February 2, 2011

Serendipity and Social Networking

My son, Bryce, is profoundly hearing impaired. Recently, I was searching online for related information and stumbled upon Stephen Parrish's blog and Jan. 14th, 2011 post "The Sound of Running Water." It was a very interesting post on his sudden deafness (from a virus), which doctors have told him is temporary.

I then saw that Parrish is the author of The Tavernier's Stones. Being interested in all things book- and writer-related, I contacted him on Facebook and asked to be his FB friend. This morning, his acceptance greeted me, while the collosal winter storm "enemied" Chicago.

I clicked on Parrish's profile page on Facebook and found my way to his website. Listed there are many reviews of his novel and this description:

When the well preserved body of a seventeenth century cartographer suddenly floats to the surface of a bog in northern Germany, a 57 carat ruby clenched in his fist, the grisly discovery ignites a global race to find the Lost Tavernier Stones of popular European folklore.

I've been wanting to read something outside of the genres I typically favor...and I love maps and stones...so I'm going to put The Tavernier's Stones on my to-buy list and look forward to reading it. Here is a link to his book on Amazon.

But wait! That's not all!

I went back to Parrish's blog to see if there was a new post, and then noticed the bookcovers along the right margin. There, at the top, was 41 Things to Know About Autism (Good Things) by Chantal Sicile-Kira. Hmmm.... autism is a subject near and dear to my heart, as many of you know, so I traveled over to Amazon to look up Sicile-Kira's book, which just came out last year in March (one month after Lucky Press published There Are No Words by Mary Calhoun Brown, which features a young girl with autism who travels back in time to save her grandfather's friend).

So, as I now return to Facebook to check the status of a dear new friend who recently had oral surgery, I am struck by the serendipity already in place in this morning. To those who discount social networking as irrelevant and a waste of time (and who may not, I suppose, even be reading my blog), I want to tell them, "No, it isn't. Not for me."

Facebook has brought me in contact with Kim Austin, a wonderful photographer in Austrialia. (Feast your eyes on some beautiful seaside photos here.) It has connected me, better than my initial mailed letter ever could have, with Rachel Simon, a wonderful author I've appreciated for many years but now have gotten to know even better as I read her posts and blogs about the pre-release tour Grand Central Publishing launched her on for the May 2011 release of The Story of Beautiful Girl. I've learned so much from her, much of it through her FB page, which alerts me to her blog posts.

Thanks to social networking I've met so many wonderful artists and writers and readers and people with a connection to the subjects I'm interested in: books, writing, publishing, disabilities, dogs, painting, altered arts, museums, restaurants, photography, creativity, scrapbooking/journaling, and crafts. I've also been able to share information about my business, Lucky Press, and notify folks who are interested in my writing and artwork about the projects I'm working on, as they are discussed on my blog and in comments at Facebook.

There is so much to learn and do in this big, wonderful world and Facebook is just one more tool that connects me to everything I love in life. What's not to "like" about that?

Find me on Facebook.
Follow my creativity blog, Appalachian Morning, on Facebook.
Follow Lucky Press on Facebook (the publishing company I founded a decade ago)
Follow my husband, Mark Van Aken Williams, who is also a writer, on Facebook.

Janice Phelps Williams
Athens, Ohio


Jessica Bell said...

I agree, Janice. I would be lost without it! And I wouldn't have found an interest in Small Presses without it either. Will check out your links. Thanks!

Melissa Kline said...

I believe everything happens for a reason - even in the online social networking world. The connections we make can change our lives. I love connecting the dots and seeing what events / contacts led me to where I am now. The serendipity is pretty incredible!

February Grace said...

Janice! I had a comment all written and blogger seems to have lunched upon it. Curse you blogger!!! I know this one won't be as good but I'll do my best.

Suffice it to say- I have you to thank for my going to Facebook. If not for the serendipitous way you found yourself looking at my blog and then inviting me to FB I'd never have gone there! So thank you for that, and for all the wonderful connections I've been able to make there- all so appreciated and the one with you, absolutely treasured! <3 bru

Janice said...

Jessica, Melissa, and Bru...THANK YOU!

Stephen Parrish said...

Social networking is certainly not a waste of time. I've made friends with lots of people I'll probably never meet in person, including a couple of established writers without whose help I wouldn't have gotten published.

For some reason I've also made a number of friends in the autism community, including some very successful authors. If you want their names lemme know. Autism moms and dads are great people. In fact, heros. And they've written some gripping books.

And I got to meet you and Bru!

(By the way, I got my left ear back.)

janice phelps williams said...

Stephen, I would love to have the name of any autism folks, books, etc. that you might be able to send to me. Bryce also has a diagnosis on the autism-spectrum (PDD-NOS) and Lucky Press publishes 2 books with autism themes. If it is no trouble, whenever time permits, I'd love the names (email janice at luckypress dot-com).

WONDERFUL followup news on your hearing! We are all so glad to learn the positive outcome.


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