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Friday, July 30, 2010

Ava Elaine's 1st Contest: Comment Contest!

Without further ado, I'd like to introduce the very first contest that I will be having here on my blog: the Comment Contest. I actually got the idea from fellow writer/author and new friend Jamie Debree when she did a drawing for Kristen Lamb's book We Are Not Alone: The Writer's Guide to Social Media.

Now that I've done a bunch of name dropping-which was necessary to show my appreciation and give credit to these 2 helpful women-I can get back to the Comment Contest.

Starting at 5PM central time today which is in about 35 minutes as I write this, you will have from that time to Sunday August 1, 2010 at 11:30PM CST to comment.

So what is the drawing for? Well, that's my surprise to you. Instead of having just one overall drawing, I am going to have 4 drawings in one! That means 4 different prizes for 4 different people. And, even though these first prizes are books (shocker! lol), I still hope you guys are excited. I want you to have fun and engage yourself in my blog, my work, my content, etc.

And what are we commenting on exactly for this contest? I've broken down the 4 prizes into 4 ways to win:

*Subcontest #1-Go to my FAQs page, read it to make sure it hasn't been asked and comment on that page with a question of your own for me. I will choose, in my opinion, the best question asked.
Prize #1: "Helping Me Help Myself" by Beth Lisick
This is now a national bestseller! And Beth Lisick is author of New York Times bestseller "Everybody into the Pool"
Beth Lisick's website HERE



















*Subcontest #2-Visit my blog: http://ava-elaine.blogspot.com/ and comment on any blog posts or pages that are located on the upper left corner of the Home page. The winner will be randomly drawn for this prize.
Prize #2: "Now You See Him" by Eli Gottlieb
Eli Gottlieb's website HERE.











*Subcontest #3-Go to my Associated Content Page and choose out of the many different types of content I have up on there and comment.
Prize#3: "House Rules" by Rachel Sontag
Rachel Sontag's website wasn't working, so go here to read a little more about this book: Powell's Books















*Subcontest #4-The winner of this will be chosen by me just like #1. Excluding all the comments from the FAQs page, I will choosing the best comment I will receive from you guys on my blog or on my Associated Content content.
Prize#4: "What's Next: The Experts' Guide-Predictions From 50 of America's Most Compelling People" by Jane Buckingham with Tiffany Ward
I couldn't find a reputable site, so read about this book HERE.


So that's the first contest here on my blog! All that I ask is that you guys leave genuine comments and no "good" or "I like this" or "hi"...lol. I actually want your comments to be feedback for my writing, etc. So, no rinky-dink comments. Give me some substance please.
And just so we're clear, you can comment as much as you'd like on anything you want. Each comment will give you one "entry" basically into every drawing. If you win something and I love one of your comments, I still have to give the ones I choose personally to someone else. We want to spread the love around here. So I will do the 2 random drawing ones first on Monday and choose my favorites after.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me avaelaine@ymail.com and PLEASE tell your friends. I want this to be fun.
And my biggest apologies for not having this post up by 5....10 minutes late for my first contest-how horrible is that? I'm so sorry!! Anyone who happened to leave comments starting at 5PM will still be credited as entering the contest just to let you know.
Thank you in advance for all of your kind words, constructive criticism and support!!


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Ava Elaine
Please comment, click and communicate!
Read my content: http://bit.ly/bQYGXq

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blog Updated, 1st Contest & Finally on Facebook!

It's Friday and I am pretty excited that I finally added everything I wanted to the pages here, the main page and how my blog looks at first glance to people visiting it. I added my quote, some photos, a FAQs page, a Hire Me page and other pages displaying summaries and motivations to some of my work. I was a little slow getting this done, but am proud of myself that I finally got it all out there for you guys. After all, the whole reason I created this blog was so people could see who the woman is behind the writing and work.

I want you to get to know me because I am just another person trying to make connections in this world. I do that through writing and trying to speak to people's wants and needs...desires (take that any way you want because I have written things that could apply to that lol). The bottom line is I don't want to just throw something up and expect people to want to read it just because they feel like reading something at that moment. I want them to be able to get inside my head and when they see I've posted something or written a new article or FINALLY finished with my novel that I've been adding/cutting since 2008, they will say to themselves: "I'm excited/interested in seeing what Ava wrote!"

I want to be on a first name basis. I don't want to be above everyone. Sure, I see things differently than some people, but that doesn't mean I'm an expert on any one thing. I want to coexist peacefully, get to know other great, artisitic and creative people and get my writing out there.

