Category Archives: Blogging and Blog Events

Why ‘Disclaimer’ Didn’t Resonate With Me

disclaimer

When a mysterious novel appears at Catherine Ravenscroft’s bedside, she is curious. She has no idea who might have sent her The Perfect Stranger—or how it ended up on her nightstand. At first, she is intrigued by the suspenseful story that unfolds.

And then she realizes.

This isn’t fiction.

The Perfect Stranger re-creates in vivid, unmistakable detail the day Catherine became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew—and that person is dead.

Now that the past Catherine so desperately wants to forget is catching up with her, her world is falling apart. Plunged into a living nightmare, she knows that her only hope is to confront what really happened on that terrible day … even if the shocking truth may destroy her.

So I had a little dilemma on my hands when it came to this book. You see, by the time I got to page 50 of Renée Knight’s Disclaimer, I knew it was a book that, under normal circumstances, I’d put down and not finish.

By page 100, I was more than sure of it.

My dilemma? I was reading Disclaimer for a TLC Book Tour. If I DNF’d it, I wouldn’t be able to review it.

So I thought about it, and decided I’d speed-skim through the rest of the pages. I figured, that would be like finishing the book, and then maybe I could review it. But after I did that, I realized that speed-skimming through it wasn’t the same as properly reading it to the end. I couldn’t write a review based on reading the first 100 pages and then skimming my way through the rest of the book.

And I still had to write a post about it.

So I’ve decided to write about why those first 100 pages just didn’t resonate with me.

I’m in the minority in my feelings about this book, by the way. Most of the reviews on Goodreads are rave ones. I know this, because I went and read several of them, to try and see what I was missing, what others were getting that I just couldn’t see.

But even after reading the reviews, I knew there were a few things I just couldn’t get past. The following are my own personal foibles as a reader—given the number of outstanding reviews for Disclaimer, it’s obvious they’re very personal to me, and will likely not affect how other readers will feel about the book.

Being kept in the dark for so long. Normally I don’t mind being kept in the dark as a reader. I mean, without that, there wouldn’t be any suspense, right? And generally the main characters (well, other than the villains) usually don’t know what’s going on either. We’re reading the story from their perspective; what they don’t know, we don’t know.

I’m good with that.

But the thing is, in Disclaimer we get to be intimate with Catherine’s feelings. We know she’s in turmoil, we know she’s in pain, we know she’s scared. We know how she felt reading the book, how she felt when she first realized it was a book about her. We’re in the bathroom with her as she sits on the toilet crying. We’re in bed with her as the anxiety and dread and fear eat away at her.

Through the first hundred pages or so, we are privy to all her feelings about this monstrous thing that’s brutally ripping her life apart , but despite knowing all this, we aren’t privy at all to what this thing is. Even though Catherine herself knows. Catherine, whose point of view we have been reading in every other chapter.

And I’m afraid for me, being kept in the dark in this kind of way didn’t build up the suspense. It actually kept me out of the story. It was like an authorial intrusion; I kept seeing the author’s hand at play. And it went on for too long, for no good reason other than it was a way to build up the suspense.

Unlikable characters. I didn’t find any of the characters in this book particularly likable, although in the end one might feel more sympathy for one of the characters. I don’t particularly like reading novels with unlikable characters, but if the story is good I will keep on reading. Disclaimer has a great story—I mean, can you imagine reading a book and finding yourself as one of the main characters?—but in the end (or rather, after 100 pages) the unlikable characters coupled with being kept in the dark for so long just didn’t work for me.

The writing style. I didn’t like the writing style employed in Catherine’s chapters. It was too choppy, too disjointed. I wanted more transitions in time and space than were offered.

Since I did skim read to the end, I know how the plot ends, so I’ll end with my thoughts on the plot. I don’t think the actual event as depicted in The Perfect Stranger was worth all the build-up. There is a twist at the end, though. The effects of the revealing of this twist seemed to me (in my speed skimming, that is) to happen too quickly, to produce too fast of a turnaround in one character in particular. No spoilers, but if you’ve read the book you’ll know who I mean.

So there you have it. These are the reasons why Disclaimer didn’t resonate with me. Personally, I think if you like the synopsis and don’t share any of the reading dislikes I’ve listed, you’ll probably enjoy Disclaimer. After all, lots of people—most people—who have read it have loved it.

