Saturday, December 7, 2013

Squidoo HQ

Squidoo HQ

Video Games Make Great Gifts: 6 Lenses You’ll Love

Posted: 07 Dec 2013 09:00 AM PST

Rocksmith - From Geek to Rock Legend

1. Rocksmith – From Geek to Rock Legend

From a young age, I’ve been fascinated by the world of technology, and specially with video games. We have come a long way from those Commodores and Ataris; from the days of Nintendo 64 and Sega MegaDrive to the bright new world of next- gen consoles….

Disney Infinity Game

2. Disney Infinity Game

Disney Infinity Game for Xbox 360 is one of the hottest new toys to buy for Christmas. I am all for families playing together and this game will keep everyone busy and having a great time. The game is easy to learn for younger children but complex enough t…

Rocksmith 2014 Edition

3. Rocksmith 2014 Edition

Musical Gifts Rock While I have this listed as a gift for music lovers and musicians, this is really a gift for the whole family. Let’s face it – video games are a part of our culture now – why not have one that is fun and can actually teach us a skil…

Batman Arkham Origins Review

4. Batman Arkham Origins Review

Can The Best Get Better? Anyone who has read my previous review of Batman Arkham City will know that it is my favourite game of all time. It has the best combination of story, combat, sneakiness and all round gameplay of any game I have known. Is it possib…

Minecraft for Xbox 360 is Pixelated Fun

5. Minecraft for Xbox 360 is Pixelated Fun

My 9- year- old daughter is a gamer, and her favorite game is Minecraft. Not only does she play Minecraft on her iPod, but she also loves to create pixelated magic on our Xbox 360 too. Enjoy the Best Features of Minecraft on the Big Screen While there isn&…

Xbox One - The Ultimate Christmas Gift

6. Xbox One – The Ultimate Christmas Gift

If you’re at all like me, you’ve been anticipating the Xbox One for at least a couple of years, or since it was still rumored to be named the Xbox 720. The sleek new dashboard interface, voice and motion controls along with new game titles make M…

Lens of the Day: DIY Glitter Candle Holder Winter Craft

Posted: 07 Dec 2013 05:19 AM PST

Quest of the Day: 53 Hot Nintendo 3DS Games To Review

Posted: 07 Dec 2013 05:08 AM PST

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 1.37.54 PMAre you a fan of Nintendo 3DS Games? We’re looking for you to review Mario, Pokemon, Pac-Man and more. Get your kids involved too, I’m sure they’d be happy to share which games are their favorites.

Why “Write What You Know” is Still The Best Advice

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 02:52 PM PST

It’s true – this advice is up there with “Content is king” for me in terms of both importance and truth.

It’s important to understand what makes something good advice, and there’s a few compelling reasons that “write what you know” is valuable to writers of all experience levels.

Why does this make so much sense? There are many reasons, too many to list here, but I wanted to share two of the ones I found the most interesting and accessible.







1. Writing what you know reduces friction.

Sylvia Plath once wrote in her journal that "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." Plath’s work makes a compelling case for “write what you know” as sound advice, after all, one of the things that makes her writing so compelling is that her experience is at the core of so much of her work.

For a long time, I thought that she was right about self doubt being public enemy number one when it came to creativity, but lately I’ve begun to believe that the real culprit is actually friction.

It’s well documented that human beings, like water, take the path of least resistance. This preference for the simplest solution, the easily accessible over the more challenging is a deep seated part of our information seeking strategies.

Writing outside of our sphere of personal experience is certainly possible, but it introduces new sources of friction – like the need to research, the uncertainty of self doubt and the need to verify facts and statements, just to name a few. Writing what you know requires less effort to connect the dots between the information you have and writing as a tool for sharing that information.  Put simply, writing what you know is just easier.

2. Writing what you know reveals your personality

When we write what we know, we to reveal our thoughts, ambitions, ideas and personality through our writing in a way that’s unique to the subjects we understand through first hand experience. It’s also much easier to add the small touches that make a piece of writing engaging, like backstory, insight into the author’s thoughts and the lessons they’ve learned through living their subjects.

There is a time and a place for sterile, fact-driven content – encyclopedias, technical manuals and the like. Creative writing is best when it’s humanistic, compelling and relatable, and what is a lens if not a place to write creatively?

I think it’s very comforting and encouraging to know that the easiest way of writing is also the best way.

What do you think? Why does writing what you know matter?
Photo Credit: Rilind Hoxha via Compfight cc



Join In! We’ve Got Lots Of Places To Participate On Squidoo

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 11:51 AM PST

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 2.04.41 PMOne of the most asked questions I get from lensmasters is “How do I get more involved on Squidoo?” That is an awesome question.

We’ve got lots of places on Squidoo that you can connect with other lensmasters, show off your work and get ideas for new lenses.

Our community is huge and we’ve got writers who specialize in many different genres. Books, recipes, travel, adventure, history, art, home decor, crafting, product reviews and more.

So here is a list of places that you can participate on Squidoo and meet new people.

