Thursday, December 26, 2019

Fun Free Online Tools for your Website

Image result for writing images



I haven't posted on this blog for a long time, but I thought I'd share some fun tools I've found online for those who don't use sophisticated tools like Photoshop.

If you want to layer two images to create something new and cool, click the link below, and you can upload two images and see what happens when you overlay them. You can choose how light or dark you want the 2nd image on top of the first one to be. It's fun to experiment and easy to figure out. I often create two banners the same size using Paint, and then overlay them, but I have used different size images and gotten fantastic surprising results that turned out better than I expected. Some samples of banners I've created:

Image 1

Image 2

Composite of the two

Composite Christmas Banner for FaceBook Page

Different Size Images Created a Spectacular Peace Banner

What's that Color?

If you have an image and want to replicate the color on other elements of your website, like a banner or headings, you can find the actual color by going to the link below and uploading the image. Click on the part of the image you want to match, and the color number will show up so you can choose that for fonts, other images or backgrounds. I love it and use it all the time. It gives your site a unified look and feel.

Since I don't have a lot of expensive tools but want to create professional looks, I use Paint all the time. Every PC has it. I use it for cropping, for enlarging or making smaller, creating an exact size, adding text to images, making memes like the ones below. On my magazine and blog, I use a square to link to all the articles, so I make those squares with various images and words using Paint. I make inspirational memes as well, and I combine images with text using Paint. It's versatile, everyone has it, and it's easy to use. I understand it's about to change somehow, but I haven't seen the new features yet. You can't center or flush right on text, so you kind of have to do that manually. Hope they give us that feature in the new version.

Also, for some great free images to use on your site, I've discovered I love free, and no attribution required, although I try to attribute as often as possible. The photographers deserve that recognition.

So. go and try these fun tools and share some creations with me. I like to see what others are doing with the info I provide. Thanks and Happy 2020 and a New Millenium!

If you're intersted in metaphysical, mystical, spiritual topics, check out my magazine: You'll see lots of examples of how I used these free tools.

And if you need a small business website or proofreading, check out:

Friday, June 8, 2018

Writing for Electronic Books by Sandy Penny

Writing for
Electronic Books

by Sandy Penny,
Fresh Eyes Proofing

I read and review many books on my Kindle, and I often use my read-aloud feature. Once you get used to the sound of electronic speak, it's great to have, and it saves these old eyes. There are some things I've noticed that make the experience less enjoyable though.

If you use page numbers in your file, the auto reader may read out the page numbers in the middle of sentences. Pages vary with the size of the device screen. Kindle files note character counts for finding things.

If you use certain large fonts for chapter headings, it can cause the reading to stop, and you have to manually restart the reading. That's annoying, especially if you read in bed. Just use standard fonts like Times or Ariel with larger headings, using document formatting so all headings will be the same size. If you don't use a standardized format, the file may not keep your settings for headings, and you'll have issues in the final file.

If you use cute art swirls or tiny pictures between chapters, that will also cause the reading to stop, and it gets really annoying to keep starting and stopping the Kindle reader.

If you type in all caps, it will sometimes read it letter by letter and not word for word. It's better to use bold or italics and larger so it reads correctly.

Be sure to follow the free directions provided by Amazon or other electronic options so the file will work properly on the device, especially if you use photos in the book.

Fresh Eyes Proofing - Every author needs fresh eyes.Abbreviations: When you use St. for Saint or Street, it will read street, so it's better to spell out abbreviations for proper electronic reading. Unusual spellings for characters may not be read correctly as well.

If you use Amazon, be sure you save a copy of the .mobi file once it is formatted, in case you want to share the file with a reader/reviewer so they can use their device for the reading. PDFs and Docs are just not as easy to use. Even though Amazon does not encourage this practice, well-known readers/reviewers can still post reviews that are recognized on Amazon.

If a reader/reviewer shares that there are errors in the file, pay attention, go through the file, and correct them. Don't expect the reader to provide you with a list of the errors. Editors/proofreaders charge for that service, and you can't expect readers to do that work for free. If a reader does offer that list of errors, fix them and let the reader know you fixed them, and request they change their review, if that was a factor. Also, show your appreciation by offering a free book to the reader if you have additional titles. That will encourage them to share more with you and to review more of your books. It's a good way to develop a relationship with your readers who love your stories, and readers will often share their reviews on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media sites, and possibly with their book club friends. It's just great marketing.

Whatever happens with reviewers, don't get discouraged. I often don't like violent books and give them a low rating, but my low rating lets readers who like violent books know this is something they may like. So, a low rating is not necessarily a bad thing for an author.

Write On - My Friends.

~Sandy Penny

I love my Kindle Unlimited. I get to read so many great books for one low price. 
Try it for free and see whether you like it ...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Soul of a Page by Adam Rich

The Soul of a Page by Adam Rich

Musing of a Writer ...

Does a piece of paper possess a soul?

Does a lonely sheet wait longingly to be touched?

Does an unopened notebook feel an emptiness that it can't find a way to fill its own pages?

Do reams lay about in an attempt to define themselves, seeking the knowledge of what they are to become?

And are the pages actually blank, or do they possess a destiny from the moment of their creation, perhaps even before that?

Would paper that becomes a poem have become a poem in the hands of another?

Would a tablet be filled with drawings no matter at the point of whose instrument it lay?

And could it be that the pulp itself contains a part of the soul of the tree from whence it came?

And so, do drawings, and poems and stories grow on trees?

If leaves could talk, would they whisper fantastic tales into the wind?
If branches reached to the earth, would they draw majestic works upon the ground?

Perhaps if you look and listen closely enough, they do ...

Comment by Sandy Penny: 

And do the stories of those buried in the earth absorb into the trees through the roots?
And the faces we see in the grain of wood, are they actually those whose stories have been absorbed?
And so then, does the paper made from these trees carry that vibration to the writer who sits with the blank page?