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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: blogging, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. April Vacation

Here in Vermont, winter is white and sparkly, all jingle bells and sleigh rides. Summer is green and luscious, with blue skies and sunshine. Fall is golden and red and drop dead gorgeous.… Continue reading

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2. A call for oral history bloggers

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards


Over the past few months, the Oral History Review has become rather demanding. In February, we asked readers to experiment with the short form article. A few weeks ago, our upcoming interim editor Dr. Stephanie Gilmore sent out a call for papers for our special Winter/Spring 2016 issue, “Listening to and for LGBTQ Lives.” Now, we’d like you to also take over our OUPBlog posting duties.

retro microphoneWell, “take over” might be a hyperbole. However, we have always hoped to use this and our other social media platforms to encourage discussion within the oral history discipline, and to spark exchanges with those working with oral histories outside the field. We like to imagine that through our podcasts, interviews and book reviews, we have brought about some conversations or inspired new ways to approach oral history. However, we can do better.

Towards that end, we are putting out a “call for blog posts” for this summer. These posts should fall in line with the aforementioned goal to promote the engagement between and beyond those in oral history field. Like our hardcopy counterpart, we are especially interested in posts that explore oral history in the digital age. As you might have gathered, we thrive on puns and the occasional, outdated pop culture reference. These are even more appreciated when coupled with clean and thoughtful insights into oral history work.

We are currently looking for posts between 500-800 words and 15-20 minutes of audio or video. Though, because we operate on the wonderful worldwide web, we are open to negotiation in terms of media and format. We should also stress that while we welcome posts that showcase a particular project, we do not want to serve as landing page for anyone’s kickstarter.

Please direct any additional questions, pitches or submissions to the social media coordinator, Caitlin Tyler-Richards, at ohreview[at]gmail[dot]com. You may also message us on Twitter (@oralhistreview) or Facebook.

We can’t wait to see what you all have to say.

Caitlin Tyler-Richards is the editorial/media assistant at the Oral History Review. When not sharing profound witticisms at @OralHistReview, Caitlin pursues a PhD in African History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research revolves around the intersection of West African history, literature and identity construction, as well as a fledgling interest in digital humanities. Before coming to Madison, Caitlin worked for the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University.

The Oral History Review, published by the Oral History Association, is the U.S. journal of record for the theory and practice of oral history. Its primary mission is to explore the nature and significance of oral history and advance understanding of the field among scholars, educators, practitioners, and the general public. Follow them on Twitter at @oralhistreview, like them on Facebook, add them to your circles on Google Plus, follow them on Tumblr, listen to them on Soundcloud, or follow the latest OUPblog posts via email or RSS to preview, learn, connect, discover, and study oral history.

Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Subscribe to only history articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Image credit: Retro Microphone. © Kohlerphoto via iStockphoto.

The post A call for oral history bloggers appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. this and that to begin a new year: experimenting

I'm sifting through an experiment. I got my first smart-phone in late November, and I put down my Nikon D-40 for four months. I've just learned (maybe this is a new blogger thing) that I can work on my laptop and access my phone photos here... very good! Google has done some silly stuff with animated gifs and an end-of-year doo-dad that's sweet, silly, and confusing, as I don't know a couple of

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4. Six Months of the Six of Us

It's hard to believe it's been six months since the six of us came together to relaunch TWT. Here's a look at where we've been and where we are going.

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5. FYI

Even though I made good progress on my assigned reading over the weekend I still have about a third of the book to read and an (albeit short) review to write of it for the journal I am reviewing for. The book has improved, thankfully, but the reading is slow going. So no new posts until I finish the book and turn in my review. Then I’ll come back and tell you about the book and, I hope, some other fun things. I’ll still be around on the internet though, I have to get my daily fix!


Filed under: Blogging

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6. Promo Friday: Are Writers Blogging All Wrong?

I've suspected that many writers make a number of mistakes related to blogging. Julie Deneen at Fabulous Blogging discusses just one in Most Bloggers Think About Social Media the Wrong Way.

What she's talking about here is using blog posts "everywhere, multiple times, until people are so annoyed they start unfollowing you." A lot of people have a lot of the same friends on Facebook and Goodreads and some of those same people are following them on Twitter, too. So using the same blog post everywhere can lead to a lot of repetition. Writers, in particular, have to be careful about this sort of thing when we're doing one of those "my book got a wonderful new review" posts. People receiving these messages multiple times can feel they're getting a hard sell. You don't want to come across like a telemarketer trying to get homeowners to switch electric plans.

