11.23.2012

My parenting poetry book on sale this weekend only!

Happy Thanksgiving! I have a gift for you out of gratitude for your faithful readership.

Poetry of a Hobo Mama: The First Three YearsThis deal on my book of parenting poetry, Poetry of a Hobo Mama: The First Three Years, has never happened before! For this Thanksgiving weekend ONLY, the price has been reduced to $9.99 with FREE shipping!

Here's how it works — you can buy either from Amazon or directly from me for the same price:
Buy the book at Amazon, where I've reduced the price to $9.99 through Tuesday, November 27. The price is regularly $11.99. The paperback is eligible for FREE Super-Saver Shipping on Amazon orders over $25, so either fill up your cart to get to that level or pay Amazon's shipping fee. (I unfortunately can't provide discount codes on Amazon.)

OR:

Buy directly from me at my CreateSpace author's store. Enter code 4PV6AMYR for $3.59 off each copy, bringing the reduced price down to $6.40 plus shipping. CreateSpace shipping starts at $3.59, so it will be $9.99 with FREE shipping, and each additional copy in the same shipment will be cheaper and cheaper since the shipping decreases per item the more you buy!

11.16.2012

Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide

Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to the Natural Parents Network Holiday Gift Guide!

If you need to complete your holiday shopping, find a birthday present for a friend, or just treat yourself to something special, the NPN Holiday Gift Guide has something for everyone. But what's even better, the NPN Holiday Gift Guide is a great opportunity to shop consciously and to support many naturally minded small businesses. The companies that have provided items for review and giveaway are almost exclusively made up of small businesses or work-at-home families.

Below you will find information on 74 companies from 25 of our NPN volunteers. The companies are giving away 89 products and gift certificates, for a total combined value of $2,550. I am one of the participating businesses, offering for giveaway TWO copies of my book, Poetry of a Hobo Mama.

As you scroll through the Gift Guide, we encourage you to click on the links for each of the reviews — look for the links to our volunteers' blogs in each heading (i.e., "From ABC Company via Blog Name" — the "Blog Name" has the link to the review). Our volunteers have crafted thoughtful posts on each participating company with pictures of and links to products that are simply perfect for our natural parenting families. And while we've split our Gift Guide into sections ("Perfect for Kids" and "Family and Home"), you'll discover that many of the stores offer goodies that people of all ages will enjoy.

You can enter to win every giveaway by using the Rafflecopter system below. Please note that every review post has the same Rafflecopter script, but you may enter only one time, at one site.

Even if you don't win one of our fabulous prizes, please consider spending part of your gift-giving budget at one of these small businesses. By supporting small businesses, you are helping families, boosting local economies, and supporting ethical practices of manufacturing, production and selling. We know that budgets are tighter and finances may be difficult, but by purchasing from small, family-owned businesses, you know you will be receiving quality items made with appropriate business practices and personal customer service, all while supporting another family's endeavors.

Many of the companies have included coupon codes — take advantage of them! You can find the coupon codes in the heading of each company/giveaway listing. (Please note that coupons are not good on shipping fees unless otherwise stated.)

Without further ado, here is the NPN Holiday Gift Guide. We've broken the Gift Guide down into two sections (click the links below to jump to either section):

Perfect For Kids

Family and Home

 

Perfect For Kids

From Earthslings via Code Name: Mama — Win a $35 Gift Certificate toward pouch slings, dolls, dress-up costumes, and more
Shop now with coupon code KIDS2012 and get 10% off through December 31, 2012!

Earthslings began as a pouch sling company; Sam has since expanded to make pouch slings for you and your child, dolls, children's dress-up goodies, and much more! All of Sam's products are handcrafted from eco-friendly 100% natural fabrics, and where possible, she upcycles vintage fabrics into her creations. Our "attached family doll set" is soft, sweet, and just right for little hands. If your holiday shopping list includes mamas of little ones, be sure to take a look at the many pouch sling patterns and colors for mama and child, the sweet selection of dolls, and the other toys and accessories Sam creates. Then swing by Code Name: Mama and read how to wear your little one in a hip carry in your brand new pouch sling.

