other tables. Snowdrop and bluebell centerpieces were coming along nicely, as were little balls of nectar shaped into small suns.

“Um, Moss? I’m not quite sure… That is – I think there’s a problem.” Cowslip cringed and held out a note.

Snatching the leaf from her assistant, she read the note. With each word her face fell further and a dark cloud started to gather above her head. Moss’s delicate green-brown wings beat furiously.

“What do they MEAN no unicorns?!? There have to be unicorns! The whole opening ceremony depends on them!”

All the work stopped as her wail of despair carried through the meadow.

“It’s all ruined. We may as well call it all off right now!” Moss threw herself onto a tree stump and burst into tears.

Cowslip looked at her fellows for help, but none would meet her eyes. They bent industriously to their tasks, leaving the pale blue fairy to smooth everything over. Sighing and vowing to remember their cowardice, Cowslip settled gingerly next to Moss on the stump.

“You’re the best there is, Moss. This wedding will be splendid, with or without unicorns. All because of you.”

A small sniffle greeted her words.

Encouraged, Cowslip reached out and smoothed Moss’s tousled curls. “In fact, I just know that you’ll come up with something far better than some smelly unicorns. They’re probably not even house broken. Imagine if the Queen ruined a slipper in a pile of unicorn mess!”

A choking laugh escaped the pile of miserable fairy next to her.

Moss sat up and threw her arms around her friend. “I’ve been a little crazed, haven’t I?”

“Oh… not so very much.”

“Liar.” A radiant grin transformed Moss’s face. “You’re the best friend a fairy could have. I don’t know what I’d do without you!”

“Get buried by a distressed unicorn, no doubt.”

“Quite right! So we need something just as whimsical with much smaller droppings. What can we get in a hurry?”

“Size of droppings should always be a consideration in our planning from now on.” Cowslip’s face was perfectly straight. Not even the hint of a smile, although her eyes twinkled like stars.

Moss nodded. “Oh absolutely. I can’t believe that we didn’t think of it earlier.” She’d missed the joke entirely.

“I KNOW! We’ll use wombats! They’re soft and fuzzy and we’ll be able to corral them to minimize the chance of stepping in anything!”

“Yes, I’m sure that will be so much better.”

The crisis had been averted. For now. There were still four more days until the wedding and so much more could happen. Cowslip made a mental note to stock up her mother’s headache remedy. It was going to be a long week!

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Ferrets!

So during last night’s desperate attempt to catch up with my NaNo word count, @kseniaanske decided it would be fun to do a ferret sprint.

As I love me some furry little critters, I couldn’t resist the challenge.

The first story is up on her blog. Go read it and stay tuned for the others (including mine!)

A gets full credit for this bit, because he suggested it!

Here’s mine now, just because the whole thing amuses the pants off me.  Enjoy!

****

Meg had been in school now for about three months. She felt like she was really getting the hang of this whole magic thing. Flying had been scary as hell, but thrilling all at the same time and once she’d gained a bit of confidence, Dana’d had to threaten her with no flying for a month to get her to land.

Today was her first lesson in conjuring. She’d been up most of the night with these grand ideas of floating sugar castles and whirling ice storms. Did she have any real idea what conjuring involved? Absolutely not.

Dana walked into the work room with a particularly smug look on her face. Prickles of worry started to gnaw away at Meg’s excitement. Sure, it had only been a few months, but she’d already learned to be wary of that look.

“So. Are you ready to learn conjuration?” Dana practically purred.

Aw hell. This was gonna be bad. But there was no way she was backing down now. So Meg nodded. How bad could it be, really?

“That’s the spirit. How familiar are you with ferrets?” Dana perched on a stool, looking not unlike a pixie bent on destruction.

“I know of them. Mom always said no, because they were ‘wily little creeps’ and there was no way she was letting them into her house. Something about chewing.”

“She’s not wrong. They’re from the weasel family and they also have scent glands, like skunks.”

“Okay, wily, chewy, stinky. Got it. So what do ferrets have to do with conjuration?” Meg’s impatience was growing. She was tired of talking. She wanted to do. Was this a glaring Achilles heel that Dana was going to exploit? You’re darn skippy it was.

Dana smiled a slow, toothy smile.

Meg paled, her freckles jumping off her face as it turned papery. Patience, she berated herself. How many times over the last few months had Dana nailed her for lacking patience? Her eyebrows had only just grown back from the last lesson.