Deneen describes ways to treat the same material in different ways for use in different places. Her plan reminded me of advice I used to read for freelance writers. It sounds like work, but I suspect that it's the kind of thing that you get used to doing and then it goes fast.

Please excuse me now. I have to go look at that Google plus tutorial Deneen linked to.

0 Comments on Promo Friday: Are Writers Blogging All Wrong? as of 3/21/2014 10:51:00 PM
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7. Blogging – The 5 Most Popular Blog Post and Article Formats (Part 2)

In last week’s article, we went over blog post formats 1and two, the how-to post and the list based post. Now, it’s on to formats 3, 4, and 5. 3. The Content Curation Blog Post Before we get into the format, let’s go over what content curation is. In simple terms, it’s using someone else’s content on your site by linking to it. You lead into the source content with your own perspective

0 Comments on Blogging – The 5 Most Popular Blog Post and Article Formats (Part 2) as of 3/17/2014 7:13:00 AM
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8. Blogging – The 5 Most Popular Blog Post and Article Formats (Part 1)

It’s a content marketing fact: Blogging is one of the most effective authority building, credibility building persuasive, and money-making marketing strategies. This being the case, it means you need to regularly post content to your blog. It may be multiple times a day, once a day, three-times a week, once a week, or once a month. No matter what, you need to post to your blog on a regular

0 Comments on Blogging – The 5 Most Popular Blog Post and Article Formats (Part 1) as of 3/10/2014 6:46:00 AM
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9. Your Blog is Your New Resume

How often do you blog?

It's a valid question for writers and one worth thinking about. Honestly, I used to blog one main story a week - generally my newspaper column that's printed in several weeklies - and I would add a post or two to promote work in other publications.

I didn't have the time to blog daily because- here goes - I feel like I'm spread thin the way it is, so squeezing time to blog every day, plus promote it on social media sites, makes me even more tired.

It's not that I don't want to blog, but I manage a weekly newspaper (which means I write multiple articles a day), I teach journalism classes, and I have family responsibilities. Something has got to give; unfortunately, it looks like it's my blog. I haven't posted anything since the day after Christmas. Yikes!

But I've been thinking, and reading, that a writer's blog is a writer's new form of resume. It showcases your work and in some respects, shows how much time, thought and effort you put into a piece.

It's true. Your blog (or website) is your calling card, your introduction to the world, so you want to make a good first impression. Otherwise, why would you expect an editor or agent to take interest in you and your work?

Looks like my Saturday will be spent updating my resume. What about you?

by LuAnn Schindler

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10. What’s a GROG? (Not what I thought it was.)

When I was but a wee thing, our family would often drive past a restaurant sign in town: “Good Food and Grog”. So I pestered my parents, “What is GROG?” My father replied, “Grilled frog.”

grog

HORRIFYING! Cooked Kermit!? Envisioning swaths of crisped, green skin beside a sobbing Miss Piggy, I vowed never to eat there.

Well, today I have put that childhood nightmare to bed. I have learned that GROG actually means GROUP BLOG. And, I’ve got a new kidlit grog to share with you.

Welcome author Todd Burleson, GROG spokesperson (who assures me he’s never roasted an amphibian over the coals).

grogheader

The term GROG evolved out of a desire to gather a group of writers and form a new blog about children’s literature. There are several phenomenal group blogs in the literature world. Many gave us inspiration, but none of them met the specific needs of our group. And, in the spirit of all things creative, we came together to form this GROG.

Our aim with this blog is to provide:

G: Guidance and support
R: Resources on the craft of writing
O: Opportunities to expand our skills
G: Great folks who support readers and writers of all ages!

Each weekday we will be focusing on a specific topic. Here are the daily foci:

Mondays: Mentor Texts
We will look at how mentor texts and other approaches can help teachers and writers of all ages to develop writing skills. We envision doing book reviews here too.

Tuesdays: Tools & Technology
We’ll look at tools, often technological, that can help us as writers.

Wednesdays: Craft
We’ll focus on the craft of writing. Sometimes it will be a writing lesson, other times it might be a review of a book on writing.

Thursdays: Submissions
On Thursday’s we’ll focus our thoughts on submissions, contests, query letters and more.

Fridays: Finds
These will be a smattering of awesome discoveries that we want to share with you.

Now why start a group blog instead of just an individual one?