Be sure to like Earthslings on Facebook and comment on 30+ Ideas for Activities Advent Calendars, one of the informative posts at Code Name: Mama!

 

 

From Pip & Bean via Hobo Mama — Win a Superhero Kit: Reversible Cape, Mask, and Arm Bands (ARV $25)

Visit Pip & Bean for customized capes and adorable dress-up costumes. You can buy birthday party kits or sets just right for siblings — or even weddings! My five-year-old put on his cape, mask, and armbands — and then would not take them off, even to sleep. He loves flying around like the mini superhero he is! Stop by Hobo Mama to learn more about daily life with a superhero.

Be sure to like Pip & Bean on Facebook and follow Hobo Mama on Pinterest!

 

 

From Wild Arbutus via Anktangle — Win a Handmade Baby Hat or Plush Crocheted Toy (ARV $25)
Shop now with coupon code NPNGIFTS10 and get 10% off all orders through December 31, 2012!

Visit Wild Arbutus for handcrafted crochet children's toys and knit baby and children's hats and headbands. Daniel and I love the knit hat Melissa custom created for him; it's adorable, functional, and fun and whimsical to boot! I keep eyeing the growing selection of toys in this shop, and I just know Daniel would love to play with his very own snuggly nudibranch. Stop by Anktangle for gluten-free recipes to keep you going through the holiday season.

Be sure to like both Wild Arbutus and Anktangle on Facebook!

 

 

11.15.2012

Giveaway: ourfeminist{play}school review of Poetry of a Hobo Mama

I'm so happy to have a giveaway at ourfeminist{play}school for TWO ebook copies of Poetry of a Hobo Mama. From the lovely review:

Poetry of a Hobo Mama: The First Three Years
Lauren’s ability to capture the reality and heart-galloping love of parenting is unique in its honesty and breadth. Through the flow of her concise language a reader is taken into bedrooms, hospitals, and the intimacy of a nursing moment; the depth that this poet is able to extract from a single stanza is not to go unnoticed.

Too often when parenting we are reminded by those who have taken the journey ahead of us to snap photos, to write it all down. […] Lauren Wayne’s poetry gives parents the gift of retracing their own steps through their own winding road of parenting by sharing what is most intimate and paradoxically the most commonly shared among us. A gem in the parenting poetry genre.

Aw! I'm so honored and touched by her words.

Read the full review and enter the giveaway by November 25 over at ourfeminist{play}school. This would make a lovely holiday gift for a parent in your life who could use some poetry!

11.12.2012

What not to name your blog

eraser place holders
What you can name your blog is Lola. I totally approve.

In roaming around the parenting blogosphere, I've seen my share of ill-fitting blog names and usernames (such as on Twitter or forums) that don't grow with the blog or the blogger. This idea list is not meant to snicker at anyone who chose a name poorly, just to offer some guidance as you name — or rename — your blog. I will focus primarily on parenting blogs since that's my realm, but many of these suggestions can apply when choosing any blog or username.

Don't go current.

Yes, when you selected your Twitter handle Rebecca23, you were 23 — but guess what? You'll be 24 next year. And then even older the next! Shocking, I know. Try to pick names that will stand the test of time. More on this same theme in subsequent rules.

Don't name it after your children.

I can't tell you how many blogs I see named "My Two Angels" or usernames like "MommyofAiden." And then said mommy has another angel or two, or Aiden becomes a big brother, and now the header has the "two" crossed out and "four" written in on top, or "Plus Annabelle" is scrawled alongside Aiden. I know it's tempting to declare your passion for your offspring. But if you're not sure sure sure you're "done," don't slight your future kidlets for the current one(s). (This can also extend, sadly enough, to naming based on a present partner, or even a pet. I'd keep things focused on you, since you're the one aspect of your blog that will stay put.)

