Saturday, June 27, 2009

Two persons from my generation have recently passed on. Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. While everyone knew about one's brave battle over cancer, the sudden heart attack of a pop king took everyone by storm. Still, these two individuals faced fame from two different walks of life. Many people have opinions about them. To each their own, but for now, as I turn fifty this year, I want to stop and reflect upon them as I did when I was a teenager.

I watched in awe of Farrah on Charlie's Angels. She was the "IT" girl, with beautiful hair and long legs. She was a natural beauty and seemed like a pleasant individual. I recalled as the years rolled on and her looks somewhat faded, what a bad rap she began to recieve. Through her fight with cancer, we saw her bravery and even if her life with her family was turmoiled with secrets, with Redman's jail time and Ryans constant battles with his kids, she still was a beautiful woman within. She deserved to go thinking her son was in "rehab", so she could go to her final resting place in serenity. God give you plenty of it now, lovely Farrah. So for all eternity, rest in peace. And I will always remember your beautiful smile.

Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five burst into my young life when I was in elementary school. Even though ABC and Mama's Pearl were the popular songs, I recalled spinning a B side of a 45 in my room. I became entranced with the soulful voice of Michael Jackson, belting out "Whose loving you." I played it over and over again. I remembered my freinds and me having an opportunity to play the radio during a lunch recess. "I want you back' came on and instantly we danced and clapped along. We even tried to sing the song.

As the years went on, we saw the transitions in Michael, in his music, his life, in his physical attributions. Many called him a lunatic, some mad man who wanted to be white, but he ailed from a skin condition. then we watched the trails of the molestation accusations. The woman who claimed Michael abused her son seemed just as wacky on stand. Who knew the truth? All I know is that I felt so appalled and sad about what the publicity that ensued over him after that. Was he just an innocent soul who got messed up pretending he was still a kid?

So many people came out to give him tribute after the news of his sudden death. People from all walks of life and from everywhere. I was amazed at the outpouring. My hope is that this generous spirit won't leave if his three children need something along the way. What is their fate? Is their any money left to support them? Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if all those people in England didn't ask for their refund back on the concerts he had planned in July? He obviosly wanted to make some to save face, to save himself, to earn money again. If he had remained an ordinary man on the street asking for help, would one give it to him? I wonder.

Tonight I listened to a compilation of songs he did over three decades. Astounding music. I sat in my chair, bobbed my head, snapped my fingers to Bad, Billie Jean, Thriller, and just absorbed whenever he sang a melodic song, like Man in the Mirror, or something poignant and stirring, like You're not alone. The man had absolute talent and in spite of what was portrayed in his public life, in music, he was blessed. Very blessed. He was definetely King of Pop.

So rest in peace Michael. I will always cherish my LP Thriller albulm and all the memories of your moonwalk, your white glove, and the fantastic moves you displayed in your dances.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Organize to build up your social network and recognition

I'm the type of person who seems to collect things, like stacks of magazines, old mail, oodles and oodles of information and recipes I've found in random places, that could help me as a writer or as a cook at home. Both are my favorite hobbies.

But I fail at always keeping things organized. I was perusing back through my long "collection" of old email in my inbox, wondering which I should discard and which I should save to recall the valuable information tucked on someone else's website or links. There is a lot out there and many authors have found new avenues of social networking. I'm always impressed with how they have acquired all of their new friends/fans/author support. And then I feel jealous of their popularity. I want the same for myself, but how do I achieve this?

One author claims the social networking is a valuable tool. You got to nurse it along, build upon the contacts you make, keep pumping up what you've got available. It makes sense, doesn't it? Instead of pumping out your money on bookmarks, t-shirts, or entering book contests. It's the people out there who stumble upon your website, the friends you make during this process, who will end up supporting and buying your books.

Since I'm such a collector, I realized how organization is also key. For me, I will have to dedicate a whole day to weed through each old email and pick out the websites recommended, get a list of the people who follow them, and also get a separate list started of my author friends, and of those, who in the past, I have offered a "free" pdf file or actual book. Then put these lists down into a safe place for quick access, like in an index box, in order to keep the communication flowing whenever I release future projects or to share press leases or interviews.

It won't be easy, because as I scroll down my emails, there is a lot there, but to build up my own network of readers and author friends, I must keep communication flowing, to make them feel recognized on the other side. Only then, I feel reciprocation in kind will be achieved. And it's always wonderful to be recognized somehow, isn't it?

Any tidbits of advice or comments are always welcomed here.