  1. Being practical, we knew that sharing the load would help us remain faithful to posting while also maintaining our writing, teaching, family lives.
  2. We believe that the power of the group is to harness our connections.
  3. We know that each of us has a specific passion. By harnessing the power of the group, we get to share many more ideas and hopefully will reach and benefit many others.
  4. We enjoy being together. When we chat or meet via Google Hangouts, the ideas and passions flow.
  5. Finally, its a way to make the world ‘smaller.’ We have group members all over North American and even one in Seoul, South Korea. We may not be in the same time zone, but we all are dedicated to supporting one another as GROGgers and reaching a larger audience.

We have some phenomenal contributors at all stages of publication, but all eager to share. They are: Jan Godown Annino, Marcie Flinchum Atkins, Todd Burleson,
Tina Wheatcraft Cho, Kathy Halsey, Suzy Leopold, Christy Mihaly, Janie Reinart, Sherri Jones Rivers, Patricia Toht, Leslie Colin Tribble, Pam Vaughan and
Jackie Wellington.

Thanks, Todd! And good luck to you all!

So please go visit these fine folks at Groggorg.blogspot.com.

They will be giving away a boatload of prizes in the beginning of April, including a signed copy of THE MONSTORE by yours truly. You can also like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.

Kermit will thank you.

kermit2


10 Comments on What’s a GROG? (Not what I thought it was.), last added: 3/7/2014
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11. What People Think Matters (When It Comes To Your Website)

Last week, I heard an agent refer to the importance of a “thoughtful online presence” and at first, the phrase zipped right past me. Yeah, yeah, a website. Got it.

But then, I needed to check a list of author websites. And as I pulled up each name, that phrase came back to me. It was easy to see who had a thoughtful online presence—and who did not. By the time I’d finished checking a ton of websites, I’d learned a few things. But mostly, I learned that a little bit of thought can make a big difference in what people think when they see you on the web.

Like what, you say? So glad you asked:

If you want people to think you’re a dependable writer who’s on top of things, then keep your website information updated. That means posting regularly if you have a blog. If you just can’t get around to posting but once or twice a year, then do yourself a favor and take the blog off your website. (But if your blog is your website, make it static with no dates.)

If you want people to think you’re a professional, skilled writer, then keep your website free of spelling and grammar errors. It’s fine if you have a misspelling as a play on words or if your writing style is conversational in a blog post. But if you have “Welcome to This Writers’ Home’s” in your web title, in big, block letters, you might need to brush up on those pesky possessive rules.

If you want people to think you’re witty or urbane or spiritual or any number of other interesting things that you are in real life, then put your personality/interests into your website. With a blog, it’s easy for your voice to come through. But people don’t often stop to read a handful of blog posts. They will, however, click on that “About Me” tab, so there’s your chance to make a good impression. And if you’re not sure what kind of impression you’re making, ask for honest feedback from friends. (Or better yet, ask someone who doesn't know you well.)

Finally, choose the kind of writer you want people to see. When a person lands on your website, will they know instantly that you’re a romance novelist? Or a children’s writer? A poet or an essayist? Have you honed in on your niche, and does your website reflect that focus?

I think this might be hard for those of us like me, who might pen fiction as well as non-fiction, or write for children as well as adults. But it doesn’t mean we can’t keep writing whatever we want; it means accentuating what we want the world to see--and think--when they first meet us.

I suppose, then, that a website should get to the heart of the writer. That's what matters in a thoughtful online presence. So, yeah, I've got some website work to do. How about you?

~Cathy C. Hall






0 Comments on What People Think Matters (When It Comes To Your Website) as of 3/3/2014 9:18:00 AM
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12. Prizes

The ALA Awards were presented last week. There were a LOT of winners. Mom wasn’t any of them. Not only did she not WRITE any of the winning books, she has barely READ any of the winning books. I think she needs to step up her game. She has printed out the list, so that’s a good start.

Meanwhile, I have been winning awards left and right over here.

Our friends Wallace and Samuel  and Coccolino gave us the Best Blog Around the World Award.

best-blog1

Around the WORLD – Hear that, Mom?

photo 2

Our friend at Trifles gave us the Cracking Chrispmouse Bloggywog Award

christmas awardand the Opposites Attract Award

oppositesattractaward

See, Mom? I spread joy, peace, cheer, and stuff like that all over the place.

 hand1

And our friends Little B. and Granny at Angelswhisper gave us the Excellence Award. excellence-awardExcellence, Mom. Not just-OK or good-enough or kinda-nice or a Rate-Your-Story-4.

photo

Thanks to all of our bloggy friends for sharing these awards.

And Mom, it’s seriously time to step up your game.

Less this....

Less this….

...and more this!

…and more this!