9.17.2012

MomAgain@40 review: We are never alone — Poetry of a Hobo Mama

I'm so thankful for this review from MomAgain@40 of Poetry of a Hobo Mama:

Poetry of a Hobo Mama: The First Three Years
I am really enjoying the honest look into motherhood. […]

I love her honesty as well as her excursions with attachment- and natural parenting style.

The poetry is a raw and honest account of pregnancy, miscarriage, birth, babies and motherhood. […]

I am copying one of the poems. One of the most poignant life-altering changes that new parents have to cope with. "Mothers are never alone" But is also a reminder to me that mothers also share the same journey, and in that we are never alone!

Read the full review and the poem over at MomAgain@40.

9.10.2012

Loose vs. lose

The copy editor is in.
I'm presenting occasional posts on the use of English,
not to be pedantic but just for the fun of language.

Dog running away from me...
If your gate is loose, you might lose your dog.

Ah, the two-Oed monster. It's so tempting for internet commenters everywhere to write loose no matter which word they mean. It must just be fun to type those double Os.

"Loose" is pronounced with a short S sound, the kind that sounds like a hiss. As in "sound" and "hiss," in fact.

"Lose" is pronounced with the Z sound that S can make, as in the second S in "sounds."

Once you can remember how each is pronounced, you probably can figure out which one you want at a given moment. "Loose" is usually an adjective or adverb, describing something that's unfixed or unbound. (It can also be used as a verb, meaning "to set loose.") To "lose" is always a verb, meaning to forsake or misplace something.

9.03.2012

Book review: The Help — Reassuring white people

Once again, I bring you: review for a book (and movie) no one's talking about anymore! Whee! Good thing I'm not a newspaper.

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, has been recommended to me by no fewer than a dozen people in real life and untold multitudes online. So why, when I first heard about even the premise, did I feel so uneasy and so sure I wouldn't like it?

Let's unpack it a little. The Help is written by a white woman about black women. It's written by someone who was a girl in the 1960s about people who were adults during that time. It's written by someone in the middle/upper class about people in the working class. And not just about, but it's seeking to tell their stories — these people whose lives she is so far from experiencing.

And that gets a little meta, because Skeeter in the book is exactly the same thing: white, upper-middle class, young, telling the stories of maids.

I'm a writer of fiction. I don't at all believe you have to "write what you know" in some narrowly defined sense of not being able to write from a different person's point of view or tell a story set in a different time period. Where I think it crosses the line into potential racial offensiveness is when the perspective that's taken is one that has historically (and currently) been silenced and ignored. In other words, let me just say it outright: Where does a white lady get off thinking she can speak for black women?

Now, I'm writing this review from the point of view of being a white woman myself, so I poked around to see if any African-American women liked The Help. Funny enough: I found many eloquent voices decrying it. There's a clue right there.

I feel a little silly being another white woman talking about a white woman talking about black women, but I'll go with it. I'll say upfront that this review is addressed to my fellow white people, whether you're as clueless as I often am or not — though, naturally, I invite any people of color to read along and tell me what you think (about the book or my review) or point me to other resources, if you'd be so kind. And it's not meant to be condemning of white people, or to say that you shouldn't have liked The Help if you did. It's to talk about these issues, because I think too often as white people (blinded by privilege), we don't see the racist aspects of books like this.

So let's unpack this a little further. The characters in the book are types, not people. The black characters, particularly Aibileen, fit the mammy/magic Negro/noble savage stereotypes that have been offending people for years. I don't use those terms to suggest that I regularly use that language or enjoy doing so; that's kind of my point. They're offensive stereotypes, even though they're "good." This is a nonthreatening kind of black person, who exists to help white people accomplish what they want.

