LEAF IT, PART 2: Plant Yourself On The Leaf It ‘Tree’


In Leafit, Part 1, “Money Does Grow On Trees”, I covered the perks of the Leafit mobile app: checking prices, finding stores, and earning commissions.

Yes, you heard me right. You get paid. If someone on  Facebook or Twitter sees the item you posted and purchases it via  Leafit’s “It” app, then Leafit pays you.

Want an example? Okay, let’s say you just got engaged. While perusing Pinterest for wedding dresses, you happen upon the dress  of your dreams. So, you access the Leafit app on your smartphone, tap the product or tag it by writing words that describe it by brand,  and post it to Facebook. If another starry-eyed bride-to-be buys that gown by clicking your posted picture — BOOM! — Leafit pays you.

As if getting paid for your own posts isn’t tantalizing enough, there is a way you can also earn a commission for the posts of others. You can join as a member at no cost. That’s right — you can join for free.

So, how do you get your free app? The “It” app for Apple products is due to be released sometime in early August. Get your free activation membership through my website  http://leafit.biz/opajeff. If you have an Android, you can expect to see the app available some time this September.

Want more information? Click on the YouTube link below or copy and paste it to your browser


Jeff and I work as part-time Leafit Associates, The app is free, but you have to receive it as a gift from someone. That’s where I come in. Please click on my Leafit site below, view the “app demo” and plant yourself on my Leafit tree for free.

The Leafit It app works worldwide





“Snap it. Tag it. Post it – It Pays You!”

As I explored the  Leafit web site, my brain short-circuited, thinking of the possibilities.

Ooooh, I thought, as a shiver raced up and down my spine.  I can definitely do this.

My husband, Jeff, and I are Facebook regulars. Everywhere we go, we “check in” — even at Wal-Mart. Naturally,  I started wondering – what if we got paid for our posts?

Enter Leaf it, a mobile app resulting from the merger of social networking and e-commerce. iPhone users can download the free app from iTunes, starting this weekend. In September, Android users can find it on Google Play.

Leafit’s platform represents over 19,000 retailers and millions of products including Nordstrom, Eddie Bauer, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Sony, and many others. It appeals to an expansive variety of shoppers and their interests. With this free app, fashion-forward females can price Jimmy Choo shoes. Movie buffs can find state-of-the-art television screens.  Carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, or homeowners can shop for drills, spigots, or monkey wrenches. Bookworms can purchase the latest James Patterson or Stephen King “nail-biters”.

Yep, you get the idea. Almost everything.

After you find your item, snap a picture of yourself with your “hearts desire” or grab the picture off the Internet. Then tag your picture and post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social network. When your  connections click on that picture, they will see the item you tagged. If they choose to buy that item as a result of seeing your post, you have just earned a commission from Leafit.

So whether you want to check prices, shop stores, or post pictures, check out the following link. See what Leafit can do for you.  http://leafit.biz/opajeff

See the demo video on my Leafit web site.



Any questions?



WANACon 2013, Day One of A Writer’s Dream

My own munchies
My own munchies


Love the thrill of writing conferences but not the hassles or expense?  Yearn for reclining seats? Would you attend more of those  shindigs if  you could shun Spanx for pajamas?

Well, thanks to Kristen Lamb and Chad Carver,  I did all that and more on February 22-24 at WANACon 2013.

The first-ever of its kind, WANACon 2013 united writers worldwide by offering the best of both experiences: the “feel” of a traditional conference, complete with a “lobby” (chat-room) so real that I  forgot it was virtual. Thanks to “Tech Surgeon”, Jay Donovan, the WANA International website with its BBB (Big Blue Button) rocked with activity! Also, with Jami Gold’s expert moderation, each presentation flowed seamlessly.

A college English professor who teaches night classes, I look forward to sleeping in on Friday. was different. Up at 6:00 a.m., I jumped into  my sweats, fed and walked my dog, and fixed breakfast. I didn’t want to be tardy to the first class, 7:00 a.m. (Texas time). Settled into my recliner with Cuppa number-two,  I logged onto WANACon.  and let the inspiration happen.