The Nonfiction Reading List

I seem to have gotten out of the habit of reading nonfiction lately, and I’m trying to change that. Here are the nonfiction reads I currently have waiting for me:

betterthanbefore.jpg

Better Than Before, by Gretchen Rubin (via Netgalley). I don’t actually remember requesting this from Netgalley, but I must have, because on a whim I logged in after what I thought had been a long time away, and there it was. I’m all for changing my habits, so this is a good book for me. I’m about a quarter of the way through it so far.

happier

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works, by Dan Harris (via Scribd). I decided I wanted to read this when I came across an article by Dan Harris somewhere—and it was funny and interesting and helpful. I put myself on the long hold list for it at the library, but I’m pleased to say that Scribd has it available in both print and audiobook formats.

feeding a yen

Feeding a Yen by Calvin Trillin (via my library). I came across this book on a number of blogs I follow (unfortunately, I forgot to make a note of which ones when I put the hold on this book) and it looked really interesting. The subtitle is “Savoring Local Specialties, from Kansas City to Cuzco”.

alphabetical

Alphabetical: How Every Letter Tells a Story by Michael Rosen (via my library). I came across this title on some of the blogs I follow, too, but again I forgot to make a note of which ones. (I think this must have been back before I was using Trello to keep track of stuff like this. Or it was on a night when I was feeling lazy …). This looks like an interesting read, but its a big book (over 400 pages, which is big for nonfiction, I think) so I might end up buying my own copy, because I’m not sure I’ll have the time to read it all before it has to go back to the library.

art before breakfast

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory (via my library). I bet no-one’s surprised this is on my reading list. Plus I’ve enjoyed each of Danny Gregory’s other books. So I’m really looking forward to diving into that one.

I actually have more nonfiction books hanging around waiting for me, but this is already a pretty long post! And these are also the five that are at the top of my nonfiction to-read list right now—I’m definitely more likely to finish these ones than the other titles on my list.

Have you read any nonfiction lately? Have a nonfiction title to recommend?

Happy Reading: Spring Readathon 2015

I’m SO excited about the Readathon! This is the first year I’ll be participating as a reader and as a cheerleader (in previous years I was only able to cheer), so this is my first official Dewey’s Readathon post.

A huge thank you to Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness for posting about using Storify to document Readathon progress. Since I won’t actually be at home for part of the day, I’ll be using Twitter and Instagram to post updates, and I’ll be able to put these updates into my Storify throughout the day. I’ve embedded my Readathon Storify below—if there are any technical glitches with the embedding, it can also be accessed here.

Unfortunately, it looks like I can’t edit my Storify from my phone or my tablet, so there will be about a six hour stretch of time during which I won’t be able to update and republish my Storify. But I’ll continue posting updates on Twitter and Instagram, so you can catch me there!

And for those of you participating in the Readathon, happy reading!

Putting together my readathon book list

lg-new-readathonbutton-border

Dewey’s Readathon is happening this coming Saturday, April 25, and I’m so excited because for the first time ever, I’ll be participating not just as a cheerleader but also as a reader!

In previous years, I could only participate by cheering because Dylan’s Saturday activities meant we spent the day going from here to there all around the city. This year, however, his activities are all concentrated in the one place, which means I’ll be able to get a lot of reading done while I’m waiting for him.

I won’t be able to read for the full 24 hours. But this is the first year I’ll have a good chunk of time to devote to reading, so I figured I might as well go for it. I do expect things to come up—my mom, for instance, will either still be in the hospital on Saturday or she’ll be in rehab, and I’ll probably be visiting her at some point during the day.

I hadn’t even thought about putting together a list of books for the readathon, but I’m seeing people blogging and tweeting about this, and I realized what a great idea it was.

I have far too many choices right now, so I have to narrow them down a bit. I was thinking it might be a good idea to develop my list like this:

  • reading a set number of pages from each of my readalong books. Which would be Cloud Atlas, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Dune.
  • short stories (Becca of I’m Lost in Books is going to be reading only short stories for the readathon, which sounds like such fun)
  • comics. Mainly from Marvel Unlimited, following a list of recommendations Memory sent me.
  • one middle grade novel
  • one fantasy novel
  • one mystery novel
  • one non-fiction book

That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? I figure I’ll put together a nice biggish list but the plan won’t be to read all of them, but just to have a nice selection so I won’t have trouble going from one book to another.

As for my readathon upates, Kim posted about the basics of using Storify to document your readathon which I want to try. Here’s her Fall 2014 Readathon post, in which she’s used Storify to post her updates.

Are you participating in the Readathon this year? Have you participated in previous years? Have any tips for me?

Treasure Trove of Ideas #Bloggiesta Winners!