The white characters, with the exception of Skeeter, are mean bigots. On the surface, you'd think that having most of the white people be evil is not racist, in much the same way that you'd think having most of the black people be good is nonracist, but we just discussed why that's not so. Here's the problem with having the white people be bad-white-person stereotypes. We all look for someone to identify with in fiction, so it has to be someone. A white person reading the book thinks, "Wow, I'm not as mean as those other white people. That means I must be Skeeter." Then the next step is to assume that, if you lived in the 1960s, you would so totally be the type of white person who helps out black people.

But, statistically speaking, that's bologna. Because most white people in the 1960s were not in fact monsters and yet did not help out black people. So chances are, if you're white and were an adult in the 1960s, you would not have done anything to further the civil rights movement beyond, at most, cheering it on from a distance. In your head. But probably you wouldn't have gone even that far.

8.21.2012

How to schedule a post in Blogger {updated}

Dionna of Code Name: Mama and I are writing a few blogging tutorials of particular use for our Carnival of Natural Parenting participants. This one will help in scheduling your article to post on Carnival day!

This is an updated version for the new Blogger interface. If you're still using the old Blogger interface, visit this post instead.


Here's a little tutorial on how to schedule a post in Blogger (Blogspot) for a specific time and day.

This is useful if you want a post to go live at a certain time but will not be available to hit the publish button yourself (such as if you want your Carnival post to go live just after midnight but you'll be asleep by then).

It can also help your blog maintain a businesslike image if you schedule all or certain important posts to go live at a predictable time each day or week (such as a giveaway linky that readers can count on to show up at 9:00 a.m. each Thursday, for example).

(Note to my Carnival friends: You do not have to schedule your post; it's just a how-to in case you want to for your own convenience.)

8.20.2012

How to find (or change) your permalink in Blogger {updated}

Dionna of Code Name: Mama and I are writing a few blogging tutorials of particular use for our Carnival of Natural Parenting participants. This one will help in determining your post URL in advance!

This is an updated post for the new Blogger interface. If you're still using the old Blogger interface, go to this post instead.


Here's a little tutorial on how to determine your post's permalink in Blogger (Blogspot) before you've published a post. This is useful if you want to figure out ahead of time what your URL will be once you've published. You can also choose your own custom permalink if you wish.

Find your predetermined URL

Blogger has finally made this easy for us — yea! Here's how you find your permalink in the new interface:

Click any picture to embiggen.

Setting URL permalink in Blogger — screenshots
In any post, go to your Post Settings in the right sidebar. (If it's not already expanded, which is the default, click to expand it.)

Click on Permalink.

You'll see that Automatic URL is the default selection. If you're happy with that, simply copy and paste the URL that appears there to give to anyone who needs your permalink ahead of time (such as in a blog carnival).

Note: If you're planning a post for the future, the month (or year, if applicable) will change to whenever it's published. Therefore, if you're scheduling a post that will take place in a future month, be sure to fill in the correct month (and year) when copying/pasting the URL. You can schedule your post first before copying/pasting to make sure the permalink will be correct.

And that's all — you're done! You don't need to read on unless you want to.

Create a custom URL

If you want to be fancier and craft your own URL, you can now do so!

This can be very beneficial for SEO. (Just saying that phrase made me feel like a spammer.) You can include the keywords that search engines would look for, or make the URL memorable to you, or even include a funny joke within it. (I won't judge.)

8.17.2012

How to schedule a post on your Facebook page

Scheduling a post on a Facebook page — screenshots

You can now schedule posts on your Facebook fan page (for a blog or company) or your personal Facebook page right in the native interface — no external application needed. This is helpful for several reasons:
  1. Posts that are natively entered into Facebook get more pageviews in the new Facebook news feed sorting. In contrast, if you have an RSS feed automated through Networked Blogs, for instance, chances are few people will see that post.
  2. Building traffic on your Facebook page requires frequent posting of links, status updates, photos, and questions — but it can be nearly impossible to do this consistently all day, every day. Plus, it helps to spread out your updates evenly throughout the day. Scheduling allows you to put in scheduling work when you have the time (whether that's daily or weekly or however it works for you), and then have links and updates unfold throughout the day.
  3. Unlike with external applications, Facebook's scheduling feature functions just like a normal status update: You can tag other pages, enter links, select thumbnails, etc. The only downside is so far you can't schedule a "share."
  4. The scheduling feature could be a little less odd, but overall, it's easy to operate. Read on for how!