Squidoo Clubs

We’ve got 8 Clubs on Squidoo: a Book Club, Food & Cooking Club, Gardening Club, Craft Club, Pop Culture Club, Vegetarian Club, the Adventure Club and the 2014 Halloween Club.

We offer special quests for each club throughout the year. If you’d like to join a Squidoo Club go to this lens: All About Squidoo Clubs and follow the instructions on joining. Join 1, 2, 3 or all 8 Clubs!

Squidoo Magazines

We’ve got 5 Squidoo Magazines: GoodVegHappy HalloweenCelebrateSo Crafty and Cozy. It’s super easy to participate. Just add your lens to the topic that corresponds with the Magazine. For example: Add your lens to Food & Cooking > Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes for GoodVeg or Arts & Design > Crafting for SoCrafty. The editor (Stephanie) of Squidoo Magazines actively seeks out new lenses to feature on the magazine home pages and the corresponding Facebook pages. Read more about our magazines right here.

What’s Cooking At Squidoo

In celebration of our new recipe format and module we’ve created a Facebook Page called What’s Cooking At Squidoo so that we can show off all of your delicious recipes. So be sure to “Like” us right here:

Here is the link to create your own Recipe lens:

The Squidoo Storytellers Daily Challenge

We love personal unique lenses on Squidoo that tell a story and we’ve got a dedicated group of lensmasters who love making product reviews and recipe lenses. So we created  The Squidoo Storytellers Daily Challenge on Facebook. Join us for one new lens idea every day. Participate in the challenges that interest you and share the lenses you create. This is a fun group that starts some super conversations. Join us at:

The SquidooHQ Forum

Tom (our Content Quality Editor) runs the HQ forum. There’s lots of opportunity to share, ask questions and participate in great conversations. So stop on by the Forum: and say “Hi”. 


RocketSquids is a lensmaking university for promising new lensmasters. It’s a private learning environment run by the official Squidoo team, drawing on our years of observing firsthand what makes new lensmasters great and how we can help. RocketSquids is designed to help you master the basics on Squidoo — by participating in daily lensmaking challenges (you can do as many or as few as you like), reading lessons, getting feedback from our Greeters and meeting other new aspiring writers on Squidoo. Join RocketSquids right here if you have under 25 lenses:

So there you have it! 6 places to start your Squidoo adventures! We can’t wait to meet you.

Image Credit

Fabulous New Lenses for the Week of December 2nd

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 10:57 AM PST

Watermelon Jam Recipe

1. Watermelon Jam Recipe

This summer at The Micro Farm Project, I planted several types of melons in the garden, each with a deliciously elegant name: Charentais, Crimson Sweet, and Tuscany. But the very best harvest came from a watermelon vine that came up unexpectedly, right in…

How To Make Traditional Mince Pies

2. How To Make Traditional Mince Pies

When First Advent arrives, it signifies the time to bake my first batch of mince pies. Families have been making and eating them in the UK at this festive season for many years. Many a Father Christmas has found a mince pie with a glass of sherry at the bo…

Play Cranium The Board Game For All The Family & All Your Brain

3. Play Cranium The Board Game For All The Family & All Your Brain

I love Cranium because it is such a varied game which means that everyone in the family can show off there skill and knowledge. Its a fairly fast paced game which means that there is something always happening so no body ever gets bored and the game is des…

The fabulous fun filled Awesome Origami set

4. The fabulous fun filled Awesome Origami set

We wanted to get something that would be stimulating for my nine year old grandson, and it turned out that he was introduced, by a friend, to the Japanese art of origami, and really liked it, so I bought the Awesome Origami set from Amazon for under $30, a…

10 Things to Carry in Your Car

5. 10 Things to Carry in Your Car

When I was a younger, I was a boyscout. After that I spent 20 years in the Navy. In both of these endeavors, one thing was drilled into my head, again and again: Be Prepared. Preparation beats perspiration every time. These ten things you NEED to carry in…

Dramatically Diverse Art Media

6. Dramatically Diverse Art Media

The range of astonishing art forms that some imaginative people manage to create are as diverse as can possibly be imagined, yet all stunning in their execution and incredible impact. I never fail to be completely mesmerised by the diversity of talent and…

A quick & easy meat-free curry

7. A quick & easy meat-free curry

Quick, easy, meat free curry with chickpeas, tomato and apple I enjoy making a beautiful curry from scratch – grinding spices, preparing ingredients and long, leisurely cooking. However, I rarely have the time. More often than not, I look despairingly into…

Pocket Bidet  Keeps You Fresh On-the-Go

8. Pocket Bidet Keeps You Fresh On-the-Go

For anyone who uses special care with personal hygiene down- under, this pocket bidet comes to the rescue. Toilet paper often just doesn’t do the job even though it’s the western standard to obtain cleanliness after using the bathroom. Most of th…

The Healthy Salt Pipe Inhaler

9. The Healthy Salt Pipe Inhaler

When I first heard of a salt pipe for lung problems, I was not quite sure what it is. I’ve been suffering from dry cough and bronchitis that would just linger long after it should have gone and I tried everything for relief: cough drops, antibiotics,…

Brazuca - Official Match Ball FIFA 2014

10. Brazuca – Official Match Ball FIFA 2014

FIFA 2014 is almost upon us with the 32 national teams which will compete in the tournament now decided. December 6, 2013 will see the group draws determined and many fans will be either hugely excited or dreadfully disappointed when their group is known….

