A to Z Challenge: Twitter et al, and two bits of fluff

During the 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge I’m posting what I like to describe as “semi-useful” procrastination strategies for writers and others who may need a little break from the task at hand from time to time.

I was going to bring this up yesterday, under “S” where it properly belongs, but I must have been distracted by the lure of Stickman or something. Still, I can’t let 26 days of blogging about procrastination pass without at least a mention of Twitter and its posse of social media pals. (See how neatly I’ve turned “social media” into a “T” post? Impressed? Think I’m a big fat cheat? No matter. It has to be done.)

Out of all the links I’ve posted and will be posting, there’s no doubt that the biggest temptations and time sucks are social media. My personal downfalls are Twitter and Pinterest, with occasional forays into Facebook. I’m not a heavy user of any social media site, but that’s because I’m very strict with myself, and, if I’m being honest, I suffer from periodic bouts of interwebby muteness when I can’t think of a single original, amusing or interesting thing to say, and so I escape into silence for a week or four, hoping I’ll still have a few friends and followers when I return. So far, so good. It was through Twitter that I started connecting with other writers, through flash fiction challenges, following writing links and basically just saying “hey.” In my experience, writers are some of the friendliest, most welcoming and most inclusive people in the Twittosphere, and I’m grateful every day to have found them.

It was also through Twitter that I solidified my friendship with the warm and wonderful (and massively talented) @jtvancouver, which is amusing since we were working for the same organization in adjacent offices at the time. She delivers awesome tweet, and even more awesome friendship,  and if you’re not following her already, you might want to rectify that forthwith.

In the mood for something completely silly? It doesn’t get much sillier than Take Me to Another Useless Website. Really. This is the zenith of silly. Or perhaps, more accurately, the nadir. You just load the webpage, click please and it will take you to–yep, you guessed it–a completely useless website. Rinse and repeat. One supremely silly website after another until your eyes glaze over in bogglement at the sheer volume of silliness available at your fingertips.

By now your screen’s probably looking a bit mucky from all that hard work, so maybe you should duck on over to TheSlurps.com to have it cleaned. (I know, I know, it’s a blatant ad and I shouldn’t reward them, but how could I not? It’s so adorable!)

So, how about you? What’s your social media booby trap? Or are you one of those admirable people who can ignore the siren song of tweets and likes and pins? In which case, please–PLEASE–do the rest of us a favour and share your secret in the comments.

A to Z Challenge: Fonts, Fractals, and Other Finds

During the 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge I’m posting what  I like to describe as “semi-useful” procrastination strategies for writers and others who may need a little break from the task at hand from time to time.

Today I bring you the procrastination bounty provided by the letter F, and believe me, there is much bounty to be had. I had to make some some touch choices here, people, to keep this post at a manageable length.

First up, a site with which many of you are probably already familiar, Freerice.com, where you can simultaneously test your vocabulary and pretend to yourself that you’re doing your part to end world hunger. (You really won’t be, but go ahead and pretend if it makes you feel better.)

If you’re at all interested in the typographical goodness of fonts, these two sites might give you a reason to postpone cleaning out the attic or composing your Poetry Month clerihew or pentane:

  • The Rather Difficult Font Game. I submit that this would be more aptly named The Fiendishly Difficult Font Game, because it’s freaking hard (by which I mean I am staggeringly horrible at it).
  • Cheese or Font: An amusing little game where you get to guess whether a particular name denotes a type of cheese or a font. It’s surprisingly not as easy as you’d think.

In the mood for funny? If the font games leave your head spinning and you’re hankering for something a little less cerebrally taxing, there’s always Funny or Die, where you can find all manner of amusements: videos, words/pictures, podcasts, politics and other amusing time-wasters. If you’re not already familiar with the site, you could do worse than to start with either The Wire: The Musical or Game of Thrones on Facebook.

Or perhaps you just want to look at mesmerizing pretty stuff for a while, and who could blame you. Why not pay a visit to artist Jock Cooper’s Fractal Recursion site? All kinds of mesmerizing pretty over there (and don’t forget to click on the Zoomables Gallery at the bottom of the page).

And then, of course, I have to at least mention Facebook, but I figure if you’re serious about procrastinating, you’re probably already spending a fair bit of time here.

There are some terrific bloggers participating in the challenge this year. Check them out over here.