jump to navigation

Shiny! Book Launch and Signing Party! October 17, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

It’s official.

My latest book, The Right Words for Any Occasion is out, and tomorrow (Saturday, October 18) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Heritage Perk Coffee House in Taylor, Mich. is the Book Launch and Signing Party.

Book launches and signing parties being what they are, it usually means that you have to be at a physical bricks-and-mortar location to join in, which in this case is true too, unless that is, if you’re hundreds or thousands of miles (or oceans) away.

So what’s a girl to do, when she really wants to share the fun with her friends and family who are far away? She streams the event live on the Web, so that everyone who wants to be at the signing and launch who wants to but can’t be there can still be there virtually. It’s no Second Life, but it’ll just have to do.

The good thing is that the virtual attendees will still be able to get signed copies-if they purchase theirs before Sunday, October 19 at Midnight (Eastern time).  And … there’ll be a bonus gift give-away at the signing, which one lucky random Web participant will also get. How will the Web-winner be chosen? Simple…post a comment during the Live Broadcast of the Signing, and one of the commenters will be chosen by whomever wins the give-away at the live event


It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Purchase your copy of The Right Words for Any Occasion – The handy guide for your letter writing needs for social, personal and business correspondence. Purchase before midnight Sunday, October 19 and you will receive a signed copy as part of the Book Launch and Signing Party. Purchase Here
  2. Tune in tomorrow, Saturday, October 18 starting at 2 p.m. Eastern time to join the fun ’til 4 p.m. Where? Here.
  3. Comment during the live broadcast and be entered to win the matching bonus gift give-away at the signing party at Heritage Perk. What can you win? A mini starter stationary wardrobe, of course. (Now you have to get the book to find out what I’m talking about.) (Specific commenting/gift eligibility rules will be posted right before the event.)

Hope to see you there (or here) tomorrow, Saturday, October 18 between 2 and 4 p.m. Eastern Time.
(And for you Wolverine fans…don’t worry, the event ends before Kick Off!)

The Smart One: A Blogstop Book Tour Book Review August 8, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Relationships. At its core, that is what Ellen Meister’s The Smart One is about. Through non-stop action and descriptive language that not only puts you in the scenes physically, but emotionally, Meister unravels a spellbinding story with wit and panache. Starting in media res, living through protagonist Bev’s interview for a position that could take her out of life-long home of New York for a fresh start—away from the disappointments and distractions created from a lifetime of trying to live up to the labels and expectations of her parents, her sisters—and even herself. Bev, the middle child, was labeled as “the smart one,” nestled between Claire—”the pretty one” with the “perfect” life: wife, mother, Soccer Mom extraordinaire, and Joey—”the wild child”—a recovering addict and former one-hit-wonder rock star. All three sisters love each other tremendously, but cannot seem to escape the bounds of the labels created for them or the sibling rivalry.

A strange twist of fate that has Bev house sitting her childhood neighbors’ home while she awaits news about her new job also reconnects her with old neighborhood friend Kenny Waxman (and son of the same neighbors). Kenny and Bev have a history themselves, one which in itself is complicated, especially as Kenny struggles with his own family-expectations issues and adds yet another dimension to the connection between past, present and future.  Bev returning to her childhood home on Long Island serves to upset that strange balance of family (and neighborhood) dysfunction that many of us know all too well.  Kenny and Bev, back home for the same mission (to help sell Kenny’s parent’s home) leads to an accidental journey of discovery to unravel the mysteries hidden in an industrial drum found in the Waxman’s crawl space — mysteries that serve to disrupt the appearances that suburban life tries to maintain as a decaying pregnant corpse is revealed as the drum’s contents. Bev, her sisters and Kenny end up unraveling the secrets and mysteries of the quad’s own former lives, those of their families and sheds light on where each may be  heading as individuals.

Meister’s characters are strangely real — as if you’ve met them before, and the storyline moves well, urging you to turn the next page for more. The Smart One is a perfect read for the end of the summer, and one that’s certain to become among those that you pick up and read again … and again … and again.

The Smart One is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Booksense and Borders. To learn more about Ellen Meister and her previous work Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA, visit her Web site at www.EllenMeitser.com. The Smart One is published by Avon an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The Smart One
by Ellen Meister
NewYork: Avon/HarperCollins, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-112963-9

This book review is part of the BlogStop Book Tours book review series for The Smart One . Visit BlogStop Book Tours to learn more.

Future stops on The Smart One book tour are:

To read the reviews at the previous stops on The Smart One book tour, visit:


Brandana: A Discredit to Women in Politics August 1, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, politics, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

As I watch (and live) the local campaign season, I find myself completely disappointed in one of the Democratic candidates in the race for State Representative for Michigan’s 22nd district, a seat made vacant by the term-limited Hoon Yung Hopgood.  In full disclosure, one of the candidates happens to be my husband, hence my statement about living the campaign season. There are two men vying for the seat and one woman. Sadly, it is the woman, Jill Brandana, who is proving to be a discredit to women in politics regardless of how large the arena is or how high the office. I would say this even if my husband were not one of her opponents. There are five reasons and indisputable facts why. (more…)

Book review: Apologies Forthcoming by Xujun Eberlein June 25, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Book Reviews, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

A Blog Stop Book Tour Book Review by Erika-Marie S. Geiss

The stories in Xujun Eberlein’s Apologies Forthcoming (Livingston Press, 2008 ) are a remarkable display of historical fiction where lyrical and vivid imagery  punctuate the socio-political climate of post-Cultural Revolution China. Eberlein’s descriptions of art, music, poetry, love and the beauty of the landscape are prominent metaphors for the emotions that her characters feel and the struggles they face as they emerge from the aftermath of Mao’s last decade in power.