Quick and Easy Moist  Apple Cake

11. Quick and Easy Moist Apple Cake

I was looking for a quick and easy cake recipe. Actually I have already made two of these delicious apple cakes, and I’m just about to make the third: it is so easy and quick, and afterwards- so tasty that I can’t get tired of it. I made one for…

Celebration Coconut Macaroons

12. Celebration Coconut Macaroons

I am so excited to be going home for the holidays this year. For me, it means hopping on a plane from Tokyo to Hawaii, where my family lives so it’s extra special for me. I just got a call from my sister a couple of days ago saying that she had arrang…

Italian Ribbon Cookies - AKA Neapolitan Slices, Rainbow Cookies, Venetians, Venetian Ribbon Cookies, 7-Layer Cookies

13. Italian Ribbon Cookies – AKA Neapolitan Slices, Rainbow Cookies, Venetians, Venetian Ribbon Cookies, 7-Layer Cookies

These delectable Italian Ribbon Cookies also go by many other names, including Rainbow Cookies, Italian Rainbow Cookies, Seven- Layer or 7- Layer Cookies, Neapolitan Slices, Venetian Ribbon Cookies, and Venetians. Whatever you call them, they’re class…

The Inspirational  Movie Invictus

14. The Inspirational Movie Invictus

It has finally happened, and the man who stands tall among the greatest statesmen of the past century has died, but Nelson Mandela was so much more than that. The whole of South Africa – black and white alike – called him Dada (father), and that is what he…

Nelson Mandela's Own Words

15. Nelson Mandela’s Own Words

If there is one book (after your religious tomes) to share with your kids, it is this one. Share your thoughts with them on how this man withstood dehumanizing treatment and emerged triumphant. Your kids will learn empathy from your sharing of your compass…

Nifty Gifty Tools: Lenses From Our Holiday Gift Monster Quest

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 09:08 AM PST

Best 12 Volt Cordless Drill/Screwdriver For the Home

1. Best 12 Volt Cordless Drill/Screwdriver For the Home

So in BC where I live, we have a sort of handyman expert named Shell Busey. He use to just be on radio but he has now branched out to the web (at last! ). When we bought our first home last year I was happy to sign up for his newsletter and start firing qu…

My Nifty Xacto Knife Set Works in my Art Studio

2. My Nifty Xacto Knife Set Works in my Art Studio

Give me a tool and I’ll do something with it! First of all I’m ripe and ready for sets of useful tools – screwdrivers, of course, and also sewing machine feet like my Bernina Walking Foot, hammer- style punches, ceramic tools, and scads of Xacto…

Martha Stewart Crafts Portable Work Station Scrapbooking Kit

3. Martha Stewart Crafts Portable Work Station Scrapbooking Kit

I love to scrap book and I love making them as gifts for people so when I found the Martha Stewart Craft tools I decided to get it so that I could organize my work area easily. This kit comes with everything you will need to create hundreds of pages. It…

Cutting Corners and a Whole Lot More

4. Cutting Corners and a Whole Lot More

The Olfa Rotary Cutter is a dream for anyone who loves to work with fabrics. In my past, I have been a dressmaker/designer for over 30 years and I can honestly say that when this product came on the market, I was quick to grab them up. I started with two d…

iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum

5. iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum

An Automatic Vacuum Cleaner – That Cleans For You My grandmother is getting older but she still wants to be independent and remain living in her own apartment. However with her advanced age there are some things that she just can’t do for herself anym…

Fine Tune Frame Miters With a Logan F200-2 Precision Sander Elite

6. Fine Tune Frame Miters With a Logan F200-2 Precision Sander Elite

I’ve made picture frames for my artwork and for others for decades. Now I’ve found the perfect finishing sander to ensure a tight corner fit for mitered picture frame moulding. Even when I pay for mitered wood and metal pieces sometimes they don&…

Thrill an Artist With the Gift of a Logan Platinum Edge Mat Cutter

7. Thrill an Artist With the Gift of a Logan Platinum Edge Mat Cutter

I’m a girl, and this is my toy! With a solo show to prepare for I was dazzled by the cost of matting and framing my mixed- media drawings. Getting them done commercially would take all my projected sales funds, so it would come out as a wash. Earnings…

AAA 42 Piece Emergency Road Assistance Kit

8. AAA 42 Piece Emergency Road Assistance Kit

The worst part about traveling is the uncertainty. Anything can happen when you’re on the road. Just yesterday my cousin was on his way up to West Virgina, and halfway there, his car started acting up. I don’t know about you, but that’s just…

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