I posted back in my Tuesday Snapshot post that I really really hoped I wouldn’t get the stomach bug that hit the book-reading demon and my son Dylan this past weekend. Maybe that was like an invite for the bug to strike?

Because yes, I did end up with it, but in a weird sort of form. Maybe those probiotics do work, after all! What I ended up with was more “flu” and less “stomach”, which basically meant I spent the last twenty-four hours in bed, drifting in and out of sleep, my body aching, while listening to different Agatha Christie titles from my stack of comfort listens.

A bit of tummy pain that came and went, but despite some queasiness, there was NO throwing up! Yay for that. This morning my stomach feels a bit tender, but the fatigue is gone, as is the queasiness. I’m on the mend!

So this #Bloggiesta winners post is late by one day (plus I missed a day of posting). Thank you to everyone who participated in the How to create a treasure trove of blog post ideas Bloggiesta challenge!

And now for the winners!

TheRoadisLifeJudyClementWall.jpg

The prize of the 5X7 Art Card of their choice from Judy Clement Wall’s Etsy shop goes to:

Care

Care posted about generating blog post ideas here.

The two prize packages of five books/reading related postcards from my postcard collection go to:

Kendra

Kendra posted about generating blog post ideas here.

Ang

Ang posted about generating blog post ideas.

I’ll be contacting the winners via email. Thanks again to everyone who participated!

On why this is not my Bloggiesta wrap-up post

What’s that quote again? “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” That was me yesterday.

Being the master procrastinator that I am, I’d set aside Saturday night as Bloggiesta time. My plan was to roll up my sleeves at around 7 pm and start working through my Bloggiesta to-do list. I’d be finished by around 11:00 pm, I figured.

Unfortunately, MsBookish had other plans. It started in the morning when I couldn’t log in to my dashboard. My webhost fixed it, but then when it came time for me to roll up my Bloggiesta sleeves, everything was down.

It took a while for them to fix things the second time around, but they did (I like them a lot, by the way, because so far they have always been very responsive when sucky website things happen).

Now, the reason I’d set aside Saturday night to work on Bloggiesta stuff was because starting today, I have to buckle down and work on work stuff. I have four deadlines this coming week, and I knew I wouldn’t have have the nice big chunk of time necessary for my Bloggiesta to-do after Saturday night.

So what did I do when I found out I couldn’t work on Bloggiesta stuff? Did I instead pull out one of my deadlines and start plugging away at it, so that theoretically I could then do Bloggiesta stuff today (assuming everything was fixed)?

Magazine Mogul

No, I did not. I spent the night waiting and checking my email for site updates. And playing Kairosoft’s Magazine Mogul on my Kobo. (I love (and have) all of Kairosoft’s games …) This is the kind of thing I do when I’m stressed or tired or procrastinating.

So here I am on this sunny early spring morning, writing what should have been my Bloggiesta wrap-up post. The way it looks now, I probably won’t get to my Bloggiesta to-do until next weekend.

And a PS: for everyone who tried to comment with a link to their posts on my Bloggiesta challenge post, I’m extending the time to enter the challenge and giveaway by two days, to Wednesday, April 1 (the draw will be made on April 2), to make up for the page being down on Saturday evening..

So, how did your Saturday night go? Much better than mine, I hope!

A Day in the Life

Day-in-the-Life-Event

If I was knee deep in indexing deadlines, this would be a short post that would read something like this:

10:00 am – 3:00 am Work on index. (With a bleary shot of my desk.)

But I’m not knee deep in deadlines—yay! Here’s what my Tuesday this week looked like (warning: it’s on the boring side). I decided to use Tuesday for my Day in the Life because on Tuesdays (along with Thursdays and Saturdays) I’m in charge of getting Dylan to dance class, so at least I do step outside to break up the monotony of the day.

8:30 am

Darn! I meant to wake up earlier. I just started using the Passion Planner and today is the first time I’ve tried scheduling things into my day. As in, first time ever. And I’m already off track.

8:35 to 10:00 am

Coffee (coconut flavoured!) and tea (green!) in bed, brought to me by the book-reading demon.

Coffee and teaMy cat mugs

Dylan, who has finished his math earlier in the morning with the book-reading demon, comes and sits with me in bed to do his English, French and science work. The book-reading demon leaves to teach classes.

In between helping Dylan out with the more challenging bits and checking the work he’s finished, I check email, catch up on Twitter and read posts in various Facebook groups. When Dylan’s finished, we do one of the Smiling Mind meditations together. Today he’s doing the movement meditation, which gets him all giggly. (I forgot to take a picture of any of this.)

