Tool Time! [Writers, Readers, Marketers]

Mmm...the Shiny Things!

I've been testing some tools for quick videos, ads and slideshows for social media. I have to be careful because i can spend endless time playing with these shiny things, but it's so much fun!

Many are in phone/iPad app versions so they can be done on the fly:

So far, I've found Animoto (app) easy for a quick slideshow. Ripl (app) is less intuitive but more professional looking. WordSwag (app) is lightning fast for a quick pic with text ads. But for me, Canva and PicMonkey have been excellent. I mostly use them on my laptop, but they also have app versions. They're easy to use with a short learning curve and well worth the reasonable charge for the paid versions. Here's a quick ad I did on Canva this morning. It's not fancy or slick, but it gets the job done (list building). Bing. Bang. Boom.

Enjoy! And let me know what you're using for social media, ads, vids, etc! 

Wickedly Yours,

Fran Friel


Oh So Succulent

Flowering in California
I've recently moved to California from New England.  It was a big move, but so worth the effort.  Gawd, I love it here.  The weather alone will keep me happy for a good long time, but there's a lot to like here.  The people are lovely and sweet natured here in the Santa Cruz area, and the ocean is glorious.  Also, I love the plants that grow here.  As a transplant gardener from the Northeast, I'm learning all the new flora and fauna.

I've acquired my first succulent plants and they are already rewarding me with blossoms.  I'm a bit of plant freak, so to me, this is very exciting.  I dote on the plants, visiting with them in the back garden every day, so the blossoms are like nature's reward for my adoration.

I know, I'm a bit of a plant nerd, but the rewards are so cool.
The Blossoms
Oddly enough, these little plants and I are having a mutual flowering.  Since I've been here, I feel like I've come alive.  A dear friend of mine told me that would happen, but I couldn't have imagined how quickly.

Miraculously, my writing is flowing with ease.  This long-overdue blog is proof of that, plus I've got stories, people--STORIES.  Woohoo!

My health is also improving.  I had a four hour dental marathon last week, with more to come.  I'm seeing an awesome acupuncturist who is doing miracles for my knee and hip, so I can hike around this beautiful state and enjoy the beach.  And I'm riding my bike and getting to the gym.  Today I went swimming for the first time in over a year.  It was COLD, but man, it was good.  The pool was filled with munchkins learning to swim--they were very entertaining...and loud.  It was wonderful to see so many kids there, active and full of life.

It's Alive!
That's one of the things I love here is that people are so alive.  Folks of all ages are out walking, biking, surfing, and just being outdoors.  The weather makes that more feasible, but it's also a way of life.  It's inspiring, really.

So, I guess what all this yammering is about, is coming alive.  After years of feeling like I was clawing my way out of a deep hole just to keep my head above the edge of the darkness, I now feel buoyed.  And it feels good.  Fingers crossed that this feeling last a LONG time.

Life is succulent.  Flowers are blooming, and I might just get some publishing done this year.

I have plans for self-publishing in the very near future, so I hope you're still interested in some Friel words and madness.  It's been a while, but I'm on the case.

Thanks for reading, gang.  It's so good to be with you.

Wishing you all Happy Blossoming!