Thanks to Momma Jorje for this tip! She's the scheduling queen.


Click any image to embiggen.

Admin panel with drop down edit page settings info — screenshots
First you have to set a starting date for your page, if you haven't already. From your Admin Panel at the top of your Facebook page, click Edit Page and then in the dropdown menu, select Update Info.

(You can see I do a lot with this Facebook page.)

Setting date founded in Facebook page admin panel settings — screenshots
Under Basic Information, add a Start Date and Start Type. Save your changes.

Now you're ready to schedule!
Scheduling a post on a Facebook page — screenshots
Enter the information, link, picture, etc., you want to schedule. Have it look exactly as you want it to post. In the lower lefthand corner, click the clock icon.

8.16.2012

Movie review: Failure to Launch — High on animal attacks, low on romance

Failure to LaunchContinuing in my fine tradition of reviewing things no one cares about anymore, I bring you: Failure to Launch, the romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker, neither of whom I can stand.

Oh, dear, I meant to be more circumspect and just say something like "I have trouble connecting to those actors," but the truth came out. I'm sure they're lovely people. I just don't like watching them. There you are.

So why was I? Because Sam signed us up for a preview of Amazon Prime, and I was determined to explore the instant video options available. I really want to watch Downton Abbey, but for my purposes that day, I needed something that could run comfortably in the background.

I'm glad I didn't give Failure to Launch any more attention than it deserved.

8.08.2012

Book review: Tempting Juliana, by Lauren Royal

Amazon Kindle's been yelling at me lately that I need to update my blog or get off the pot (not in those precise terms, perhaps). Herewith I bring you a very concise book review of a romance novel I pulled from the paperback shelves at the library.

(Our library has genre paperbacks that you can borrow without checking out. They just have stickers directing you to return them when done. Does your library have that? I think it's convenient but often wonder if the library's right to trust me on the honor system. As you see, time sometimes gets away from me.)

Where was I? Oh, yes, Tempting Juliana, by Lauren Royal. Always glad to review a fellow Lauren.

This is not a new book, which is why it's hilariously available for anywhere from 1 cent up to $123.54.

There's some seller chutzpah for you.

Ok, the good: I thought it was generally well written, which is the first rule for my romance novel enjoyment. Well, duh, right? But I'm shocked at how many novels get published that are not well written, so it's not a given.

5.31.2012

Flack vs. flak

The copy editor is in.
I'm presenting occasional posts on the use of English,
not to be pedantic but just for the fun of language.

flak vs flack
The one on the left is some serious German artillery, and the one on the right is a publicist.
Catch the difference?


I hope I don't catch a lot of flak for saying that "flak" is the appropriate spelling for an attack or opposition, and "flack" is a person who specializes in publicity.

Hard to imagine they'd get confused, then, but I think English speakers don't like the odd c-less spelling of flak. That makes sense, because "flak" is German, and unusual German at that. It's an abbreviation of Fliegerabwehrkanone (anti-aircraft guns), so it was adopted into English from WWII, and became metaphorical sometime thereafter. For another literal use, think "flak jacket."