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13. The Function Of Blogging

Over the years, I've seen a lot of articles advising writers to blog, often in a very rah-rah, not very helpful way. For instance, a blog does not take the place of a website, no matter how many people manage to publish articles at writing sites and magazines saying they do.

I just stumbled upon What Do Kidlit Literary Agents Think About Blogs? at Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) this morning. The general feeling seems to be that the agents don't feel that a blog is a necessity, but if they are considering signing a new writer, they will check out a blog if that writer has one.

What this suggests to me is that writer blogs are a lot less about marketing/promotion and a lot more about presenting yourself to your readers, some of whom may be publishing professionals.

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14. Countdown Wednesday

Today we are counting down about winning. Not the Charlie Sheen kind which was kind of weird, but the writer kind. And the blogging-dog-of-a-writer-kind.

photo 1

Mom is a Winner

3. Mom’s book won a prize once. It’s called The Moonbeam Award. It shows as a badge on the cover of her book. I think it would look better shaped like a dog bone.

book cover

2. In 2013, Mom’s story Show and Tell Surprise was in Humpty Dumpty Magazine. That was a winner. Plus, magazines taste delicious.

humptyhumpty2

1. Mom also had an acceptance from MeeGenius for her first ever ebook, named What If I Don’t. We can’t even wait to see that one in the MeeGenius Bookstore. BIG winner. Plus, inside my head, I often think, “What-if-I-don’t?”. I hope someday to say it out loud.

meegenius blue

78. Mom is a winner in the 12×12 Challenge. She wrote 12 storybooks in 12 months. Just barely by the skin of her teeth, but she did it.

12-x-12-new-banner

I am a Winner, too!

3. Hutch a Good Life awarded me the Sunshine Award. Yay! I love sunshine. Plus I am afraid of the dark. 

Sunshine

2. Along with Nikitaland, Hutch also gave me the Blog of the Year Award. I have seen friends that have this award, and I am in good company with it. Plus stars are my favorite shape – except for dog bones.

boty-banner600

1. Bacon and AngelsWhisper both awarded me the Friends and Followers Award. I love friends and followers. So, thanks, friends! And thanks, followers!

FRIENDS-FOLLOWERS-award

67. I will give myself the Biggest Rule Breaker Award.

photo 3

Something smells good in here…..

I always ignore rules, so if you are reading my blog, you deserve an award. Feel free to share my bling, and also take a minute to click my friends’ links and check them out. Then maybe you can be a Rule Breaker, too.

photo 2

Mom left a cup of coffee for me. Yay!

 


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15. Winter Break

We're taking off from blogging so we can spend the holidays with family and friends. We'll be back on Jan. 6th, 2014. However, the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge will still go on!

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16. Reflections on 8 Years of Blogging

JRBPlogo-smallToday marks the 8 year anniversary of the day that I started my blog. Here's what I said in my very first post:

"Hi! I'm Jen Robinson. Here are three things that you should know about me.

  1. I love stories, especially in book form, and most especially mysteries, thrillers, and children's books. To that end, I would like to offer support to the people who produce stories (writers and publishes), and offer ideas to the people who love stories.
  2. I strongly believe that all children should be given the opportunity to learn to love books and reading for pleasure. I'll be on the lookout for suggestions for parents to help raise children who read, inspirational success stories, and literacy news and resources.
  3. I think that many adults could benefit from reading children's books, too. I think that if more adults read children's books they would a) find them enjoyable, b) help to support the children's book industry (thus bolstering item 1 above), and c) offer tremendous validation to children (thus supporting item 2 above).

I'm saddened by the declining rate of reading for pleasure in the our adult population in the U.S. I'm even more saddened when I hear of children growing up illiterate, or literate, but too busy to take time to read. I've started this blog as a tiny step to do something about that. Thanks for reading! More to follow..."

And more has followed. This is post #2697 at Jen Robinson's Book Page. Typepad says that I have >800,000 page views and >10,000 comments (including my own responses to other people's comments). I now have my own snazzy logo, designed by the talented Sarah Stevenson.

Cybils2013SmallI'm involved with the Cybils, Kidlitosphere Central, KidLitCon, and the Children's Book Review Wiki. I've participated in dozens of Carnivals of Children's Literature. Pretty good, for someone who's not much of a joiner. I've participated in these things because in the Kidlitosphere, I've found my people, and I love interacting with them. The community of children's and young adult book bloggers has become something of an extended family for me, and this makes me very happy. 