In Pivot Point, where the protagonist, a woman of the “aging youth,” sent to the country side to be educated during the Revolution, finds that at almost 30 — the age of standing — she is “too high to reach,” and unmarriagable. While she achieves great stature professionally, belief in the Party is not enough. She wants something more and contends to endure a relationship with a married man, until she reaches her own tragic pivot point. One line in particular from Pivot Point describes the underlying theme of the entire collection of stories aptly:

“It is not without reason that the Chinese
character for ‘endure’ is a knife atop a heart.”

Eberlein’s ability to shape the Chinese character for endurance where filial, platonic, familial and romantic love are placed secondary to and under the weight of a stark, cold instrument of power and might resonates. Her protagonists struggle with the desires that seem to be in binary opposition to their duties, and each one faces a challenge of reconciling this complicated state, some triumphantly, others tragically. Eberlein’s cultural understanding is intimate, having grown up in Chongqing, China during the period. With the distance of time and geography, after moving to the United States in 1988, her descriptions of the turbulent period and the haunting memories of now middle-aged people, who as youth zealously killed in the warring factions on the Red Guard are unbiased.

Without casting an opinion on the Maoist Cultural Revolution, Eberlein places her characters in this time of social upheaval in a frank and matter-of-a-fact way and the historical facts are presented as events that shape her characters as directly as wind and rain shape the landscape and are as indelible. In Snow Line, Shiao Su abandons his poetry — a representation for his true self, for the “stability” of what is expected of him. And in Second Encounter, set in Massachusetts nearly forty years removed from the Cultural Revolution, a Sichuan man learns that events that unfolded while fighting in the Red Guard had a greater purpose that he could never have foreseen.

The collection of stories in Apologies Forthcoming are pure, real and speak to universal truths about the human condition that transcend geography or time. Eberlein’s eight stories are poignant and so well-written that they beg to be read aloud.

About the Author
Xujun Eberlein grew up in
Chongqing, China and moved to the States in 1988 and in 1995 earned her Ph.D. from MIT, winning an award for her dissertation.  Eberlein joined a small but ambitious high tech company, where she worked until 2003, when she gave up tech for writing. Since then she has won several literary awards and her stories and personal essays have been published world-wide. Apologies Forthcoming is Eberlein’s debut collection of stories and in 2007 won the prestigious Tartt Fiction Award.

To learn more about Xujun Eberlein, visit her Web site or her cultural and literary blog Inside-out-China.

Apologies Forthcoming is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksense and Powell’s.

This review is part of the June 2008 Blog Stop Book Tours series:

The next blog-venues on the Blog Stop Book tour for Apologies Forthcoming by Xujun Eberlein are:

Previous Blog Stop Book Tour venues for Apologies Forthcoming can be viewed at the following locations:

Wave of the future? June 13, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, shameless self promotion, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

What happens when American Idol meets the wild, crazy and competitive world of freelance writing? Deb Ng’s innovative approach to finding a blogger/columnist for Freelance Writing Jobs (FWJ), that’s what. For those not in the know, FWJ is one of the top-rated sites for freelance writers, a place that many from the experienced and serious freelancer writer to the novice go for information, to learn, to connect and for job leads.

Last Friday, Deb announced an American Idol-styled contest for the search. Interested applicants were to place their applications in the comments field of the Open Topic for the week, announced on Monday. This week’s topic was the pitch/query letter for this specific position. Between Monday when the topic opened and today at 12 noon, Eastern time when the topic was closed for new entrants, 22 people had thrown their hats into the ring. among them, me. A group of 12 will be selected from the first round, and a new topic will be posted for those 12 to present their responses next week and then voted upon at the end of the week. Then it’s lather, rinse, repeat until there is one person selected.

So, of course I’m asking for your vote, but this isn’t just about voting for Erika, not that I’m going to question any votes in my favor. Unlike Idol, which can turn into a popularity contest and get away from being about who has the pipes and presence for the recording industry, the contest at FWJ is about reading the applications and voting for the person that you think has the best qualifications, skills, street cred and passion for the job.

Deb even states in the instructions for voting:

When voting, please cast your vote with the following in mind:

  • The candidate’s ability to follow directions. One disappointment on my part is I asked candidates to pitch a specific freelance writing niche for their twice weekly blog posts and only a few did so.
  • The candidate’s experience – Is this someone you trust to share ideas and tips with you?
  • The candidates ability to create conversation with you, the FWJ community.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll be the lucky winner, maybe not — but anyway that you look at it, Ng may just be onto something and sparked a new model for how potential employers who have a community-based medium screen job applicants. With that in mind:

View the applications here

Vote here

The game is on!