5.06.2012

Sunday Surf: Responsible blogging & parental dilemmas

Links to share, from Writing Tidbits:

The Panic of Never

Right there, the title, isn’t it the perfect phrase for a parent and a writer? The panic of never, the panic of never finishing a project, of never starting one, of never again having time to write, or never having the time you need.
I love Rachael’s follow-up suggestions as well:
Which also includes this rad excerpt by Dean Young from “Selected Recent and New Errors”:
Do you think the dictionary ever says to itself
I’ve got these words that mean completely
different things inside myself
and it’s tearing me apart?
My errors are even bigger than that.
33 SECONDS AGO
writing pressure scheduling parenting poetry publishing failure

Walking On Egg Shells | The Path Less Taken

On writing authentically instead of pre-censoring our words.
22 HOURS AGO
blogging writing censorship judgment negative comments

Skitch - Annotate, edit and share your screenshots and images...fast.

Wanna write on top of photos? Annotate, edit & share screenshots & images.
1 DAY AGO
photos photo editing software apps

Facebook page admins beware! What you CANNOT do on Facebook | MarketingGum.com

Rules about cover photos and giveaways as they relate to Facebook.
1 WEEK AGO
facebook giveaways timeline cover photos

- Navelgazing Midwife Blog - Responsible Blogging

What responsibility do you have toward readers as a blogger when it comes to giving advice (parenting, birth, health…)? If someone takes your advice and has a bad outcome, are you liable?
I think about this a lot since I blog about hot-button issues like homebirth and alternative healthcare and unschooling. I keep wanting people to know it’s just my opinion — but at the same time, I can’t stop myself from writing from the perspective of an advice-giver. I’ve tried, and I can’t do it! I love giving advice.
But when it comes right down to it, I’m not an expert in any of the subjects I write about (or, I don’t consider myself one). This quote kind of sums it up:
… all we bloggers really are are darn good writers (for the most part). We don’t necessarily know any more than anyone else, we’re just good at getting the information out there.
4 WEEKS AGO
blogging ethics liability

5.04.2012

Giveaway: Poetry of a Hobo Mama at Hybrid Rasta Mama {5.9; Worldwide}

I'm giving away a copy of my book, Poetry of a Hobo Mama, over at the fabulous blog Hybrid Rasta Mama.

Please read Jennifer's honest review, enter the giveaway, and enjoy the parenting-inspired poetry!

Poetry of a Hobo Mama


Lauren Wayne of Hobo Mama fame, one of the two lovely mamas who founded and run the Natural Parents Network, is both an author and a poet in her own right. I had known for some time that she had a collection of poetry but had kind of ignored it. I always felt bad because I love supporting other mamas in their creative endeavors but truth be told, I was worried if I read it I would not like it. This would not be a function of Lauren or her poetic skills, but instead a function of my indifference to poetry.

Did you know that April is Poetry Month? Well it is and I decided what better way to support Lauren than to sit down, read Poetry of a Hobo Mama from start to finish, then share my impressions with you. I took off my “aversion to poetry glasses” and put on my “let’s see what Hobo Mama brings to the table glasses.” You know what? I am really, really glad that I did.

Enter now on the giveaway post at Hybrid Rasta Mama! Giveaway ends May 9 (date extended due to technical difficulties) and is open worldwide.

4.08.2012

Sunday Surf: Babies, BlogHer, & the cost of blogging

Links to share, from Writing Tidbits:


How to merge pdf files in OSX

How did I not know it was SO EASY to combine PDFs in Mac?
1 DAY AGO
PDFs

Report alleged copyright infringement: Blogger - Google Help

Convenient DMCA form for Blogger/Google entities who are infringing on your copyright (such as spam blogs scraping your content).
1 MONTH AGO
blogger spam DMCA

4.04.2012

Throws vs. throes

The copy editor is in.
I'm presenting occasional posts on the use of English,
not to be pedantic but just for the fun of language.

A shotputter of ANA's track & field team

If you're enduring something, you're in the throes of it. If you've got a ball or a horseshoe, you can practice your throws.

They're pronounced the same, but one's spelled so much more interestingly.

4.01.2012

Gmail Tap for Android

At the tail end of April 1, I just have to share one of Google's videos this year:


3.19.2012

Welch vs. welsh

The copy editor is in.
I'm presenting occasional posts on the use of English,
not to be pedantic but just for the fun of language.

flag of Wales red purple grapes in a bowl

Ok, I'm going to enlighten you as to the correct phrase for accusing someone of skipping on a bet, and then we all have to agree not to use it.

The fact is, both "welch" and "welsh" as verbs have a similarly long history, but etymologies track both back to suspecting residents of Wales of being cheaters.

According to the OED, the term "welsher" was being published at least as early as the 1850s in racing parlance, and welsh and welch developed from there, not long after. If I had to choose, I'd say "welsh on a bet" is the more accurate form (as opposed to "welch on a bet"), if by accurate we're not referring to how well it describes the actual Welsh.

I love that the OED and Merriam-Webster label this use "sometimes considered offensive." I guess whether you consider it offensive depends (a) whether you know what it means (I'm sure a lot of Americans assume it has something to do with grape juice) and (b) whether you're Welsh. I remember when I first learned it was "welsh" and not "welch" that I thought, "Well, that can't be right. Because isn't that saying people from Wales are all cheaters? … Ohhh."

3.12.2012

Publish your blog on Kindle

Amazon Kindle Publishing for blogs


Want to offer your blog subscription for sale on Amazon? It's easy and free.

Why put your blog on the Kindle?

Some people read blogs on Kindle or other wireless ebook devices. For a subscription fee of 99 cents (U.S.), these readers can have your blog automatically downloaded to their devices every time you update with a new post.

You split the fee with Amazon. And by "split," I mean they get 70% and you get 30%. Hey, it's something, right?

This program is currently open only to those with a bank account in the United States and United Kingdom.

How do you publish your blog on Kindle?

Glad you asked. (You're so helpful that way.) Simply go to Amazon's Kindle Publishing sign-up page and follow the instructions there.

3.05.2012

Cardshark vs. cardsharp

The copy editor is in.
I'm presenting occasional posts on the use of English,
not to be pedantic but just for the fun of language.

baby cardsharp cardshark playing cards with pacifier


This is one that people like to fight me on, but it's cardsharp. I don't doubt that enough people use cardshark now that it will become just as acceptable sooner or later. (Language is ever evolving, and it's a very democratic process.)

Sharp and shark as negative nouns actually probably both stem from the same root, sharker. Certainly the idea of a metaphorical shark being one who preys on others (witness loan shark and lawyer jokes) is well established. But sharp is more defined as an expert and/or a cheat, both of which relate more narrowly to card games.

2.27.2012

Pawn off vs. palm off

The copy editor is in.
I'm presenting occasional posts on the use of English,
not to be pedantic but just for the fun of language.

If you're trying to hand off an unpleasant task or an unwanted object, you're palming it off. ("I'm trying to palm off the lawn mowing onto my little brother.") I imagine it as referring to a sneaky roadside magician, or maybe a pickpocket who's trying to incriminate you — the idea is that something is concealed in the palm and then foisted onto someone else.

Pawning is the act of putting merchandise up as security for a quick loan. I'm not saying it doesn't relate at all to the way "palming off" is often used, since you very well might pawn an unwanted object, but it's not the same term.

handful of screws in a man's palm
Whether someone palms or pawns something terrible off onto you, though, you're screwed. See what I did there?

2.20.2012

Hone in vs. home in

The copy editor is in.
I'm going to present occasional posts on the use of English,
not to be pedantic but just for the fun of language.

pigeon eye looking at the camera


Here's a pair of words I hear confused a lot: hone vs. home, used in the phrase "to home in on something."

And that way I used it in the phrase? That's the real way.

See, "hone" means to sharpen, whereas "home" refers to — you might have guessed this — home. So, for instance, carrier pigeons home, in that they fly back to their base after delivering a message (or however the heck carrier pigeons work — how do they work?). So if you want to focus on something, you might be honing your concentration, but you will be homing in on your goal.

2.17.2012

How to send from multiple email addresses in one Gmail account



You now know how to log into multiple Gmail accounts at once and forward other Gmail addresses to a single account.

The next step in our Gmail simplification program is to look like you're still responding to emails from multiple accounts, even though they're really all consolidated.

1. Go into your Gmail Settings.


Click on the gear icon toward the upper righthand corner of your Gmail screen (located underneath your profile icon or name). In the drop-down menu that appears, select "Settings."

2. Go to "Send mail as" settings.

Click images to embiggen.

Select "Accounts and Import" along the top tabs in Settings.

Scroll to "Send mail as:" and select "Add another email address you own."

2.16.2012

How to forward email to another Gmail account

As I discussed in "How to log into multiple Google accounts," it is possible to have multiple Gmail windows open in the same browser.

However, it can be even easier for you to have all your Gmail come to a single account, assuming it's prudent to combine them.

For my needs, I have several Gmail addresses that I need to check that all relate to my blogging: my main hobomama Gmail account, mail forwarded from my personal domains (such as {at} LaurenWayne.com), and mail sent to various addresses {at} NaturalParentsNetwork.com (CarNatPar, Lauren, Advertising). Before combining these, I had to log into each Gmail account separately to read the messages, even though it's entirely appropriate to combine them all into a single account for the purposes of checking my inbox and sending replies.

(Note that I've kept my personal email separate, however. I figure that might lead to too much confusion, so I check it separately.)

Here's how you can check multiple Gmail accounts under one login:

1. Go to your Gmail settings of the account you do NOT want to log into from now on.

Gmail settings drop-down menu

Click on the gear icon toward the upper righthand corner of your Gmail screen (located underneath your profile icon or name). In the drop-down menu that appears, select "Settings."

What I mean by "the account you do not want to log into" is, this is the account you'll be forwarding mail out of, to flow into the account you'd prefer to check. So right now, set up the forwarding in the reject account.


2. Configure your email forwarding FROM that account.

Click images to embiggen.
Gmail forward to another account address screenshot

  • Select "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" from the tabs along the top of Settings.
  • Click "Add a forwarding address" and do so. It will send a confirmation code to the forwarding address, so now you have to log into that account to receive it.
  • Confirm the code with the first (reject) account. You can click the link in the email Gmail sent you, or there is a box on that same page that will read "Verify [email address]" with a box for the confirmation code. (Will all this require some logging in/out and back-and-forth? Perhaps, if you haven't enabled multiple log-in, or you're forwarding to a non-Gmail account. But it will save you time in the future, so keep on!)
  • Select "Forward a copy of incoming mail to," and the address you've confirmed should now be in your drop-down menu of forwarding addresses.
  • Choose what to do with mail forwarded out of this account. Do you want it kept in the inbox, marked as read, archived, or deleted? To keep things tidy but preserve copies in case I choose to separate the accounts in the future, I choose "archive Gmail's copy." What you choose here will affect only the emails as they exist in this account, not as they appear when forwarded. In other words, I selected "archive," but the forwarded emails still appear unread and in my inbox in the preferred account.

2.15.2012

How to log into multiple Google accounts


Two Gmail accounts open in the same browser simultaneously,
with no computers exploding


If you want to check multiple Gmail accounts or access (some) other Google accounts without logging in and out or opening a new browser, here's a tutorial to show you the easy way to handle this.

All you need to do is enable multiple sign-in and then sign in to each account, switching among them as needed.

1. Enable multiple sign-in for Google accounts within your web browser.

Go to https://accounts.google.com/b/0/MultipleSessions, select "On - Use multiple Google Accounts in the same web browser," and save.

2. Log into another account.


For most Google products, look in the top righthand corner to find a little down arrow next to your profile icon (if you have one) or your login email address. When you click the arrow, the drop-down menu above will appear. Click on "Switch account."


Presumably you will see yourself signed into only one account, marked "default." Click "Sign in to another account…" to do just that.

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