10:00-10:30 am

ACIMACIM and my notebook

Meditation and A Course in Miracles, which I started reading eleven days ago. I’m not understanding much of what I’m reading at all, I’m afraid.

10:30-11:30 am

bugs n cheeseDoesn’t look very appetizing, does it?

Make Dylan lunch. Today it’s pasta with homemade Bugs ‘n’ Cheese sauce (the Bugs ‘n’ Cheese dish from Boston Pizza is his favourite meal, so the book-reading demon worked out something similar that includes lots of cauliflower in it). Dylan loves it.

Have my breakfast: banana and a glass of kefir.

11:30 am– 2:00 pm

Really bad pictures of my workspace. The sun was just pouring in and I couldn’t get a good picture from any angle.

My WorkspaceWhere I work

My Workspace 2From another angle. Cat on top of my chair

I’m already an hour and a half behind. So much for scheduling my day! I settle in to work on the articles I have due this week. I have research to do before I can write each article. This part gets a little boring, as the topics aren’t particularly interesting ones (I’m writing about S corporations and LLCs), but once I have the research done the writing is enjoyable.

LunchLunch

I also have lunch at my desk. Sad but true: I do find myself eating at my desk a lot. Today it’s mini fish sliders with mango slaw and lemony sour cream, leftovers from a meal we made from the Eat St. cookbook—it’s filled with food truck recipes and every recipe we’ve made so far (and we’ve made several of them) has been really delicious.

DEAR timeReading Neil Flambé and the Aztec Abduction

I don’t spend the entire time working, though. Dylan’s schedule is pretty structured in that he has set activities he does every week day, and on Tuesday afternoons that’s DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read), piano practice, some electronics time and some non-electronics time—sketching, LEGO and working on one of his projects. So I do a lot of coordinating of activities and, when he’s taking a break, I usually have to stop working, because he likes to talk his way through his breaks.

2:10 pm – 2:45 pm

Break timeBreak time, with cat on lap

And speaking of breaks, it’s time for mine! Having ginger tea and reading the Swedish mystery Spring Tide. Dylan practices piano while I’m doing this. Lots of talking in between the pieces he plays.

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Back to work. I am way behind schedule. According to my planner, I’m supposed to be finished with the articles and working on my middle grade manuscript right now, but that obviously isn’t going to happen. I keep plugging away at the work stuff.

4:00 pm – 4:10 pm

A short break to make Dylan a grilled cheese sandwich. He has hip hop tonight, so he’ll need the energy. (I guess I should have taken a picture of him eating his sandwich.)

4:10 pm – 5:15 pm

Keep working until the last possible minute before we have to leave. Two articles done, two more to go.

5:15 pm – 8:00 pm

on our way homeOn our way home

Take Dylan to his hip hop class. I wait at a nearby Starbucks while he’s in class. Often I read, but tonight I’m on my phone, catching up on emails, Twitter and Flipboard. On our way home, we pick up subs from Subway for dinner.

8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Eat sub. Read book. Try to relax but feel guilty about not working.

9:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Clean the kitchen, while listening to Veronica Mars: The Ten Thousand Dollar Tan Line. Dylan gets ready for bed. When he’s done, I tuck him in.

10:00 pm – 10:45 pm

Write tomorrow’s blog post, What I’ve learned from nearly four months of blogging. The book-reading demon gets home.

10:45 pm – 11:00 pm

Debate with myself about the merits of pulling out the third article assignment and getting some work done. Decide not to. Rustle up a snack, pour myself a glass of wine.

11:00 pm – 1:00 am

Read! And then off to bed.

I’m linking this post up at Trish’s A Day in the Life event. Visit for more fun reads about A Day in the Life of other bloggers!

What I’ve learned from nearly four months of blogging daily

daily blogging

Up until December of last year, I wasn’t the most faithful of bloggers. When I first started MsBookish back in November of 2008, I did blog somewhat regularly, but as time passed, I stopped being consistent.

For much of last year, my blogging was quite sporadic—to give you an idea, in 2014 I posted seven times in January, twice in February, once in March, once in April, eight times in May, four times in June, three times in July, once in August, no posts in September, once in October and no posts in November. So, 28 times from January to November.

And then I made an important decision—I committed to 365 Days of Blogging beginning December 1 of 2014.

This wasn’t something I had to do. It was something I wanted to do—I wanted to do it, because aside from work deadlines, I’m not exactly the most committed or dedicated person. And, well, I wanted to see if I could make that type of commitment.