I'm still reviewing children's and young adult books, and sharing literacy news and tips. In many ways, my blog hasn't changed much over the years. I think the two biggest changes are:

  1. LiteracyMilestoneANow that I have a child, my literacy tips and musings, as well as some of my reviews, include a more personal component. I've been sharing my daughter's literacy milestone, for example, and the books that she loves (even when I don't love them myself). This may make the blog a bit less "professional" (if it ever was), but I think it adds something, too. 
  2. When I run across blog posts or news articles about literacy, I no longer post about them directly on my blog. These days I share those things out on Twitter (and, to a lesser extent, Facebook) right away. Then I round up the links once a week in a single blog post, without any commentary. I'm not sure whether this is a good change. I don't discuss these stories as much as I would like these days. On the other hand, I'm able to share more of them, and with a broader audience. So there are pros and cons. But really, it doesn't matter whether it's good or not, because this is what I can manage right now. And if there's one thing I've learned in 8 years of blogging, it's that you have to do what you can, and not let the things that you can't do stress you out. 

As I said in my first post, I am a person who loves books, and who believes strongly that kids should have the chance to love them, too. But I'm also a person who chose to go into engineering and start a software firm (from which I make my living). Even though I chose a different career path, this blog allows me to do something constructive with my love for books and literacy. For that, I am very grateful. And I expect that I'll be here blogging for a long time. Whether you've been with me for the whole 8 years, or are just popping in today for the first time, or anywhere in between, thanks so much for reading. 

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate. 

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17. PiBoIdMo Day 22: Bitsy Kemper Makes it Happen

by Bitsy Kemper

Ah, the life of an author. Writing, creating…it evokes images of stretched legs and hammocks by the sea.

hammock

Yeah, right. Sometimes I’d rather clean the toilet. Let’s face it. No matter how much we love what we do, and no matter how easily words may flow, there are days when it’s still work. To be a good writer, nay, a great writer, we are faced with days and days of less fun and more work. But hey, it’s still fun. And usually better than grabbing a scrub brush.

With an easily-distracted brain (IS THAT CHOCOLATE?), my biggest challenge is focus. When faced with a deadline or obstacle, my mind tends to freak out. It wanders about like a baby that’s just learned to crawl. (“Oh, I need to see that up close. Oh wait, there’s something shiny, was that always there? Can I eat it?”) Sometimes it sprints like an escaped prisoner and doesn’t come back for days.

When I *have*to focus, I usually can’t.

prisonersescape

I figured I could better harness that energy by creating a blog. After all, writing is writing, right? In July I created a WordPress account and literally went live within five minutes. Then I spent 105 minutes picking out a font. Background color? Agonizing. Theme? Changed it four times. I could easily spend five hours a day refining and fine tuning to get it just right. And not one minute would be spent writing. That recently-sprung prisoner called distraction would be laughing all the way to the bank.

oldmanwagfingerCreating or maintaining a blog isn’t the same thing as writing one. But you can’t do one without the other, not if you want to do it well. All the time I spent obsessing over managing formatting ate away at the time I could have spent writing it. Or better yet, working on a manuscript. There’s only so much time in a day, and we need to spend it wisely. (Oh, crap, did I just turn into my grandfather?)

Some of you are very good at writing a pithy post, hitting enter, and going back to your regularly-scheduled program. You impress me. But my brain won’t let me off that easy. “Was there an extra space after the fifth sentence? Would this look better in blue? Maybe I could take a few pictures to post along with it…hang on, I’ll grab my camera…” Next thing you know I’m knee deep in gifs and jpegs and have completely forgotten the purpose was to write.

Here’s the deal: WordPress ISN’T WHAT I DO. It’s not what defines me. Sorry, blog, I mean I like you and all, but you are not what I wake up in the morning eager to work on. You are not what I think about all day and can’t wait to work on again once the kids are asleep. You are not what kept me from falling asleep last night because of all those great story ideas resulting from an otherwise painful trip to the mall. Yes, I will tend to you, dear blog, but not at the expense of my other writing progress. I can’t hand you the steering wheel.

I set the blog up only to walk away because it aggressively detracted me from my one true love: working on my manuscripts. (To think they just waited patiently for my return! They are so good to me.) My blog is imperfect and I hate that. But sometimes “good enough” has to be, well, good enough.

bitsykemperblog

Bottom line: if there is only enough time in the day to get one thing right, it’s gonna be my manuscript, not my blog. I won’t be a better writer if I use the blog as a distraction away from my “real” writing, the way I use my writing to distract me from cleaning the bathroom (honestly, you’d think it’d be spotless by now).

Maybe you can replace the word “blog” with “Facebook” or “crying baby” or something else from your own life; we all have that one big distracter that keeps us from staying on track. The trick is to fight the temptation, tame the beast, focus focus focus.