One step I've also taken besides this blog this week is joining.....(drum roll please).......Facebook! I know, I can't believe it either because I graduated when Myspace first came out and I was hooked and loyal. Now no one could care less about it. It's kind of sad but we must move on. In all honesty, even though I was a die hard Myspace-er, I deleted my account over a year ago.

So, I have joined the smart social media people and fun go-getters to help strengthen my connections, friends and readership. I also would like to be able to just talk to someone or people in general if I need someone to talk to. This last year or so has been kind of isolating and I need to break free from the fears I have of trusting or getting close to people. I want to socialize and interact and share. So, that's that.

What I'm really excited about more than being on Facebook (not by much) is my first contest that starts in 57 minutes! Yes, I'm counting! I am going to sign off for this post and then create one special for the one describing the Comment Contest!!! You guys better be excited, too. Oh yeah, and if you want to RSVP on my event on Facebook go ahead here: http://bit.ly/a9ZEf5 And I want to stress that you don't have to RSVP to be able to participate in the contest, I just put it there so people would know about it and so I would have some kind of idea how many people are interested.

So, stay right here and don't go anywhere because I'm going to post about the contest after I submit this post!

Ciao,

************************************

Ava Elaine
Writer Extraordinaire
Please comment, click and communicate!
Read my content: http://bit.ly/bQYGXq

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stumbling Upon Writers/Experts

Even though the title of this blog post might sound like a social media site (y'know, StumbleUpon) and I will ironically be coming back to the whole topic of social media, I want to start off with something else.

I was tweeting tonight. And probably not at the best time for exposure, but I'm just getting myself out there any way I can. I got an email from Twitter saying someone had followed me. These are very exciting. So I took a gander at who it was. Normally, I check to see the legitimacy of the "person" who adds me on Twitter before I follow them, too. This is something I highly recommend for anyone who doesn't like to be bombarded with silly things or spam...no one likes that.

Anyways...SteveMWilcox was the one who added me. I checked out his tweets and found out he is the president of The Great Little Publishing Company so I was pretty excited that someone to that caliber was interested in knowing my updates or my writing, for that matter. I was also excited to find that the publishing company has poetry and writing contests. Naturally, I sent in some pieces of poetry and I plan on sending more, as well as looking into their writing contest. You should check out the contests for yourself and even submit some of your own work. I also found my way to their online bookstore, which I look forward to seeing what things I can add to my wishlist!

Something else I found whilst (love that word) perusing his tweets was "an interesting take on building your writer's brand." I thought it was interesting because I have been making serious goals and I'm really wanting to work hard as a writer and for that to show in my work. So, needless to say, I wanted to check out what he was talking about. Well, he was talking about Kristen Lamb. Specifically, he was talking about a post she had written in her wordpress blog.

She talks about the importance of branding yourself as a writer professionally by using your full first and last name or even a pen name, so long as it isn't something like hicklover25. And, yes, I just came up with that. And, no I don't enjoy the company of hill billies even though I dwell in Iowa.

Kristen is an expert on social media and a writer, of course. She actually wrote a book called: "We Are Not Alone-The Writer's Guide to Social Media." In it, she educates writers how to interact and relate by using social media as the popular platform that it is. In a world full of countless blogs and aspiring writers, she also encourages you to stand out...which is something we all strive for-I know I do.

And instead of trying to stand out by sending inhuman invites or endless broken links to people you don't know, Kristen is great at talking about giving back to fellow writers. Sure, in order to get your name out there, you have to put your name out there. But try not to step on anyone's toes out there in the process. Make it an enjoyable experience. Notice the talent and hard work of those you know trying to make it just like you are. As a writer, I know the importance of having someone you can relate to. Far too often, when answering that I am a writer, people who ask me what I do for a living respond with an "Ohhhh."

Not many people understand how rewarding, exhilarating and fun it can be as a writer unless they are writers themselves. I want to follow what she teaches and extend my knowledge, support and creativity to other people, too. I don't want to be that person who just clicks on something and thinks they've done their part. I want to engage myself in reading what they worked hard on, comment honestly and wholeheartedly without the usual "Great post-thanks" at the end.

I want to be an active participant in the writing community. I know this spans far and wide, but that just means I will be staying busy huh? I want to "Pay it Forward" with kindness just as she has shown me.

So, my thanks go out to Steve and Kristen for making an enlightening and enjoyable day/night for me. You guys are awesome!

By the way: please forgive the empty blog pages...they are still under construction. I will add to FAQs, hire me, etc. when I can this week.

Night, night!

