Archive for the 'this blog' Category

I’m back, sort of

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had more blog ideas than I’ve known what to do with. The only trouble? They are not “publishing” or “writing” posts. They are posts about creativity, the brain, education reform and parenting an ADHD kid with a language-based learning disability.

These topics may not seem to have anything to do with writing or romance novels, which is what I wrote about before my hiatus, but they are tangentially related, at least in my mind. Did you know that language processing problems can mean problems retrieving the right word, relaying recent events or adding context to pictures or actions? These are the same skills writers use every day. I don’t think I realized just how essential storytelling is to daily life until I began to scratch the surface of my son’s language issues.

And did you know that your brain can be rewired, or hacked, to allow you to be more creative? And that reading about an experience can activate the brain in the same way as encountering that experience in real life? (When you read a book, your mind IS going to another place!)

So while I may be writing about books, reading and writing sometimes, this blog is now about a whole lot more. Fair warning.

I’m away indefinitely

So when I put this blog on hiatus during the summer, I fully intended to be back in September. But this fall, some very tough family issues have taken over my “spare” time. I cut out every extracurricular I could cut out, in order to focus on my job and my family. Unfortunately, this blog was on the chopping block.

Thanks for stopping in. You can still sometimes find me on Twitter, Facebook and through commenting on this post.

Happy writing!

Try Me Again in a Few Weeks

gone fishin

I believe it was just about this time last year that I took a summer hiatus. Of course, back then, I had a really good book in hand. Today, I just have a lot of work to get done before I can go on vacation.

So, I’m going to pound through all my deadlines and then take off for camping and family get-togethers in the Smoky Mountains. If I feel like posting pictures, maybe I will.

Of course, when I get back to the city, it’s time for RWA’s National Conference, and I’ll be up in Buffalo with the Western New York romance writers in July.

So, again I am forced to face the truth.

It’s going to be a while before I get back to this blog. Because it is summer and I’d rather be reading, swimming and fishing (if my Dad will help me with the bait.)

For the near future, and on a completely irregular schedule, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook and, of course, Goodreads so I can list all the books I plan to read while I’m at the park, the pool, the playground and the beach.

Happy summer!

Blogs Aloud

blogfest

Brooklyn Blogfest happened last week. A friend from my neighborhood curated the Blogs Aloud collection/performance, and she chose a piece from my other blog!

The piece was only a half paragraph, but I was totally psyched. I couldn’t make the main event, at The Bell House, so I finagled an invitation to the rehearsal. The video is below.

Charlotte Maier, Nancy Graham and Elizabeth Palmer read from blogs across Brooklyn. My piece comes at 1:09. The whole thing is ten minutes, and the final piece, at 8:59, from Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, is my favorite part of the whole collection.

Working…

I’ve got a few line edits in the works, taking up my time. I will post again as soon as I’m back in the black, schedule-wise.

The Easter holiday

eggs

I woke up this morning and realized I had completely forgotten to post something this weekend!

Which I’m okay with, since it was a holiday, but wanted to at least post a holiday away message. (I’m keeping to this once a week publishing schedule, darn it!)

For Easter, my family and I colored eggs, hunted eggs, ate candy, went to a couple of parties, saw two different Easter bunnies, walked in the 5th Avenue parade, spent the beautiful sunny day in Central Park, and I also, miraculously, finished all the work projects I brought home to be done before Monday.

Back next week!

Slow Blogging

garden

I listened in on a HubStop webinar this week. The speaker was Dan Zarella. The talk was on the science of timing, and he presented research on how often to blog, tweet and share on Facebook. The goal seemed to be an increase in incoming links (leading to a higher rank on Google), page views or comments. To reach the goal, he recommended: If you’re sending one email a week, try sending one email a day; it’s okay to tweet twenty or so times a day; and blogging thirty times–or more!–per day will get you the most results.

The data and graphs and suggestions were fascinating–and left me feeling tired.

Blogging, for me, is about responding to something of interest, getting my thoughts in order, putting an idea out there to see if anyone agrees (or doesn’t). Sometimes it’s just about noting something I really like, or something I want to remember.

Blogging, for me, is not about page views, or Google rank or ads. If it was, I don’t think I’d have the energy to keep up. Just thinking about trying to come up with thirty different things to say in one day…good Lord. Just shoot me now.

So I joked on Twitter that we should start a slow blogging movement. And Kassia Kroszer threw in a hash tag: #slowblogging. Cute, I thought. But then I looked it up and saw that a slow blogging movement already existed, or at least it did in 2008. There was even a New York Times article about it. Seems it was started by a guy whose blog’s tagline is “It happens when it happens.” A philosophy I can get behind.

I love reading through blogs and links, but once I start to glom on constant Twitter, refreshes of Facebook and blog post after blog post, I begin to feel icky. Add in the hours and hours of electronic edits for my day job, and it’s not only my psyche that feels the strain, but my eyes, too.

The only cure for both ailments seems to be to step away from the computer for a little while, to avoid my phone. To sit quietly for a bit and not check my messages. (It’s harder to do than it sounds.)

