Social media doesn’t have to be a time waster. You don’t have to sacrifice all human contact to enjoy it. As with other forms of media, I believe social media is too often vilified. You decide what to share, when to share, how to share or whether to share at all. I believe it can be a useful tool — and not just for selling your home-based business product, arguing over religion and politics, sharing the latest meme or cat video or airing your dirty laundry. It actually has re-connected me with old friends, has kept me connected with family and helped inspire me. Yes, inspire.

I’ve been going through a bout of writer’s block and loss of confidence in my abilities. Working from home is great, but sometimes you find yourself too isolated and lacking the creative spark that can come from interaction with colleagues. With that in mind, I recently took to social media to spark my creativity. With the help of a few friends and family members, we started writing a story in which each person writes a line or two. Here is an excerpt:

The confused woman awoke on the deserted beach. Waves lapped angrily at her bare feet. She wondered what she’d done to anger them last night. The beach cats circled licking their wiry whiskers in anxious anticipation of her sweaty skin meeting their rough tongues. How did she get here? She felt around for her purse. It was gone. One of the stray cats scratched at her swollen hand.

She saw something in the sand off in the distance. As she stood up, she realized her legs were gone and were replaced with a beautiful, sparkling mermaid’s tail.

“I better swim in the water so these damn cats don’t ruin my leer-tail,” she thought to herself. The water felt so refreshing on her dry scales.

As she moved toward the water, she scraped her tail on a piece of sea glass. Her blood flowed green as it swirled around her. With the fresh smell of blood in the water the sharks started to circle.

"Mermaid," by John William Waterhouse

“Mermaid,” by John William Waterhouse

“How did I end up here?” she wondered, instead of figuring out an escape route.

Just then, a flash of light from the sky appeared.  She blinked. Her breath left her. As she struggled in the surf, she realized that the light was flashing from a shimmering sword thrust toward her by an iridescent hand. As it pierced her flesh, she fell to the sand.

I’d like to thank my brother-in-law Jason, my cousin Andrea and my good friends Kristine and Allison for contributing. Allison has a great blog where you can follow her running, food and fitness journey.