“Conjuration isn’t too hard, dear. You’re really just bringing something to you from somewhere else. It works similarly to the fetching charm that you learned your first month here.”

That didn’t sound too bad…

“In this case though, you’re going to picture ferrets in your mind and will them into the cage on the table.” Dana demonstrated. “You see how easy it is?”

“Totally. I’ve got this.” Meg concentrated on the ferret in the cage. She closed her eyes and saw another appear right next to it. There was a soft pop, like a bubble. Meg smiled. Nailed it!

She opened her eyes and looked in triumph on the two ferrets in the cage.

Pop! Pop, pop, pop.

Ferrets started popping up all over the workroom. Furry, squirming bodies covered the floor and every available surface. They crawled over her lap, around her shoulders, nestling in her hair, and nuzzling her ears.

Oh gods. What had gone wrong?

Meg turned to Dana, only to see her teacher doubled over with tears streaming down her face. Also, curiously free of ferrets.

“Did I not mention that you have to be very specific about quantity and when to stop delivering the objects that you conjure? It must be an age thing. The memory is the first to go and all that.” Dana clung to the table, gasping for breath.

“Funny. Hysterical even. Are you done yet?” Meg was starting to panic. These things were multiplying like tribbles.

Dana gave one last whoop of laughter and waved the ferrets away.

Social Media Pro-Tip #1

While I won’t touch the politics involved, I will discuss what happened with Kitchen Aid’s twitter feed during last night’s debates.

An employee at Kitchen Aid made the mistake of tweeting a rather tasteless joke about the President during last night’s debates. It was quickly caught, removed, and apologized for by the management. So points to them for an appropriate response to the problem. They owned the issue and handled it with grace.

It should never have happened.

Well, duh. We all know that, you’re thinking. The person who tweeted should have made sure they were on their own personal feed. Right?

Wrong!

They shouldn’t have even thought about posting that on their personal feed, either. Here’s why.

Once you start working for a company, any company, be they high profile or not, you represent them. Unless you keep it a huge secret and don’t ever mention your work or for whom you work, you are a representative of your company. Anything you tweet, post on Facebook, or blog about will reflect on your employer.

This is perhaps the biggest drawback to the instant gratification, constant 24/7 news streaming world that we live in these days.

You are just as much a brand as Kitchen Aid. Or Coke. Or Victoria’s Secret.

Don’t believe me?

Go surf someone’s Facebook. Someone you don’t know. Read their posts and look at their pictures. What do you think about them?

If they have a ton of pictures of them getting drunk at parties and post about drugs and reckless activities, you form a mental picture of them as someone who isn’t necesarily responsible. Now, say that you run a business. An insurance business. Is this the sort of person you want as a public face for your company? Do you want pictures on the internet of an employee wearing a shirt with your logo on it, doing drugs, getting drunk, or posing lewdly with naked statues? Probably not. No matter how good a person they are, how dedicated a worker, you have the wrong idea from their online brand.

Employers check these things now. So do insurance companies, by the by.

Now, am I saying you can’t have fun with your friends? Heck no!

I am, however, saying that you need to keep your public image firmly in mind. Set up a work account and a separate, private account. Enable all of your privacy settings on the personal one, so that you share those things with only your friends. DO NOT MIX THE TWO. Ever.

If that’s too much work for you, then you will have to school yourself to thinking very carefully about everything you put on the internet. If you can’t post it on your employer’s website, Facebook, or Twitter feed, you shouldn’t post it on yours.

This goes doubly, or even tripley for you if you are deliberately building a brand. As an author, you want your readers to connect with you and want to pay to read your work. That’s why you give them a taste of who you are as a person, but you don’t tell them every little thought that goes on in your head.

The internet fosters an incredible sense of connection, which is awesome when building a fanbase. You and your readers probably have a lot in common. After all, if they like what you write, chances are they will like you. But what you write about isn’t ALL of you. Just like there are things you don’t talk about at parties (yay for unspoken social contracts), there are things you shouldn’t share with people online. Cause unlike at the party, where people will probably forget you dancing on the table with a lampshade on your head, that stuff NEVER GOES AWAY on the internet. It’s there forever.

I’d say “If you can’t say it to your Grandmother, don’t say it on the internet,” but if your Grandmother is anything like mine, that advice will backfire.

So I leave you with this thought, instead. How do you want to be remembered?