Make time for yourself, no one is going to give it to you.

Now I’m off to finish those revisions my editor needs next Thursday. Sorry, bathroom and blog, you’re gonna have to wait.

guestbio

bitsykemperBitsy Kemper is author of six educational picture books and one nonfiction YA that’s due 2014. Interestingly, her passion is humorous middle grade and creative, fictional picture books, but real life (or is it her blog?) has a way of interfering with finding their perfect publisher…

Busy with three kids (four if you count her husband), Bitsy has stayed focused long enough to present at writer conferences and schools from NY to CA. She’s enjoyed using her corporate background to create custom business plans for fellow writers who would rather clean toilets than market themselves. Follow her at @BitsyKemper or BitsyKemper.com.

Now stop reading and get back to writing!


10 Comments on PiBoIdMo Day 22: Bitsy Kemper Makes it Happen, last added: 11/22/2013
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18. Countdown Wednesday

Today, we’re counting down my latest awards.

dragon loyalty award

My friends at Dog Daz Zoo sent me the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. I won it once before right here.  Thanks, girls!

versatile-blogger-award-from-radmaverix-11-3-13

Nikitaland sent me the Versa-tail Blogger Award or something like that. Yay! Thanks. I have never had that one before. I think it means my tail is pretty, and not a freaky monkey-tail, like Mom says.

Whether you have a tail or not, feel free to add some bling to your blog and share either one of my awards.

Both awards want me to tell seven things about myself. I’m not much with the math, but I’ll try, and maybe I’ll even let Mom tell one or two things about herself, too.

Seven Things

1. I love sleeping under the covers on Mom’s bed.

cyclops

2. My birthday was in September. I’m seven.

bday

3. Sometimes, I try to hatch my toys like eggs.

hatching

4. When my feet touch sand, I run in circles like I am a deranged lunatic.

sand

5. One day, while Mom was driving to the VA, there was a devil in her rearview mirror.

devil mirror

6. I like lollipops.

lollipop

7. Mom read a book that had a dog named Cupcake in it. It wasn’t me.

daily coyote

92. Mom is falling behind in her reading challenge. She planned to read 200 picture books this year. She is not on target, but plans to catch up. We’ll see.

46. Speaking of falling behind, she also missed the month of June in the 12×12 challenge, so she’s hoping to do her June manuscript in December. We’ll see.

21. Mom promised to take me to the park today. I’m really tired from working at Read to a Pet Night at the library last night.

read to a pet

Being a good girl, listening to a story…

Plus it’s really cold outside. I’m not sure I want to go to the park. ….We’ll see….

cuddly jeans


10 Comments on Countdown Wednesday, last added: 11/21/2013
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19. Keynote Speaker for KidLitCon Announced

KidlitCon2013I posted last week about the registration and call for proposals for the 7th annual Kidlitosphere Conference. Today, I'm happy to share the news that the keynote speaker for the conference will be the fabulous Cynthia Leitich Smith, children's and young adult author and long-time blogger at Cynsations. Cynthia will be speaking on Saturday morning to kick off the main conference, and she's sure to be a hit. 

KidLitCon will be held November 9th in Austin, TX, with a precon event in the works for Friday. You can register for KidLitCon here. If you register by October 11th you'll receive a $10 discount off of the already quite reasonable $65 registration fee. We're also accepting sessions proposals for KidLitCon here. The deadline for proposals is this Friday, October 4th, so please get yours in soon. 

Here are links to other posts about KidLitCon from:

Don't miss out on all the fun. Register for KidLitCon today. Or, as Tanita said in her post:

"Once upon a time, this was an idea - then a potluck - and now for seven years running, a place where many people meet up with Their Tribe. Will you be there?"

I will!

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate. 

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20. Meet the New TWT Co-Authors!

It's my pleasure to announce the dynamic classroom teachers, literacy coaches, staff developers, and writers who are joining me as co-writers of TWT.

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21. Celebrating Ten Years

Ten years of blogging. I can hardly believe it.

Back in 2003 when I first started there weren’t all that many book blogs around. There were some. The first ones I found were Maud Newton and Bookninja. Through them I discovered a few others. At that time it seemed to me they were all so very literary, all people who were working to become published writers, all so very smart and I never left a comment because I was so intimidated. It’s a good thing I started blogging before I found them otherwise I might have changed my mind. I had heard about blogs from I don’t know where and I thought, hey, I should start a blog about books I’m reading. I was feeling rather alone in my obsessive bookishness and I thought maybe somehow talking about books on the internet would help me find other equally obsessed bookish folk.

