Thursday, 25 August 2011

Techno-geeky Nonsense #2: Author photo in Google Searches...Continued!

So, who tried to get their picture added to Google searches?

Hmmm?

You bunch of slackers.

I did and here are the results!

Rubbish!
So as you can see, no author picture, damn it! But it has only been a couple of days and it could well take a while to get added. On the plus side I'm pretty close to topping the search term 'amazing writing tips'. I will persevere as I find it quite interesting and it'll do the blog some good.

Roughly, what you have to do is:

1. Create a Google profile if you haven't got one. If you are on Google+ you'll have one.
2. Add a link to your profile to your website. My link is over there on the right, that black google-y button.
3. Add a link for your website to your Google profile.

That's it. You'll need to add some information to your profile and Google recommend a good clear headshot (BLAM!).

Anyway, here's the link to the full instructions again:

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=1408986&&hl=en

I'll stick an update on here if my image starts appearing. I check about once every 15 minutes at the moment.

Cheers,

Mark

Friday, 19 August 2011

Techno-geeky Nonsense #1: Author photo in Google Searches

Interesting geekery.
Ahhhh! I forgot I was supposed to blog yesterday and had no idea of what to put. But inspiration strikes, why not actually try to write something useful for once instead of daft writing advice?* So here's something interesting to you writer-y types who might be trying to get your face out there.

Google seem to be inserting people's profile pictures into search results. So when people look up something and something you have posted is in the results they'll feature your ugly mug. Here's an article explaining it:

http://www.ghacks.net/2011/08/18/display-author-profile-photos-on-google-search/

I'll be trying to get this to work for my blog this week, honest. I'll let you know how I do. If you have a go please let me know how you get on.

Edit: Information from Google about this here: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=1408986&&hl=en

Cheers,

Mark

*I sort of hope some one has been taking my writing advice seriously and following it. I'd like to see the outcome.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Private Retreat

A bit late with a blog post this week. We've just got back from a private retreat up in the Shropshire hills around Ludlow. Yeah, Ludlow, the place that was on TV a couple of weeks ago. How current and cool are we?

So we had plenty of time to do lots of thinking and writing. But instead we went shopping in Ludlow and walked up some hills.

Shropshire Hills










And fed the chickens.

If chickens were publishers...









Chased a fox and some kids chased me (in a good way!)

I've got pace!










So we didn't do the amount of work we wanted to. However, the quality seemed to be better. Though I might not think that when I go back to it...

But if it is rubbish I'll just blame the fox.

cheers,

Mark



Thursday, 4 August 2011

Amazing Writing Tips #3: Purple Prose is the Key to Success.

You'll need a shed load of words
to create this.
If a picture paints a thousand words then surely you need a thousand words to paint a picture? No, you need more. A common mistake the less experienced, but ever hopeful, dreaming writers of this aged but optimistic world make is to cut. They set about their loved manuscripts, pen poised like a gleaming, sharp and vicious dagger over the bleached and trembling paper, ready to strike, strike, strike out the words they think they don't need.

But they do need them, for surely words are our tools, our treasure, our breath and we must impart them like the precious, dear life-blood that they are. Force them in, prise those sentences apart, and shove  and hammer those fluted nouns and flowery adverbs in until you are left with a sentence that is the literary equivalent of this architecture:

Fancy!


As an entertaining but educational example let's take this simple, common and oft-used sentence:

'The cat sat on the mat.'

It might tell you everything it needs to but couldn't it be better?

'The stripy furred feline reclined gracefully, but not with out a sense of feral, barely contained animalistic fury, on the worn and tatty, brown, stained door mat next to some old, and worn boots that belonged to Mike the local dustman, his ragged footwear suffused with every failure, regret and dead dream of his life.'

Improved like a wine left in a dark and cobwebbed cellar, filthy with dust, crud and weird things that no one really wants to think about, its taste enriched, unseen by its future drinkers.

Let my magnificence wash over you like the warm soapy suds of last nights washing up bowel bowl as it catches the waning, dying evening light.

Mark