Counting one seminar in Digital Room B, reserved for pitches to agents,  all eight presentations were top-shelf. Among them, I’ll focus on five I found especially  helpful on the first day of this all-out write-a-rama:

First, at 7:00 a.m, Jared Kuritz’s “Publishing 101” enlightened me to the costs of  traditional, self, and independent publishing. In fact, the stats about traditional publishing sent me staggering!

At noon, while mainlining peanut-butter from jar to mouth,  I tuned into Joshua Graham’s  “Indie versus Traditional Publishing” seminar.  He must have been a fly on the wall of my brain, knowing that I have flirted  with going Indie. His notes, entailing the pluses and minuses of indie versus traditional, even included a  third option: ‘hybrid” publishing — a mix of traditional and indie.

At 4:00 p.m, Candace Havens, with her exuberant, can-do attitude, exploded onto my big-screen t.v. Her keynote address, “Dream Big.”  After meeting her at DFW Writers Conference, I remembered her “Fast Draft” and “Revision Hell” presentations as “standing-room only”. With her coaching, I will  gag that  old  “English-teacher-prune” and listen to my subconscious brain, instead.

At 6:00-7:30, agent Helen Zimmerman offered her expertise in  “How To Find an Agent”. With a relaxed and approachable manner, she shared advice about pitching to an agent and composing a query.

Topping off the night, Jenny Hansen presented the Cliff’s Notes version of “LinkedIn: Your Professional Identity”.  A LinkedIn member, already, I noted changes to make in my own profile.

After a brief chat in the lobby, I turned in. Friday had been an all-out write-a-rama, I drifted dreaming of the goodies Saturday would bring.

Sound inviting? For more information about Kristen Lamb, WANA International, and WANACon, follow the links in this blog.  So, writers and readers, what would your  dream conference look like?

“ON MY HONOR…”: Making Good on 2013 Goals

Keurig. (Photo credit: suendercafe)


Darn!  Just as I got used to writing “2012” on my checks; here comes 2013! Not complaining, though.  I was mighty thankful to wake up sunny-side of the daisies after all the Mayan-calendar hoo-rah (including “End-of-the-World sales” on the Internet, retail stores and restaurants). God continues to bless me with family (including my amazing fiance, Von, and my canine-American baby-girl, Russet; good health and Medicare; the prospect of teaching college English online; progress on my WIPs,  By Her Daughter’s Hands and  Suffer The Little Childrenand you, my awesome blog and web site visitors.

To sum it up, the year 2012 has been exacting but exciting.

On to 2013. Two days ago, I recently read a Facebook  post about setting New Year‘s goals. Yes, goals, not resolutions. As ,with diets, resolutions are often doomed to failure. On January 2, (not New Year’s Day, when I’m sipping  mimosas, grazing on ham and black-eyed peas, wiping out holiday goodies “once and for all”, and suffering carb-overload), I forge ahead,  guns a-blasting.  By exorcising my fridge and pantry of “evil” cookies and chips and stocking up on celery and spinach. Returning to the gym in “inspirational” workout togs two sizes too small. Scheduling my students to write at least six research papers.

In short, straining both body and brain in making good on promises grown flabby by February.

So, why  should I make resolutions I’ll never keep? Instead, when I hang the new 2013 Yoga Dogs calendar Von gave me for Christmas, I’ll  mark it off with five reasonable goals, in order of importance:

#5: Turn  home-office into a writer’s/teacher’s haven, complete with recliner, small fridge for bottled water, and a Keurig coffee-maker. (Photo above.)

#4: Conquer plot structure and the “Big-Boss Troublemaker” (that Kristen Lamb talks about) once and for all.

.#3: Bang out at least 1000-2000 words (5-10 pages) a week on my WIPs (when I’m not busy grading students’ 1,000-word/five-page essays)

#2: Lose at least five pounds a month with portion-control and exercise.

and (drum roll, please)

#1: Stay in touch with family and friends, including those south of the Digital Divide. After all, they’re my greatest treasures.

Now, gentle readers, it’s your turn. What do you aim to accomplish during 2013?

HUMOROUS HOW-TO’S, PART 21: Warning, Ideas Ahead!

English: Red Pinterest logo
English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“I’m just going to check my email, and then I’ll get to work.”

Happens to many of us, these days.  Let’s face it, technology’s exciting stuff.  As if Facebook or Twitter aren’t distracting enough, along comes Pinterest. Here is my next guest, Jolenna with her thoughts.