************************************
Ava Elaine
Writer Extraordinaire
Please comment, click and communicate!
Read my content: http://bit.ly/bQYGXq

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Writing Goals

They say that if you share your goals with others, then you'll have more motivation to follow through with them. I want to share my goals with you so that I will be forced to actually get them done. So far, I haven't been achieving all of them, but I am trying my best.

My goals consist of things I want to accomplish as a writer, as an Associated Content contributor and as a business person. Although I do write as a passion of mine, I ultimately do it to make a living, so I need to boost my chances of being successful. I need to write more, promote more and be confident that my work will speak for itself.

For daily content, I want to submit or publish at least 4 pieces of content. Since I have over 30 pieces of content already on Assoiated Content, it would be awesome if I got at least 20 page views for each content I have published. If that's not possible, I'd like at least 500 page views all together each day. In order for me to get more page views, I need more fans and subscribers, so I'd like to see at least 1 new fan every day.

I've also scheduled a very important date (August 31, 2010) where I want to have at least 205 pieces of content up on Associated Content. I know I can do it, I just need to stay consistent.

I wish you could see the things I have up surrounding my work area to motivate me. I typed up a content schedule with every day until August 31. Each block has space to write which subjects I want to cover for that day.

And how do I know what I'll write for those days? Simple. Ever since I started on Associated Content almost 4 weeks ago, I got really serious and bought a yellow legal pad (it felt more sophisticated for some reason) and began brainstorming and writing down things I have knowledge, talent and expertise on. I have several pages covered with topics, ideas, etc. So, I try to mix it up a little and spread out the ideas over the course of my writing calendar. That way, there will always be exciting, fresh and popular content for my readers. Well, that is, when I get more readers.

When I finish writing and publishing a piece, I just cross it off with my handy dandy red pen. I also have the content schedule and the daily, weekly, monthy and other special dates with their respected goals hanging up in my work space so I cannot hide from it haha.

I will put some picture up of them. I know that's kind of corny, but I want to do this. I will achieve my goals. That's why I need your support. I am planning on some great prizes, freebies and other great things for all you future, fans of mine. So, please subscribe to my blog, my Associated Content content and even my Twitter (AvaElaineAC).

Thanks in advance for all of your encouragement and support. That's all for now.

A bientot! (without the accents, though LOL)

************************************
Ava Elaine
Writer Extraordinaire
Please comment, click and communicate!
Read my content: http://bit.ly/bQYGXq

Burning the Midnight Oil

Yes, it is past midnight and no I am not a vampire. Only if it counts as someone who is drained of all energy and motivation...but then again, this is never foreign to me. I am up because these are my hours. I am a night owl. And sometimes thoughts and words and ideas come to me when I am just at the verge of blissful sleep and I then I cannot sleep until I document. If I don't...my crazy and hectic life will not allow my brain to remember it the next day. But I digress.

Anywho...I am still editing. I just thought I would pop on to say things are going well. I have finished the general feel for things on here as far as the layout, the widgets and the About Me section. Next, I need to edit and add to the pages I want to utlize on here.

Tomorrow I plan on finishing everything up on here. That way, I can just enter my content as I submit it to my Associated Content. I also want to show you all the goals that I've devised for myself and my writing. Unfortunately, the last few days I have deviated from said goals, but the excuses I have so far are as follows: I've had a cold/allergy problem/sinus thing, I've been tired because I've been sick, I've had to clean, I haven't had the time....you get the drill.

I want to get everything back on schedule so everything is a lot easier for me. I have plenty of things to write and people's minds to educate, so I better do my part. Until next time, I will be here either trying to be productive or attempting to sleep.

Adios, people of the Internet.

************************************
Ava Elaine
Writer Extraordinaire
Please comment, click and communicate!
Read my content: http://bit.ly/bQYGXq

Monday, July 19, 2010

Brief Hello

Hey everyone!

Here's my first post. Even though I have been writing for years, I have just recently joined Associated Content as a writer and contributor. I thought it would be appropriate to create a blog to show you the person behind the writing.

I am still editing and adding to this blog, but I'd love to hear from you. Subscribe to my blog to get updates, go to my AC profile to read my content, leave me comments or email me anytime avaelaine@ymail.com.

Well, that's all for now. Check back often because, like I said, I am adding more info and great things as fast as I can. Have a great day and don't forget to smile...only if you can't hold it in any longer.

Ta ta!

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Ava Elaine
Writer Extraordinaire
Please comment, click and communicate!
Read my content: http://bit.ly/bQYGXq