Blogger was pretty much the only game in town. It had all of five or so really basic templates to choose from and if you wanted to customize anything you had to know html as well as Blogger code. I bought a book – surprise! – and learned both and discovered what great fun it was monkeying around with code. Blogger had very few bells and whistles. Their comment feature was pretty cruddy so I found a third party comment site and added their code. It was a sad thing when I moved from Blogger to WrodPress several years later to not be able to transfer the comments with the blog posts but there was nothing to be done about it.

A few years after I started blogging the number of book blogs had grown quite a lot and was starting to become a little community. It was still small enough that it seemed like everybody knew everybody or at the very least knew of everybody. And then there was an explosion and book blogs became a thing and there were more than I could keep track of which was great but also sad because, while there was still a great sense of community, I also felt a sense of loss at not being able to keep track of what everyone was reading and doing.

And the years have flown by. I have discovered and read books I probably would have missed if not for blogging. And my TBR pile! Pre-blogging I had a lot of books, I won’t deny that, but I am pretty sure I can blame a good many of you reading this for adding a book or two or three to my shelves! I’ve made 2,980 posts counting this one (I so wanted to say 3,000, but we don’t always get what we want) and you’ve helped contribute to the 26,267 comments and counting.

Every now and then, as is natural I think, I find myself wondering how long I might keep up this blogging thing. And every time I ask myself, am I still having fun? And the answer is always a resounding yes! As long as I am having fun, I will keep at it which means I might be going for another ten years.

You know what makes blogging so much fun? You. I know it sounds trite and sentimental, but it’s true. All of you taking the time out of your busy day to stop by and read and even leave a comment is as thrilling and wonderful and completely mindboggling as was the very first visitor and comment I ever got. What is even more amazing to me is that so many of you have also become friends. It is far beyond my wildest dreams. Back in 2003 all I was hoping for was contact with a few people who wouldn’t say things like “wow you have a lot of books” and “why are you reading Charles Dickens?” and “you sure read a lot.” I feel like I have found my people and what a great big bunch of fantastic people it is.

Thank you.

If I were a billionaire I’d throw a huge party and send you all plane tickets to get you here. Since I can’t do that I have put together a little thank you present, a sort of reading kit with all sorts of goodies in it. But because I am not a billionaire I have only one to give away so everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for it. I will draw a name next Saturday.

Now Bookman and I are off to the Twin Cities Book Festival where we will attend a reading by Nicholson Baker, a panel discussion on what and how to read in the 21st century, a session or two we haven’t decided on yet, and of course, there will be booksellers there and I might buy a book. Or two. Wasn’t it thoughtful of the organizers to have it on my 10-year blogiversary?


Filed under: Blogging, Books

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22. Reading Kit Winner

The winner of the reading kit give away to celebrate ten years of blogging goes to…

Lokesh!

Thank you all for the wonderful good wishes and for helping make this blog so much fun.

In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:

“Be awesome! Be a book nut!”


Filed under: Blogging

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23. KidLitCon Session: Blogger Burnout: Suggestions for Getting Your Groove Back

KidlitCon2013I'm pleased to announce that I'll be presenting at this year's Kidlitosphere Conference (KidLitCon #7) in Austin, TX. Sarah Stevenson and I are hosting a session on Blogger Burnout: Suggestions for Getting Your Groove Back. 

Here's the overview that Sarah and I submitted: 

Anyone who has been blogging for a while has experienced occasional bouts of blogger burnout. Many of us put in an inordinate amount of time on our blogs, for which we are largely unpaid. And sometimes, we lose focus, or start to question what we're doing. In this presentation, we'll share our own recent experiences with blog burnout, and the suggestions that other bloggers made to help us to get our respective grooves back. We'll also seek other suggestions from the audience.

We've started making lists of:

  • Reasons that kidLit bloggers experience burnout (putting out content and not receiving any response, for example); and 
  • Things that bloggers have done that have helped to pull them out of a bout of burnout (refocusing on the reasons you started your blog in the first place, for instance). 

If you have any suggestions for us for either of these lists (or on this topic in general), please share (and we will of course attribute your input in our presentation). Or, if you're coming to KidLitCon in Austin, we hope that you'll share your thoughts during the presentation.