Pinterest is to time what a dryer is to socks – it’s a worm-hole to another dimension. It’s a whole new loop in the space-time continuum. It’s the land of the creative ideas, simple recipes, photos, science, and things that make you smile. You name it and there’s a picture of it here. Most people don’t realize this when they first start using the site; others — like me — were warned but were unbelievers. Notice I use past tense here. Once you begin, you believe.

In case you were wondering, Pinterest claims to be just a website. It looks ordinary and harmless. You would never guess it’s a window — no, no — a doorway — no, even more –it’s an invitation with a magic-carpet ride into that other-world-like dimension. Their disclaimer simply says “Pinterest is an online pinboard. Organize and share things you love.” What could possibly be wrong with that? How could that be the least bit dangerous to your schedule? Yes, I hear the doubt in your voice. I hear the assurance that “it can’t be that bad”. Maybe you’ll start to understand a little of what I mean when I explain how Pinterest is best used.

So, of course, you go to the above website and you create an account. Then, you look around. Under the word Pinterest at the top of the homepage, you’ll see options. Usually at least four are listed, categories — everything — popular — gifts. However, for a limited time, only another option is listed, “30 Days of Pinspiration”. On your home page, you create a “board”. If you’re not sure of what kind of board you might like to have, then you can find your friends that are using Pinterest. Oh, yes, they may not admit to you where they came up with the tasty recipe you loved at the potluck, or share any of their home-made candles, but now you’ll know. You can have a board about anything and everything.  Food? Why stop at just one board? I have eight for food alone. Cute puppies,kittens,  and barn animals? Yes, yes, and yes. Create a board for it,and then another,  and then another because it deserves more than just one. Books you’ve read, are interested in reading, or just like the title of, and put it on a board.  Interested in flowers? Of course, create a board for flowers. But, then, as you’re looking for flowers, you’ll realize you like the layout for a garden, maybe a garden bench, or an item in the garden. Well, then, doesn’t all that deserve its own board?  And, of course, as you’re looking at the gardening, there are the supplies. You’ll need compost, fertilizer, mulch, bug repellant for the plants and yourself. Maybe all that gets its own board, but maybe you’ll combine your garden shed needs with other helpful tools that you didn’t realize you needed until you saw them here. You don’t want to use poison on the garden or on yourself, so why not make your own bug sprays? Yes, now you can. But wait, there’s more. Since you’re now making your own natural homemade bug sprays, maybe some of these supplies can be used to make other things. Yes, yes, they can, as a matter of fact. You can use the essential oils in everything from candles to body scrubs to lip balms. Chapstick? No, thank you. Who knows what chemicals are actually in that? Your stuff will be so much better because you know what’s in it. But it’s not just your lips that are chapped; no, your skin is drying out, too, so why not make some body lotions, body butter, body scrub, and even your own shampoo?

Need a gift for any occasion? You’ll find so many ideas and neat things to make that you’ll start inventing holidays to give them away. It’s not just the gifts you’ll see and make, though. No, this is Pinterest, home of…everything. Make your gift, make the gift wrap; learn to be the perfect host; add a sprig of something seasonal; make the perfect card or poem to go with it ,and then make a few extra for those last-minute gift-giving moments that sneak up on you.

As you can see, Pinterest is a fun step…no, leap…into the webosphere. It’s a powerful tool that can be addicting as the sugar-filled recipes you’ll find there. I have shown you but a glimpse of Neverland and have posted the “here there be monsters” sign. Use this knowledge wisely.

HUMOROUS HOW-TO’S, Part 9: “Dear Lonely One”

B.W. and J.Q. working ¿NISH!'s Bad Advice booth
B.W. and J.Q. working ¿NISH!’s Bad Advice booth (Photo credit: alxndr)


A. Are you single? B. Are you lonely?  If you have checked A and B, Blessing wants a word with you. Take it away, Blessing!


Dear Lonely One,

There are over 6 billion people in the world. So why are you single? It is because the world is a cruel and heartless place. It’s every man..well, in your case, woman…for herself. Welcome to the jungle. Trying to get a man requires you to open up your senses, and be cunning and alert. Listen to me when I say you have to have the mindset of a predator. If there’s one thing that you can gain from my rules, it is having your prey…I mean, guy…in your arms. Follow these rules and you will not fail. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your binoculars, fill up your canteen, and let’s go man-hunting!

