Monthly Archives: August 2013

Capitalizing on that back-to-school feeling

We all know it. It comes at the end of summer with a frenzy rush of dread, anticipation but mostly excitement. Excitement for a new start, a new year. No, this is August so our party hats, champagne flutes and firecrackers won’t be needed for a while but this event also marks new beginnings. It’s time to go back to school.
back-to-school1Now, you may not be in school. You may not have a school-aged child but we’ve all been there. It’s a universal feeling that a majority can relate to. This is a new an exciting year for our household. Baby Markey is starting pre-school. We’ve bought the backpack, lunch kit, school supplies, etc. She has some new outfits and we’ve been reading all the “back-to-school” themed books we can to prepare her for the big day. It’s a little scary but mostly we’re excited. Along with school comes the start of fall activities. She’s in Latin dance, two music classes and we’re considering adding a soccer. Needless to say I’ve been working hard at setting up our family’s fall schedule.

The idea of structure is appealing. As a writer juggling many projects I find that I’m most productive when I’m busy. Those “light” days are often lost to distractions and the ever so popular phrase; “I’ll do it later.”

Busy is good. Busy is exciting. Busy can be overwhelming but like school, our lives thrive on structure and the chaos of summer just cannot last forever.

I’m treating this time as a new beginning. A new chance to get things right and evaluate where I am before December sneaks up on me. This is a time to make my schedule work for me so that I can stay on top of my 2013 goals. The back-to-school frenzy can work for us all. Buy supplies, set a schedule and feel excited for the possibilities ahead!

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Don’t support bad talent, strive for greatness

After viewing clips from this week’s Video Music Awards I was reminded of a question I’ve always had: Why do we (people in general) enjoy bad talent? I first had this question when watching one of the early seasons of American Idol. You know when it’s early in the season and they’re airing the auditions. There are always those amazing standouts but then the show, just as equally focuses on the bad talent. I’ve always wondered why do those people audition? Surely they have loved ones that could tell them nicely that this isn’t for them? I like to sing to my daughter but I’m NO MUSIC STAR and my parents, husband, brother and good friends would happily dissuade me if I wanted to audition for a talent competition.

Keeping this post current, why didn’t Miley Cyrus’ parents or so-called finance tell her that her performance wasn’t going to bring her a positive reaction? As a PR practitioner I’ve always heard the saying, “there’s no such thing as bad press.” Well, as an artist I believe that this is very false. I’m an author and a writer of several columns. If I put something outlandish or just horrible out there it would hurt the future of my career. In that case even bad press is bad and should be avoided at all costs.

I’ve seen the social media outcry on Miss Cyrus’ performance. When did her family go from supporting her career to turning a blind eye? As a parent, I vow to always be honest with my daughter. My mom did this for me. Not every one of my dance performances, growing up was perfect. It was because of the honesty of my mom and family that I knew when I did something truly amazing because they would tell me. To this day I appreciate such honesty and know that I will not sugarcoat my daughter’s talent. I will support her, help her and tell her when she has really done a fantastic job.

Back to the point though, why does everyone (I’m referring to the vast amounts of social media users) seem obsessed with discussing and “Youtubing” bad talent such as Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance or bad talent on any “talent” shows? These people should not be given any attention. I feel sorry for them. I believe that everyone can strive for his or her dream. If your dream is to be a pop star, go for it with all you’ve got! But be mindful of your talent and where its abundance or lacking could take your career.

As a writer, I value my family, beta-readers and editors’ input. This can only help me. I don’t want to publish something horrible or even something good. I strive for greatness and listening will help me get there. I always try to surround myself by greatness. This is why I’m a proud member of RWA and even maintained my local Houston chapter membership when I moved to Saudi Arabia. It’s important to be around (or in my case, stay in contact with) talented, successful people no matter what it is that you do.

Watch talent, read talent, don’t make fun of those who may have fallen in their careers. We all make mistakes but don’t elevate them through millions of hits. The Internet makes it harder for people to forget mistakes. That’s all the more reason to be careful and think about what you are doing before you put yourself out there.

But why do we laugh, watch and by doing so support bad talent? Let it go. Feel sorry for a once talented individual who obviously is being misled and learn from it. I’m never going to perform at the VMAs. I’ve accepted this no matter how much I would love to do a song and dance number with Justin Timberlake. I am a writer and I will strive to put out great work. And I will always look at my work and evaluate its representation of my talent and how it can help me moving forward.

Reach for your dreams but be smart about it. Take chances but think before you act.

Rant over and while I will not share any images or clips from a certain VMA performance, I will happily share the Justin Timberlake and NSYNC performance. Enjoy!

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The fascination behind Shark Week

This week began the 26th annual Shark Week. This is like my Super Bowl. I’ve loved Shark Week since Shark Week I was a little girl. I’ve never missed a season and this year worked out well as I’m traveling in the U.S. during Discovery Channel’s big show.

But why do we watch Shark Week? Why the fascination? Is it fear? Respect for these magnificent creatures or what? For me, it’s respect and fascination. My love for sharks is why I became a SCUBA diver.

Whatever your reason is for watching Shark Week you probably agree that it has become very much a topic of discussion. This fact is even more prevalent with the emergence of social media. Nightly now discussions about Shark Week take over the Twittersphere, Facebook and other social media outlets.

The show always walks the balance of pleasing everyone that watches the show meaning that they typically focus on both the fear from stories of real life shark attack victims and conservation and science. This year, promotions have taken a turn in the “shock and awe” direction, a move that I’m not typically fond of (as the PR practitioner in me takes over.)

Whatever the reason may be, Shark Week continues to wow and fascinate viewers for various reasons. Are you watching Shark Week? What are your thoughts so far?

And to go ahead and start the discussion for next time, tell me what you think of this Shark Week commercial? See what I mean when I say “shock and awe?” Most people can’t watch this without having some kind of reaction. What was yours?

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