Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blue Lily, imagination and fragments of family we all miss

I’m writing at the moment. Sunk deep into a story. It occupies my thoughts when I wake and whispers to me in sleep. I have the idea mapped out in my mind and anxiously look forward to each moment in front of the computer.  But in-between the imagination and fingertips is another universe, and as I get to the end of each chapter I realize nothing is exactly as I’d envisioned it.

The story takes on a life of its own and I am merely a guest on it’s journey.

I wonder how I can assert so little control.

I wonder why I don’t know what will happen until it taps itself out on the white screen.

I wonder who is really writing the story.

My current project is named, Blue Lily, a nod at my great grandmother who went by the nickname Lily and whose hair was so black it was blue in the sparkling sunlight. Her given name was Carol, like mine, but more. She was Carolyn.

I feel simple and small beside her memory. She was adored by her granddaughter, my mother. And two lifetimes after her Lily’s death my mother can still cry. “You never get over missing family,” she explains and I know exactly what she means.

But I wonder if I am speaking as me or as Blue Lily.

Who are you missing?


Sunday, May 2, 2010

My birthday party is a social media HIT!

AWARDSCarol's Save a Life Birthday Party is a TOP FINALIST for a SoMe Award. (Pacific Northwest Social Media Award).

Every two minutes someone in Western Washington needs a blood transfusion. Sean Debutts, Social Media Coordinator at Puget Sound Blood Center, sent a direct message via Twitter to @TheFirstCarol to ask if she would spearhead a blood drive and help meet that need. The First Carol looked at her watch, realized no new adventure lay on the horizon and quickly said, "Sure!"

She dove into a complete social media campaign and results are in, the party was a hit and it's a top finalist for the Pacific Northwest Social Media Awards in The Scrappy & Engaged Award category.

The judges were, "A crew of social media enthusiasts in Texas and beyond," reports Sean Lowery, Executive Director of the InnoTech Conference which is spotlighting the awards.

"Social media is very personal and this campaign struck a chord for me," says The First Carol. "I have an innate curiosity to see if I can drive people out from behind their computers to share a cup of coffee and many will, but this project asked them to extend past surface conversation and participate in a needle-in-the-arm way."

The Puget Sound Blood Center maintains eleven donation centers in Washington and continues to benefit from her efforts. "For an hour the SlideShare I created to help explain the campaign to the judges was Hot on Twitter," notes Carol. "It's all these little wins that makes diving into social media fun." The slide share, Carol's Save A Life Birthday Party, continues to be featured on SlideShare's Health and Medicine category.

Sean Debutts, the initiator of the direct message that launched Carols's party says, "Carol deserves the honor after all the hard work she put into her drive and all the visibility she gave the concept."

What's next on the adventure agenda for The First Carol? "The hardest part now," she muses, "Is explaining what a social media award is to my parents."

Social media is an all encompassing term for the mixing of technology and social interaction to add value to the community. The SoMe Awards honor the best social media projects, programs and campaigns in the Pacific Northwest. Winners will be announced after the InnoTech Conference in Portland, Oregon, a business and technology conference sponsored by top brands IBM, Microsoft, Integra Telecom, and others.

Registration is $20 and includes two drinks and dessert at the prestigious Multnomah Athletic Club, 1849 SW Salmon Street, Portland, Oregon 97205 on Thursday, May 7, 2010 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Event registrations are accepted online: http://ow.ly/1FZ1s.

"If you missed the birthday party, it's a great excuse to attend the awards party," says The First Carol. "It's a chance to meet me and you might get included in a future blog post."

Are you coming?

More information about the awards can be found on the SoMe website: http://www.someawards.com/


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