Mission Statement

My partner and I were discussing our mission statement. What it is that we want to achieve with this business and who it is that we want to serve?

We really want to make it easier for regular people like us and pastors of small churches and other people with a message, but not a big budget or a big staff, to get whatever their message is OUT into the world.

Designing Sites For The Visually Impaired

I am legally blind. Above is a graphic of what the world looks like to most people and what it looks like to me. According to the National Federation of the Blind, as of 2015, there are 7,297,100 or (2.3%) visually disabled people, aged 16-75+, in the United States.

As you build your web presence, is your design friendly to the visually impaired who manage using glasses on top of glasses, as I usually do, or who benefit from screen readers?

Here are some tips:

  1. Make sure your font is friendly. There are beautiful blogs that I don’t even try to read because the font is dainty, feminine, swirly, or in poor contrast to the background.
  2. Contrast is key. White on black, black on white. Make it clear and obvious. The light gray font that is so popular right now might look lovely on a page but it is difficult to read even for sighted folks I know.
  3. White space is good. Screen readers like it and so do folks who are still trying to manage on their own. Most designers will tell you that white space on a web page is your friend simply because it makes what is on the page stand out.
  4. Alt tags on images. If you don’t want to take the time to do it to benefit your visually impaired readers, here’s a pro tip: SEO LOVES ALT TAGS! Okay, I might have yelled a little there. Sorry.
  5. Hashtags. A screen reader, or even someone with some sight, does much better with #DesignForEasyReading than #designforeasyreading. Go ahead and cap the first letter of each word!

Just remember that you can design, or have designed for you, a beautiful and functional site that is still friendly to the visually impaired. Sometimes simple is best.

Let’s Meet New Friends 2

crayon people holding hands in a circle "Let's Meet New Friends"

I am happy and excited to introduce Susan Shipe, of Hope Heart Home. Susan is wife, mom, grandma (make that Mimzy), and, most importantly, ardent Jesus follower. She loves to encourage other women in their walks with God and is a prolific book author, with more than a dozen books available on Amazon (aff link). I’ve lost track, but I have approximately 12 of her books — she’s that good!

It is her life’s attitude that #HOPECHANGESEVERYTHING.

She’s worth the visit!

Remarkable Reads Roundup 1

remarkable roundup, crayon drawing people next to one anotherToday, I am leaving you with my first remarkable reads roundup — some of my favorite content. I have focused on blogs this week. Next week I’ll focus on Facebook pages and groups! This is a feature about which I am really excited because I am blessed to know so many incredibly talented content creators including authors, coaches, artists, pastors and more. I hope you’ll read and enjoy!

Anita Ojeda gives a great review of Bob Goff’s Everybody Always in her post “Everybody Needs To Read Everybody Always.” Anita’s a fantastic book reviewer in that she makes her review personal. Here are a couple of sentences that cause me to really love and trust her honest reviews: “Another truth punched me in the solar plexus of my brain (sometimes, we need that kind of a jolt),” and “I confess that I struggle with closet legalism.” Most bloggers who do book reviews are not nearly so honest. Read Anita’s review and then go buy the book. I am! http://anitaojeda.com/2018/05/15/everybody-needs-to-read-everybody-always/

Joe Ketchen is my husband. Just telling you that right off the bat. He started blogging in March about faith matters. While I was on the phone talking with my little sister, hearing that she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, he started typing furiously. The product of his typing was “Life’s Uncertainties,” in which he discusses faith and reliance on the truth of God’s character in the storms of life. I’d encourage you to read this post and then to follow it up with his testimony. He’s my guy but I’d consider his testimony honest and brave even if I didn’t know him. More importantly, I’d want what he has – a relationship with Jesus.

Karen Sebastian is a widow who is the author of the Hopegrams blog. In her recent Five-Minute Friday post, she wrote on the word “secret,” which was the prompt. The idea is to write for five minutes on that topic. In “Secret,” Karen uses Psalm 32:7 as the basis for her post and goes from losing her husband – a moment with which so many of us are familiar – to joy. Karen has a special gift of encouraging others in hope. I hope “Secret,” will touch you as it did me. Set aside a few minutes and have your favorite beverage handy. I think you’ll want to spend some time on her blog.

Barbara Harper’s “Caregiver Resentment,” hit me in my gut. HARD. I lived it as I was my late husband’s sole caregiver during a time in which I was still raising school-age kids. I got a little bit lost in the resentment sometimes. Barbara does not let the very natural feeling of resentment overcome her. In “Caregiver Resentment,” she writes about caregiving from a Biblical perspective, using specific verses to back her thoughts, and recognizing that caregiving can be a sanctifying experience. At some point in life, many of us will find ourselves acting as caregiver to aging parents or ailing kids or a sick/dying spouse. I wish I could have read this about 15 years ago.

My friend, Teresa Bruce, is a widow and she is a sister of my heart. She writes on grief, with an emphasis on what to say and not say to the bereaved, on her blog “What To Say When Someone Dies.” She is a published writer with a gift for touching the heart. I’d love to call attention to her Easter post which is about gratitude, grief, ambivalence, and faith. When I read, “Grieving is a complicated business. For some, faith simplifies the process — but not always, ” I cried at the truth of her words. Grief touches us all. Teresa helps us to know how to help others in those times.

The Authors’ Alcove Forum Is Up and Running!

I am still doing some housekeeping in there but the forum is up and available to those who choose to use it. Please introduce yourselves in the “Welcome” forum and then post away in the forum that best suits you.

It is our hope to eventually build some real community among content creators with a robust exchange of ideas, opportunities for helping and being helped and making connections with like-minded individuals.