It’s been almost four months now, and I have managed to blog every day (except for Christmas Day, which I decided to take off from blogging).

And I’ve learned some surprising things, which I will now pass on to anyone who might be interested.

It’s much easier to blog every day than it is to blog sporadically.

I think Gretchen Rubin has mentioned this too. I would never have given it much credence, except now I’m doing it, and I know it’s true.

You know that feeling when you haven’t blogged for a while, and you get an idea for a post but you feel kind of weird and all guilted-out about it and so you don’t? And the longer it’s been since the last time you blogged, the harder it gets to write that new post? Yes, been there, done that.

When you blog consistently, you don’t feel that way. And honestly, I don’t even think it’s about blogging every day. What makes the difference is committing to a schedule, even if it’s only once a week. It’s that commitment that makes a difference. Or at least, it has for me.

Your posts feel less precious.

Losing that sense of preciousness has been an extremely powerful experience. I find I’m no longer attached to the words I write the way I used to be. I don’t agonize over whether I said something clearly enough, whether I was witty, whether I was interesting. My words are no longer my darlings. So I bang out a post that kind of sucks? It’s not worth caring about, because I’m just going to be writing another one tomorrow.

It’s a great feeling. It lets me be me, however I happen to be feeling on any given day.

You stop worrying (so much) about getting comments.

When I was blogging more sporadically, sometimes I’d get a ton of comments on a post. Because eventually all your blogging buddies get a chance to come by and leave their thoughts on that post, since it’s been hanging around in the “most recent post” top spot for weeks.

But when you write a post every day, you know no-one is going to read every single post you write. And you know no-one is going to comment on every post you make. And for some reason, knowing that makes those anxious thoughts ease up. Life (and blogging) become that little bit easier.

You get more ideas for posts.

I prepped for my 365 Days of Blogging by creating a blog post ideas stash (you can read more about generating your own ideas stash here), but the funny thing is, I haven’t had to use very many ideas from my stash. It turns out the more I blog, the more blog post ideas I get. I’m not sure why, but it’s a good thing. So it’s like some sort of wonderful cycle: when you blog more you get more blog ideas so you can blog more so …

After three months and 24 days of daily blogging (not counting Christmas Day), this is what I’ve learned so far. Will I continue blogging daily come December 1, 2015? Probably not, but I definitely won’t leave my blogging up to chance or whims. I’ll definitely be committing to a blogging schedule, and I’ll stick to it.

If you haven’t yet, check out the rest of the discussion links up at Bloggiesta on Your Best Blogging Advice Ever!

Photo credit

How to create a treasure trove of blog post ideas {#Bloggiesta challenge}

It’s Bloggiesta time again, and here’s my challenge to you: Create your own treasure trove of blog post ideas!

Why create a stash of blog post ideas?

Back in December, I embarked on 365 Days of Blogging, and to help prepare myself for a year of daily blogging, I spent some time in November creating a blog post ideas stash.

Since then, I’ve dipped into my stash occasionally, and I also spend some time every week adding new blog post ideas to it. Now that I’m into the daily blogging habit, I do find it’s not as much of a problem coming up with a blog post idea as it used to be when I was blogging more sporadically, but there have definitely been some days when the idea well has run dry and I’m so glad I have my ideas stash to dive into!

“But I can barely think of one idea, let alone a whole treasure trove of them!”

You can trust me on this one: once you get your idea wheels turning, it becomes easier and easier. You start looking at everything with new eyes—and you’ll find blog post ideas lurking in all corners of your life. Really, you will!

But getting started is probably the hardest part. So here are a few idea jumpstarting methods to get you started.

Brainstorming

Sit down with a blank piece of paper and jot down every single blog post idea that comes to your mind. The important thing is not to judge any of it. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I like oranges … maybe I could write a post about how much I like oranges …” put it on the list! With the brainstorming method, the point isn’t to have every idea you come up with be a really really good blog post idea. What you want is to generate a creative flow of ideas, and the way to get that is through quantity.

Once you’ve got a good list going, you can put your judgment cap back on. Sort through the ideas, and transfer the good ideas to your blog post ideas stash (this can be an electronic document or a notebook—digital or analog, use whatever works for you.)

Here are some of the ideas from my blog post ideas stash that I came up with while brainstorming:

Yet Another Time Suck (about the Facebook groups app. Which I spend way too much time on!)

