The Ericksons

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Amazon has made writing reviews easy

Last week I shared some of the reasons we should write reviews of the products, books, and services we purchase. This week we will look at one of the easiest and most popular places to do this—Amazon.com. The online retail giant has helped make reviews a routine part of shopping online. In fact, it has become such an integral part of the shopping experience that 72% of Americans will wait to make a purchase until after they have read the reviews.[1] Thankfully, Amazon has made writing reviews easy.The first way that Amazon has made writing reviews easyWhen you finish reading Read more…


book review

What if you could create a pronunciation guide to make speech more universal? What if a clock could teach us various sounds in our language rather than simply, “cuckoo-cuckoo?” Or, perhaps the United States should have its own unique language to really liberate itself from England. What about the effect of altering the appearance—or texture of the written word on paper? These are the kinds of questions that linguists were debating in the early 1800s, and they are some of the questions Tim Cassedy looks at in Figures of Speech: Six Histories of Language and Identity in the Age of Read more…


writing a review

When you buy something on Amazon (or any other online retailer), do you skip reading the reviews, or do you use them to help you decide whether you should hit the “buy” button? Do you make a habit of writing a review for books, products, and services you buy?Over 95% of us check the reviews before buying. In fact, if a product or business has at least 5 positive reviews, a customer is 4 times as likely to purchase than if there are fewer. [1] Yet, 31.5% of consumers say they never get around to writing a review.[2]  Reviews are Read more…


book review

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is the story of Masha. Masha is grieving in the way a young woman should never have to grieve, and her friends and family are grieving with her and for her. Then one night, she has an epiphany. She wants to live—not just to breathe and exist, but to really be alive! But, how do you do that with a broken heart? She will need the help of 2 very special women to step out of the cocoon in which she has been encased for so long.Ruth Hogan has created a masterpiece.My favorite thing Read more…


book review

I loved Teresa Driscoll’s novel, I Am Watching You, so I jumped at the chance to read her latest psychological suspense novel, The Promise.Would you keep the promise you regret making?The Promise hooked me as I learned about 3 girls as close as sisters, thanks to attending boarding school together. Now that they are adults, a promise they made in the past has inexplicably kept them bound, and at the same time, very much at odds with one another. With a wrecking crew scheduled to demolish the school they attended, they must decide what to do to keep a long-buried secret.The Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. This month I will be discussing carving a duck decoy, as I answer the Insecure Writer’s Support group question for February 6th…Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?When I was younger I easily could have answered this question. I was actually a talented artist. I especially loved watercolor painting and drawing portraits. It’s been years since I’ve done either (although, I was thinking Read more…


book review

Imagine growing up, having never met someone of the opposite sex—in fact, never even knowing a gender besides your own exists. Would you have more focus? Could you achieve levels of success, unattainable when the distraction of attraction is there? That’s what The Parenthood is betting on in Josh Malerman’s latest novel, Inspection.Inspection is a dystopian novel reminiscent of Lois Lowry’s The Giver and Hugh Howey’s Wool. Like all good dystopian novels, Inspection was very thought-provoking. As a parent of teenage girls, I’ve spent a lot of time questioning how much I should shield my daughters from certain things (boys Read more…


social media and internet use

Social media and internet use have become as much a part of our life as cooking, watching television, going to work, and participating in your favorite hobby. In fact, they often augment and even replace these things—and more. While social media and the internet arguably can enhance your life, there are also ways in which they impact your life negatively.For many people, social interaction can be difficult. Social media and the internet use take some of the discomfort out of this by allowing users to have a certain level of anonymity. It helps people feel safer, less likely to incur Read more…


book review

The first thing I enjoyed about The White City by Grace Hitchcock was the care the author took in creating the atmosphere of the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The heroine of the story, Winnifred Wylde, loves to read, so each chapter of The White City begins with a quote from popular books from that time period. The author often used Charles Dickens and Jane Austin quotes to set the scene for the reader. The terminology of that historical time and place such as reticule and grip car, and details like Winnifred inserting her hat pin add the realism. Scenes such Read more…


take control of your inbox

What makes email such an asset is how cheap and fast it makes sending a message, and even longer attachments. It doesn’t matter when you send the email, or where the recipient is, in relationship to you. Your message will arrive in the recipient’s inbox and they can then respond when they are available. Unfortunately, these same qualities also make email a burden on its users. Because of how easy it is to dash off a letter, people and companies send email every day that no one wants. It clogs up their inboxes, tempts them to spend money, and wastes Read more…

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