Have all eyes on your prey. While you’re out and about, you see the guy of your dreams, and you cannot take your eyes off him. You want him to be yours. It’s like your souls are calling out to each other. At this moment, I’m going to need you to close your mouth because you are drooling on yourself. Thank you. Now you want to be with him, only you don’t know how to initiate a relationship. Introduce yourself! Spark up a little small talk, but, above all, make sure you remember his name. The name is muy importante!

Know your prey. This is the easiest, yet most important, part. Get on the Internet and do your research. Google your man. See if he’s had any news articles featuring him. You could even go as far as getting a background check on him. If the background check comes back and your man is squeaky clean, you can jump for joy. If he’s dirty as the gum on your shoe, you need to escape! This background check may be to the extreme, but you wouldn’t want to have an ex-con as your new boyfriend, would you? Now that you know he’s a regular citizen, it’s time to get on Facebook. First thing you need to do is take note of his relationship status. If he is not single, you can set down some mourning flowers because that road is a dead-end, honey. If he is single, then I will allow you this one time to scream your head off, indulge in some ice cream, and have a girls’ night out. Ok, now, it’s time to get back to the mission. Know the ins and outs of his profile. Find out where he likes to eat. Figure out his weaknesses and strengths. This will guarantee you success on the next step.

Load up the guns. You know where he likes to go; now it’s time to stalk your prey. “Accidentally” bump into your guy at the market. Show up with the same kind of coffee at work. Buy the same shirts he buys. Get into a car accident with him as he’s leaving the highway. I AM JUST KIDDING! I can’t believe you almost did that. Other than the last part, do everything he likes to do. Right about now, he should be at your every beck and call. If not, it’s time for a pep talk. Listen to me. You are a beautiful lion in the jungle. You see your prey. Envision him as yours. Taste him, watch him, and stay perfectly still. Now, it’s time for you to pounce! OH,  NO! I didn’t mean literally. My goodness, now you’ll never have your man. Maybe next time you shouldn’t take my instructions so literally. After the restraining order against you is over, maybe you can try again. When you try again, do it without the pouncing. Better luck next time.


The Worst Advice-in-Nataor


Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

August 29, 2011

They watch me as I walk into the classroom on the first day of school.  The boys  fidget. The girls giggle. Some eyes are sparkly and eager. Others, lost and confused.

First-graders? Good guess.  Try  community-college freshmen.  Yes,  during my twenty-some years as an instructor  in a two-year college, I continue to be amazed at how  young and  naive these students  seem .  Other than the size of their clothes, the hair on their bodies, and the pitch of their voices, I’d swear I was teaching the first grade.   The second first grade.

As in the first year of elementary school,  these fledglings also have to  learn a new way of life: buying their own textbooks, developing college-level study skillls, reading hundreds of pages for the next class, and learning to type and  upload essays online.  Still,  despite the tougher  requirements heaped upon this new breed, there are  striking similarities between them and their pint-sized progenitors.

First, although both have to furnish their own school supplies, the Big Chief writing tablets and Ticonderoga pencils with number-two leads have been replaced by iPads,  laptops, and portable hard-drives. Crayolas have stepped aside for highlighters. And  book satchels have taken a back seat to backpacks.   As for lunch pails? Look on Ebay. Today’s kiddos subsist on Cokes and potato chips from the vending machines or burgers from  “Mickey D’s“.

Second, since community colleges  are also commuter colleges,  they  do not offer dormitories. Therefore, many students  still live at home.  Although  privacy policies prohibit parents from becoming  involved,  many of these newbies  still depend on Mom and Dad for emotional and financial  support.

Finally,  both groups are highly distractible.  Surrounded by television, video games, and other electronic gizmos, it is no easier task for an eighteen-year-old to concentrate than it is for an eight-year-old.  Some of my colleagues even pass around a shoe box, at the beginning of class,  into which students must toss their cell phones. Only when class is over are students and  phones reunited. Moreover, to guard against students checking their email and Facebook  during lectures, teachers can  activate  programs that block students’ computers from  the Internet.

Is this new generation of students changing the definition of college, as we’ve come to know it?  I’m turning the floor over to you. What are your observations?