Still undecided about attending KidLitCon? The deadline for registration is this Thursday, October 24th. Here are three recent posts on other blogs that may help encourage you to attend:

  • Charlotte from Charlotte's Library is organizing a panel with Melissa Fox (Book Nut) and Katy Manck (BooksYALove) on blogging middle grade books. They'll be looking at things like "who are the various audiences for middle grade blogs, and how we can keep our blogs growing, extending their reach and their depth?". See this post for details. 
  • Leila from Bookshelves of Doom admits in this post to having been nervous about attending KidLitCon for the first time last year. But now she says, "It was like... the internet allowed me to Find My People and to get to know them, but it was at KidLitCon that they really became MY FRIENDS. There's just something about meeting face-to-face that makes the relationships more REAL, somehow." I know exactly what she means, and I can't wait to finally meet Leila in person. Do read the whole post
  • Greg Pincus from GottaBook will, sadly, not be able to attend this year. He says: "You should go! Seriously - hanging out with blogging pals is the best."  

Still need more? Well, a partial list of attendees has been posted. Click through to see some of the great blogs that will be represented. Have you always wanted to meet Kelly Jensen of STACKED or Maureen Kearney of Confessions of a Bibliovore? Now is your chance! Click through to see more names and blogs. 

We're finalizing a couple of details with the agenda, and will have that published shortly. But honestly, the reason to attend is to hang out with people who love blogging and talking about children's and young adult books. To find your peeps, and make them your real-life friends. Don't wait! Register now for the 7th Annual Kidlitosphere Conference, KidLitCon 2013

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate. 

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24. One More Pre-KidLitCon Post

KidlitCon2013As many of you already know, the 7th annual Kidlitosphere Conference is taking place this coming weekend, in Austin, Texas. This weekend,  published a lovely article about KidLitCon on the YA Interrobang site. The article includes quotes from this year's keynote speaker, Cynthia Leitich Smith, as well as from Charlotte Taylor, Sheila Ruth, and Allie Jones. And from me, representing this year's organizing committee. 

I especially liked what Sheila said about KidLitCon:

"It’s different from other conventions: the relatively small number of attendees and the close-knit nature of the Kidlit community make this more like a family reunion than a convention. I’m looking forward to seeing people that I’ve known for years and meeting new people, all of whom share a passion for children’s and YA books, literacy, and infecting young people with the reading bug,”

I love "more of a family reunion than a convention." So true! And that quote ended up going well with something that I said, about KidLitCon "turning virtual friends into real world friends" (here I was somewhat paraphrasing Leila's post at Bookshelves of Doom).

Pam Coughlan posted about the YA Interrobang article this morning at MotherReader. She said:

"It's too important a conference for our online community to not have it. Even if it's difficult or running behind schedule. Even if room selections fell through, leaving us wondering if maybe we could just quietly set up shop on the grounds of the capitol. Even if arranging a block of hotel rooms was more like getting an IRS audit. Even if we found that we were conflicting with another event in the morning targeting our exact potential attendees. It hasn't been easy.

But this week, I hope that I'll have a chance to turn more virtual friends into real world friends. We're keeping registration open, and I hope that you'll consider joining us. Visit the KidLitCon website for more information and register today."

And there you have it. Attend this family reunion of a conference. Even if you've never attended KidLitCon before, you'll find friends there. I know that it's tough to book flights on short notice, but if you are in or near Austin, and have some time to spare this Friday and Saturday, we would love to see you at KidLitCon. 

Many thanks to Meredith Maresco for her well-researched piece on KidLitCon. See you all in Austin!

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate. 

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25. Writers, Check Out KidLitCon Recaps Regarding Blogging

I am not a writer who has a blog. I am a writer, and I am a blogger.

I often get the feeling that many writers who self-identify as writers who have blogs instead of as bloggers don't  feel that blogging is a specific type of short-form writing and certainly don't understand the community building aspects of it, which could be incredibly helpful to them. Their blogs are often pretty much a hole on the Internet that they throw a hodgepodge of things into every now and then.

Therefore, I am referring any writers seeing this to Jen Robinson's Book Page and her post in which she rounds up nine blogger posts on the recent KidLitCon held in Austin. I suspect that a lot of writers aren't familiar with KidLitCon, since the blogging events held at BEA have been getting a lot of attention in recent years. But KidLitCon is a blogging convention that goes back seven years and involves many bloggers who got involved with blogging early on, when blogging was new and edgy and the litblog that just serves as a conduit for writer and publisher produced content hadn't been thought of.

Children's literature blogging started with these people.

In addition to checking out the individual links for recaps, note Jen's list of the subjects covered at the conference. This is the kind of stuff writers can use to help them with their blogging, whether we're talking writers who have a blog or writers who are also bloggers.

1 Comments on Writers, Check Out KidLitCon Recaps Regarding Blogging, last added: 11/13/2013
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