Don’t say I didn’t warn you, because I did … twice

Sometimes people don’t hear what you’re saying because it’s too difficult to understand. I’m going to say it more simply this time. If you don’t listen now, there is nothing else I can do to save you.

A few months ago, I wrote an article just for people who create content — about the impending danger of copyright bots. That was my first attempt. The article was read thousands of times. But you know who didn’t read it? My intended audience — content creators.

I was trying to warn them that they are breaking the law. I was trying to…


Avoid this $1200 mistake I made

You know how Medium says they won’t curate your stories if you don’t attribute all your images? Be thankful. They’re saving you from yourself … and from the trolls and copyright bots too!

This is not science fiction. They’re real. Read on to learn how not to make the one mistake that could’ve cost me my reputation and my freelancing career.

An Exciting New Project With No Rules

A couple of years ago, a company hired me to help them create a website. They wanted something that was more journalistic. We wouldn’t be modernizing a site, but working alongside a team, building one from scratch. …


Lament and then live to tell the story

In January of 2020, I looked forward to the future. I thought it was mine to decide. But 2020 broke all of its promises and it broke us too. No matter who we are or how it affected us, we need to mourn the collective trauma. I’m putting together a plan.

On 1/1/2020 my daughter and I drank celery juice and ate healthy foods. We cleaned our closets, smiled at 2020 and stuffed 2019’s Christmas memories into boxes. We vacuumed up glitter, grateful for blessings. But, if I’m honest, I’ll admit we didn’t yet think of them as privilege.

My…


TRUE BELIEVERS

If you’re really a Christ-follower, they ended long before that

I saw it on a friend’s facebook post before I knew there were t-shirts, before I understood she was just repeating a slogan. I kept reading, looking at it, thinking surely I must be misunderstanding. I wasn’t.

My rights don’t end where your fears begin!

My Facebook friend was asserting that her right to be in public without a face covering was more important to her than the safety or the emotions of those around her.

She doesn’t care if you’re scared, because she’s an American.

But she also calls herself a Christian. …


How do Christians heal a divided kingdom? There’s a very simple (yet profound) answer

I read a paragraph this morning that I cannot get out of my mind. It said that a faithful follower of Christ will resist — with all his or her might — building a second kingdom. Second kingdoms feed deceitfulness in our own human hearts. They foster pride, lust and worldly desires.

The author wasn’t talking about America. She isn’t even from the U.S. But I couldn’t help making the connection.

This year, evangelical Christianity was divided over a second kingdom – Christian nationalism. Many Christians were taught to sing about Christian unity in church as children. “They will know…


On Coronavirus taste buds, toes, and how to figure out when it’s over

Estimates vary, but it’s believed that between 15 and 20 percent of Americans have already had COVID-19. Yet, despite a mountain of written information on the internet, most people don’t know what to expect or how to figure out when it’s over.

There’s a group of us who can help (kind of). We’re not medical professionals; we’re survivors. Call us, if you will, the COVID Club. We’ve had it. We share our stories with each other like war veterans. We are the ones our friends call when they’re struggling to figure out what to do.

Apart from one quick run…


…and then use them to make money

No one loves a grammarian. Trust me. When someone asks for help … that’s one thing (and even that can destroy a friendship). But when someone is mid-sentence, that’s another. Let’s just say I’ve learned to hold my tongue.

My children I can correct. My co-workers? Forget it.

So, instead, when a grammar gaffe really bugs me, I write it down. I collect mistakes.

The same is true when I’m reading articles on Medium. I don’t know why I still read people’s writing advice when they say right up front that they’ve only been writing for a year. (No one…


10 skill stretches for writers who want to work at getting better

I remember my first writing class in college vividly. I’d been writing for fun (and for school) for years, but this was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. I got near-perfect grades on every assignment … until the last one. The big F on my final assignment taught me a huge lesson:

You don’t become a better writer by writing about whatever you want. You have to stretch yourself for that.

A terrified 18 year old on my first day of class, I had no idea what to expect. Instead of seating us in rows, we sat in a circle…


Learn with video when you’re too tired for books

I studied Russian for three hours a day, three days a week in Moscow. But that was many more than three years ago. I spoke Russian every day (except Fridays, when we watched movies in English, drank Coke and ate Пицца Хат). My teacher was old-school strict but skilled, and, learning Russian from her, I reached proficiency in six months.

Then I came home and forgot most of it. Years later, I determined to advance, and I’m getting there. When I can’t look at another book, sometimes Russian YouTubers keep me moving ahead.

I’ll share with you some of my…


I wrote a story that traveled around the world … to all the wrong people

A few weeks ago, I wrote a story I thought would help content creators, like myself. I’d made a mistake thinking I had the right to use an image I did not have the right to. I wrote about my journey — and ultimate defeat — by a “copyright bot.”

I prefer stories with a happy ending, but such was my luck.

Though the post had the words “bot” and “algorithm” in it, my story was not at all intended for an audience of technology professionals. …

J F Turner

I write, edit, design curriculum, manage web content, and study/teach language for fun. jfturnerwrites@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/jfturner.writes

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