ETA: Voting is open through Wednesday, June 18 at 12 noon Eastern Time.

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

Tweet, Tweet, Kerplurk! June 12, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, networking, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

That’s not the sound of a baby bird falling out of its nest and into a puddle. That’s the sound of me joining Plurk, which I first learned about from one of Mack Collier’s Tweets that ended up leading me here. (Thank you @MackCollier, for what are always engaging and informative posts.) I’d been reading Mack’s tweets and blog posts about Plurk and interest was piqued, but I hadn’t popped over to check it out yet, although had bookmarked it to do so later. (more…)

What *not* to write (and why) June 8, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, networking, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

The nature of blogs is such that commentary and dialog can occur. Most of the time, such conversations are good, even when there is criticism. Criticism can, in its best form, generate further conversation whether with the post originator or among other commenters. It can also provide food for thought and in some cases a perspective shift, or at the very least a “hmm, hadn’t thought of it that way before,” even if one is unyielding on their stance or opinion.

Here’s where it gets murky. (more…)

Holy Social Networking, Batman! June 7, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in networking, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

So recently at Premium Green, there has been much talk about Twitter, for which twitterfeeds have been randomly unreliable lately. Of course, this will probably be the post that gets through with record speed.

So a tweet from Entrepemusings, who’s in my Twitter network (for want of a better term) about an amazing experience that she (and her business) had with blogger Jennifer Laycock led me to several of Mack Collier’s posts at Search Engine Guide. One of the posts was about having a Twitter landing page. An idea, that seems beyond good … in fact, it’s so smart, and so simple, I had a serious “Duh! Of course!” moment, smiting myself upon the head. Mack credited the concept to Chris Brogan and Laura Fitter, each of whom have used the technique. (Guess who’ll be joining the fray of having a Twitter Landing Page next?) Of course, one thing led to another, including following these smart and savvy people, which led to another, and I scooped up the little “get this” mybloglog widget on Chris’s page…which led to a whole other set of social media diversions … setting up my mybloglog account.

Which brought me here:

Undergoing MyBlogLog Verification

So there it is folks … and I await verification and validation. One cool thing was that among the sites listed in the mybloglog communties, were many that I already know, love, trust and frequent. Glad that I’ll be in good company. The other cool thing? In the few hours between my original tweeting and getting here, I gained another follower. Pretty nifty, huh? And now, I just have to make my landing page.

Look Ma, No Clones! June 5, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, Humor & Satire, networking, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Today, I can be in several places at once…and I didn’t even have to be cloned. Woo!

Can you tell I’m just a little punchy after being up very late because of the WAH Expo after-hours party? What happens when a bunch of work-at-home professionals kick back, let loose and enable the web cams? Crazy karaoke, that’s what. All I can say is: “Jazz Hands.”

Thankfully, though anything that I wrote prior to that is lucid, which you can view in the following places.

(I have been a busy, busy little bee.)

Join me at MediaPost.com in the Digital Editions group that I started. Let’s talk about digital magazines (a pet project and love of mine)…is print dead? I think not, but digital’s the wave of the future. Sign up and join in the discussion…you can be a digital edition professional or a reader…let’s talk!

Join me at MetroMode Media, where, for the next week, I am the featured Guest Blogger.

And, you can get a double dose of your Erika fix today at the THIRD & FINAL DAY of Business and Learning’s SPRING WAH Expo.

At 1 p.m. Eastern time, I’ll be speaking about theWAHMmagazine, the only content-driven digital magazine for work-at-home parents and at 9 p.m. Eastern time, as a featured speaker I’ll be speaking about how editors are important to the small business owner, especially the work-at-home professional. But, it’s not just about me…there are many amazing presentations throughout the day along with networking and fun. And speaking of networking don’t miss Jennifer Gniadecki‘s talk about Non-toxic Networking, at 8 p.m. eastern, tonight’s other featured speaker.

View schedule.

Enter conference room.


Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

Tonight’s Cyber Savvy Show 06.04.08 June 4, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in Business Issues, networking, WAHM/WAHD Stuff, writing/editing/blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Join me tonight for this week’s edition of the Cyber Savvy show when my guest is Mary E. Lewis, founder and owner of Blog Stop Book Tours.

Mary will be talking about the virtual book tour, how she got started, and if you’re an author with a new or forthcoming title, you’ll want to be sure to tune in to find out how you can have a spot at Blog Spot Book Tours.

It’s a savvy new way for authors to reach their intended and new audiences…all in cyber space.

Please join us at 8 p.m. Eastern time at the Cyber Savvy show to hear about Blog Stop Book Tours.

Listen “Live” at 8 p.m. (click)

Now, if you can’t listen live at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time because you’re at the Spring WAH Expo, both Mary and I will understand, as Mary presented at yesterday’s session, tomorrow, I’ll be presenting and tonight there are two fabulous featured speakers.

You can listen to the archived podcast, which is usually available about an hour after the live broadcast here.

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss