All posts in Social Media

Say No To Cell Phones And Yes To Prayer!

Mobile phones are sucking the life right out of us.  Present company included.  (Yeah, I’m an addict.)

From distracted drivers to texting during family meals and business meetings, we’re zoned out and checked out way too often.

Amber Binkertation is putting her mobile phone in the trunk whenever she drives this week!

Heather Sunseri was rightfully annoyed when iPhone cameras recently dominated a wedding ceremony.

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Why I Changed My Name

Why did I change the name of my blog?  Not to mention I’ve changed my Twitter name from @LawyerMommy to @SusanDiMickele.  Is Lawyer Mommy dead?  Done?  Looking for a new identity?

It’s a good question.  And some of you have asked.

As you may know, I’m pretty new in this writing business.  I’m a first-time author, and I’ve been blogging for less than two years.  So I try to pay attention to the experts in the business, like my agent Rachelle Gardner and social media guru Kristen Lamb, who advise us authors to use our published NAME when we write.  (For example, check out Kristen’s post this week on Jane Friedman’s blog.)

But just because I’m told to do something doesn’t mean I’m going to do it.  So I’ve thought about this “branding issue” for myself and I’ve concluded that it makes sense to use my full name as a writer for two main reasons:  1)  My name isn’t going to change; and 2) My name is who I am.

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Sure Cure For The Rat Race

Are you tired of the rat race?  Here’s my suggestion.

Get away.  Take a week (or two) and leave the race completely.  It puts things in perspective. 

I just spent part of my family vacation off the grid.  Which is how I met Rick and Jenni. 

Rick and Jenni decided to get out of the race.  Permanently. After tiring of their fast-paced lives in Chicago, they left their careers and purchased a small group of cottages on Michigan’s far western shores of Lake Superior.  Now, they spend their summers renting lodging to families (like mine) who are trying to get away.

No mobile coverage.  No stores.  No hospitals.  No restaurants.  No people.  No Starbucks. 

It was novel at first (except the Starbucks part).

After a couple of days, I tried to imagine my family in Rick and Jenni’s shoes.  In the mountains.  In a town of several hundred people.  We could have our own rental lodge and reside right on property to save money. My husband would be in charge of maintenance (which I guess would put me in charge of cleaning and laundry).  Our kids could learn about wildlife firsthand – spending their summers on kayaks and winters on snowmobiles.  I could spend my days writing (in between cleaning toilets) and I’d just have to buy an espresso machine and appropriate supplies.

But then my vision turned sour.  I could see high-maintenance city folk knocking on my door at midnight because of a leaky toilet.  After cooking the 40th meal in a row and scrubbing the 140th toilet I’d be screaming, “Where are the restaurants!” and “Where is my cleaning lady?”  I’d be driving my kids 50 miles for play dates and 120 miles to the nearest movie theater.  And what would we do without our cell phones?

Maybe getting off the grid isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I’m a city girl.  I actually like people.  And truth be told, I even like the rat race.  I just need to get away every once in awhile to help remember. 

When’s the last time you got off the grid?

The Power Of Unplugging

I’m officially unplugged.  For the next two weeks!

Am I already going through withdrawal? You bet.

Mind you, I had every intention of keeping up my blogging through August – even while I’m camping in remote places like the Porcupine Mountains.  After all, I’m a modern day multi-taskaholic.  Who says I can’t blog and camp at the same time?  Besides, I’m the middle of a “Faking The Pain” series that I want to continue.  Badly.  And I’m part of a writing group that just launched the WordServe Water Cooler.  I don’t want to take time off!

But wait.  I hear my children calling:

“Mom, why are you working during vacation?”

And I hear my husband calling:

“Suz, get off of that @&#% laptop!”

I’m pretty stubborn, so I’m still not convinced. 

Then I hear God calling:

“Be still.  Slow down.  Stop talking and listen.”

Ok, I get it. 

{See you in two weeks when I pick up with Faking The Pain, Part 3 of 4.}

Is Writing Deadly?

I spend a lot of time sitting.  And according to a new study, this can be deadly!

That’s right.  A recently study by the American Cancer Association shows sitting too much will shave years off your life.  Women who sit more the 6 hours a day are 40% more likely to die sooner than women who sit only 3 hours a day (for men, the same study shows excessive sitters die 20% sooner).

Just a bit alarming.   Don’t you think?

Even putting my day job aside, what about all the time I spend writing.  Yikes!  How does one write (or blog) without sitting behind a computer?  It’s virtually impossible.

Am I taking years off my life at this very moment as I sit behind this screen, exercising only my fingers and my brain?  Ok, I’m starting to panic.  But what are my options, anyway?

1.  Quit writing.  I could find a new hobby.  I could take up golf or try roller skating.  Or maybe I should put the treadmill in the middle of our family room and start watching TV.  Better yet, I could start cleaning in the evenings.  My husband would be thrilled (since he doesn’t share my view that a clean house is overrated).  But I just might be miserable.  I’m terrible at golf, I haven’t roller skated since 7th grade, and I really hate TV.  Need I say anything about cleaning?

2.  Exercise more.  Given all the time I spend sitting, I just need to kick the cardio up a notch.  I could start running more.  I could train for another half-marathon.  I could try P90X again, even though the first time I wanted to die (not to mention eat everything in sight).  Or maybe I should be one of those people who parks her car in the far corner of the lot.  (I can just hear my kids complaining about the extra walking, but maybe I need to start working on them early!)

3.  Stand more.  I could get rid of my chair and my desk.  I could get one of those standing work stations – you know, the kind that is ergonomically correct so that I’m not hunched over when I type.  I could even get a stool (just for resting periods), and I could time myself to make sure I don’t sit more than 3 hours a day.  My mother happens to be pretty good at standing.  I can’t tell you how many times we’ve said, “Sit down, Mom!” and she replies,

“I’d rather stand!”

 Maybe she is on to something.

4.  Ignore the research.  But then again, aren’t you sick and tired of these studies?  It’s like we have no future – everything has been predetermined.  If you eat chips, you’re going to die of heart disease.  If you smoke, you’re going to die of lung cancer.  If you ride a motorcycle, you’re going to get killed in an accident.  Pretty soon, you’re going to tell me that my life span is genetic, and there’s nothing I can do about it!  Am I just another statistic?  And if God is in control, does my sitting (or lack of sitting) really make a difference anyway?

Maybe not.  But I don’t think I’m going to ignore the research either.  No, I’m not going to stop writing.  I’m not going jump back on P90X or get rid of my desk chair. 

But I think I’m going to try to sit less.  Want to join me?