So this weekend, we drove to Sandy Hook, NJ, and flew a kite over the cold sand. I sat and listened to the ocean and didn’t once pick up that damn phone.

Today, I saw friends I haven’t seen in a long while. I folded laundry with the sun shining in the windows and a podcast playing in the other room. Then I spent the afternoon in the garden, watching my kid play in the sand box and follow ants around.

Only after those lengthy, sensory-laden breaks did my mind, and my eyes, feel ready to come back to the computer.

Me and slow blogging, we get along.

The Weil blogging challenge: shorter, more frequent and honest but not critcal

caution

I’m a little nervous about publishing this post. My hiatus message has been up since the summer, and I’ve been avoiding taking it down.

First, because I wasn’t sure what to write about in this space any more. Then, because I had lots of things to write about, but I wasn’t sure how to say them without hurting anyone’s feelings. Third, because I knew that once I put up a new post, I would need to follow that with other new posts, probably more frequently than once every eight months.

I’ve adjusted what I want this blog to be about, in my mind, if not yet in practice.

I’m still working out how to be honest and forthright without causing a ruckus. Stacia Kane had a series of thought-provoking blog posts a few weeks ago that resonated with me. Her initial discussion was about whether or not to review other writers’ work. She doesn’t write reviews, for her own reasons, and her description of the hubbub a review could cause turned out to be a description of the hubbub her decision NOT to write reviews caused. She wrote:

And in fact I was/am seriously considering either giving up the blog altogether or going back to what I’ve been doing the last few months, which is basically just making the blog about me personally and not really expressing any opinions at all. Because quite frankly, it’s not worth it to me (which funnily enough was the point of last week’s posts, too)….Of course, what’s happened is the perfect example of why I said “Be careful what you say because people will misinterpret it/take offense when none is intended/attribute motives to you which aren’t yours/claim you’re ‘protesting too much’ when you try to explain that no, that really wasn’t your motive.” That reaction is exactly what I meant, everyone. Go ahead and tell me again why I’m wrong to suggest caution in your online dealings unless you enjoy being attacked. I don’t mean that to be rude, I’m just pointing it out.

Opinions are not always positive, if you’re honest, and a critical opinion–of a book, a company or others’ decisions–can sometimes come back to bite you in the butt. I have strong opinions. But I’m also inherently risk-averse. I was taught to practice what my mama preached: If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all. So, caution has had me sitting on my typing fingers not saying anything at all. The problem has become this: I want to say stuff. So I’m going to take the risk, I guess, and we’ll see how that works out.

Then today, I downloaded Debbie Weil’s free ebook about corporate blogging. And while mine is not a corporate blog, her tips were inspiring for us regular bloggers, too. The most important bit of advice, for me, was to write shorter and more frequent posts. (I knew it!) And the second most important was to have an opinion, but be polite about it.

I’m still figuring out how to be forthright, honest, vocal and polite. But, if everyone else is struggling with the same problem, then I figure I should stop worrying and just write. Shorter, more frequently and as nicely as possible.

I’m not dead…

Just on hiatus.

I have neglected to admit my true status for way too long. At first, sometime around BEA, I thought I would be away from this blog for a week or two, at most.

Then, after a blessed computer-free holiday weekend of relaxation and reading, I was certain I would be posting those drafts that were “almost finished” any day.

Then, I received a massive Diana Palmer research project to complete between early June and my long-awaited July 4th vacation. Mix that with last week’s in-house seminar and a mostly all-day luncheon with the lovely ladies (and a few gents) at the Long Island Romance Writers annual shindig, and I was very close to admitting I had hit my limit.

Then, I went out and bought The Passage.

I swore I wasn’t going to start it. I was going to save that behemoth book for my vacation.

Um, that didn’t work out so well.

Now, not only do I have work to do and a vacation to plan, but I have an intensely wonderful book I don’t want to stop reading. I had to deliberately leave it at home today just so I would have my lunch hour to write this post. Justin Cronin‘s book has grabbed me and refused to let go, and if it is within a few feet of me I will pick it up and read as much of it as I can. I’m only 130 pages into the 770-page story, and I’m already wishing it wouldn’t end. Yes, it is that good.

So, today I am forced to face the truth.

It’s going to be a while before I get back to this blog. Because it is summer and I’d rather be swimming and reading The Passage.

For the near future, you can find me on Twitter and Facebook—because it is easier to write (aka, edit) a sentence or two than it is to write (edit) a blog post. I’ll also be on my other blog, a little, because my mom would kill me if there were no regular updates about her grandkid, and on Goodreads so I can list all the books I plan to read while I’m at the park, the pool, the playground and the beach.

Ask me anything.

My always-ahead-of-me husband showed me the Formspring.me Web site a while back, but I couldn’t figure out why I would want to add a questions-only page to my blog.

And then I saw it in context on Fuck*d in Park Slope.

So, I’ve added a new feature to the sidebar: Ask me anything.

We’ll see what happens.


DISCLAIMER

I work as an editor at Harlequin, but the posts on this site are all mine and don’t represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.
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Stacy Boyd's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

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