The Benefit of Having Book Goals (about how having a book goal has reduced the number of books I DNF)

One important tip: Be sure to include a description of what your idea means to you. I have this jotted down in my notebook: Road to productivity: the envelope. And I have NO clue what I meant by this!

Other Headlines and Post Titles

Do you keep track of your favourite blogs on Feedly or Bloglovin or something similar? Open up your feed reader of choice and start scanning all the post titles. Or pop onto Twitter or Facebook and see what headlines and post titles catch your eye. It doesn’t even have to be an article you want to read—you’re mainly looking for interesting words or topics, or interesting types of posts. And, for you book bloggers out there, it doesn’t have to be a book-related article or post. In fact, this works really well with headlines and post titles that aren’t book-related.

Now for the fun part! Go through each headline or title on your list, and try to rework it into a post you’d like to write. Use each headline or title as a starting point, and see where it takes you. The goal with this exercise isn’t to come up with a similar idea—it’s about using an existing headline or title as a jumping off point to come up with your own idea.

Here’s an example. Opening up my Feedly just now, I came across this post from Brit & Co: Disney Princess Weddings IRL: 14 Cinderella-Inspired Ideas. Now, I’m not a particularly romantic kind of person, but I have a soft spot for Cinderella stories. So working off this title, I might add the following ideas to my blog posts notebook:

7 Books I Love That Have a Cinderella Theme

It’s About the Underdog! Why I Love Cinderella Stories So Much

If I was a romance reader, I might jot down 5 Great Wedding Scenes I’ve Read, or something like that. These are just off the top of my head, but you get the idea.

Write About/Respond to Another Article or Post

I use this method to add to my blog posts ideas stash all the time. I’ll come across an article or post about a subject that I’d like to write about or respond to, and I’ll add it to my ideas stash. In some cases, I’ll accumulate a set of links about one particular topic, and I’ll use those as the basis for a blog post.

For example, I had jotted down these two links in my ideas stash:

On marginalia http://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2015/01/marginalia/

More on marginalia http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/dec/03/weapon-for-readers/?insrc=rel

I ended up using these links, plus a few more I found once I started writing, to write this post on marginalia.

Use a Blog Topics Generator

Here’s a fun one! Try out this blog topic generator at Hubspot. I entered “books”, “Cinderella” and “oranges” and got this:

Blog post ideas generator

The Prizes

One winner will receive his or her choice of any one 5X7 Art Card from my friend Judy Clement Wall’s Etsy store. Here are some samples of Judy’s Art Cards:

The Road is Life Judy Clement Wall

Brazenly Beautiful Judy Clement Wall

Another two winners will receive prize packages of five books/reading-related postcards, selected randomly from my postcard collection.

So, Are YOU Ready to Take This Challenge?

Here’s what you need to do. Come up with at last twelve new blog post ideas to start off your ideas stash. Once you’ve done this, write a post about your idea-generating experiences—talk about anything you like, such as how you came up with your ideas, what you’re using to keep track of your ideas, if you think this is something you’re going to keep doing. Maybe even share some of the ideas you’ve come up with, if you’d like! To be entered into the draw for the prizes, come back to this post and comment with a link to your post.

I will put the names of all participants into a hat and draw the three winners on March 30  on April 2 so you have until April 1 to post your links to enter the giveaway (I’m extending the time to compensate for my site being down for much of Saturday evening) – I’ll contact winners for their addresses via the email address they use in the comment form.

Have fun, everyone!

My spring Bloggiesta 2015 to-do list

Bloggiesta

Who’s doing Bloggiesta this spring? This year, it’s a week-long event, so there’ll be lots of time to do those blogging things that need doing and fix those bloggy things that need fixing!

I didn’t do very well at all with the mini-Bloggiesta earlier this year, so here’s hoping I’ll do much better this time around.

My Bloggiesta To-Do List

  1. Write that first newsletter. A must-do as I actually have people signed up for it now. It didn’t seem so crucial before, when I had only two people signed up, both friends.
  2. Create a standalone newsletter page.
  3. Create a Hire Me page, and link to home page.
  4. Work on an editorial content calendar.
  5. Add an Instagram plugin for sidebar.
  6. Clean up categories and tags.
  7. Update About Me page.
  8. Go theme hunting and plugin hunting, see what’s out there.
  9. Show summary of posts on home page, with Read More link.
  10. Think about installing Discus. Or not.

When it comes to Discus, I get all decided that “yes, I’m going to switch over” and then I change my mind again.

I think I should be able to tackle all of the items on this list, especially now that Bloggiesta is a whole week!

What about you? Are you signing up for Bloggiesta?