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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Only On A Sunday and a Message for My Blog Friends!


On Friday "TOSSING IT OUT" posed this question and I thought about it and wanted to share more on my take, so I want you to visit there, first!

What Can Happen If a Blog Post Goes Viral?.... ...... .. ... ...a few words from someone who's been there!

I thought about this and this is the what I felt like about the whole "Where are you" in the blog community? We all wish for that one post that will bring us into the light, though it is a good light... finding our way to the top without hurting someone or getting hurt. It might be a strong "TITLE" or "SUBJECT"... maybe "TRENDING", what makes you grab attention? I would like you to really go read this post, it is a great strong important post. Much success to all of you and your quest to be heard... maybe stop over to my site, say Hello!

Jeremy

Friday, October 25, 2013

Are You Looking for Numbers on Your Blog?

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Blog icon (Photo credit: photologue_np)

A Word from Arlee Bird

         A to Z may be about the letters, but it's also about the numbers.  That's one of the reasons we do blogfests and interact with other bloggers isn't it?   We want to get readers for our posts and more followers for our blogs.   There's nothing wrong with that, especially if our blog is used as a platform for whatever it is we are trying to promote to others.

         But what about a viral blog post?  I'm talking about a blog post that gets media attention and turns the world's attention to something you've written.    The post that gets hundreds or maybe even thousands of comments and massive numbers of views from people who would have never otherwise visited your blog.  You become a blogging celebrity for your 15 minutes of fame.   Could you handle it?  Would you want it?  What would you do if it happened?

         Odds are your blog will not achieve that status, but if you focus on top quality content that deals with current relevant issues that are of interest to many people then your odds are increased.   It can happen and has happened to some bloggers.  In a sense it's like winning the lottery.  But in the end it boils down to how do you spend your gain?

 Why These Questions Here and Now?

         If you haven't visited Tossing It Out in the last couple weeks you've been missing a somewhat interesting series that I've been presenting.  And since we've been talking about odds, my guess is odds are you haven't visited.   How do I know?  Because the numbers of my visitors have been relatively low compared to the number of A to Z bloggers out there.

          Even though numbers of visitors have been low, the quality of comments has been amazingly high.  Some of those comments are like blog posts in themselves.  There is valuable content in each post of my series especially with the comments included.  If you're interested in building and bettering your blog I encourage you to visit Tossing It Out.

The Main Current Attraction

         If you read no other post in the series I suggest you visit the post that went up today (Friday October 25, 2013).   In this post I interview Liza Long of The Anarchist Soccer Mom.  Some of you may remember when last December after the Sandy Hook school shootings Liza Long gained national attention with her post I Am Adam Lanza's Mom.   Since her viral post she's done numerous national interviews and spoken at conferences throughout the United States as an advocate for mental illness.   In 2014 she will have a book published by the Penguin Group on the same topic.  All of this the result of one of her blog posts that went viral.

         I encourage you to read the interview at my blog and then continue over to her blog for a continuation of her story.  It's an exciting blog story that might stir your imagination about what you could do and make you look at your blogging in a whole new way.

         Don't sell yourself short as a blogger.  A to Z can sharpen your blogging skills and extend your audience reach.  Maybe 2014 is when A to Z bloggers will be going viral in April.   It could happen to you!

If You're Interested in the Series:

You can start at Do You Feel Respected As a Blogger? and then follow the posts that come after that one.  Or go to the home page and start with Liza's story.    Don't forget to comment on all of the posts as I'd like to hear your thoughts.   And please share on Twitter, Facebook, and any other favorite social media sites.   

       Thanks for reading and being a part of another blogging experiment!


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Monday, October 21, 2013

Another Sighting of The Vanished Knight with Misha Gericke


       Hey all! I’m pretty sure at least some of you have seen me and my book around on some of your favorite blogs, but today I thought I’d introduce you to two of the guys featured in The Vanished Knight. 

        Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you, Darrion and Gawain.

Gawain: Hi. *Darts an amused glance Darrion’s way before strapping off his sword and sitting down.*
Darrion: *crosses arms* Should have asked Callan.
Me: But I wanted to intro you two, since all the other posts have focused on the others, if we came to characterization at all.
Darrion: Oh I don’t know… *checks with Gawain* “I love writing scenes where Darrion’s arguing with anyone”, she said.
Gawain: *Nods, eyes dancing* Yes and…
Me: *Didn’t think they’d actually read my interviews.* I’m sure it doesn’t matter. How about we discuss –
Gawain: “There’s something delicious about pushing him to the edge.”
Darrion: *Raises an eyebrow at me.* De…licious?
Me: Uh….
Gawain: *Chortles, failing to cover it up with coughs*
Darrion: Of all the things you chose to refer to me as, you picked delicious?
Gawain: All the girls at Grayston Academy think you delicious too.
Me: … Not what I meant.
Darrion: *Eyebrow raises a fraction more* No?
Me: …. About Callan.
Darrion: *Scowls* Really?
Gawain: Well played. *Sits forward, watching Darrion.*
Darrion: *loooooooooong siiiiiiigh* What about her?
Gawain: You really don’t like her?
Darrion: Haven’t we covered this before? No. No I don’t. And she doesn’t like me either.
Me: She probably would if you stopped being an ass every time you’re near her.
Darrion: But I won’t, so the point is moot.
Gawain and me: *sigh*
Darrion: Still can’t believe you called me delicious in front of Tree knows how many people.
Me: I didn’t! I basically said I enjoy torturing you… *thinks* Uh…
Gawain: Yeah mo chrie. That came out very wrong.
Darrion: *Grins despite himself*
Me: *covers face, can’t help laughing at herself and them* Sorry… Yeah I meant…
Darrion: *goes over and pats my shoulder* Give it a rest, love, before we need shovels to get you out.
Me: Right… So about Callan…
Darrion: *pretends to be startled* Oh look. Time’s up.
Me: … oh.
Gawain: He’s been doing the same thing over and over again.
Darrion: *half smiles and steals a kiss to my cheek before heading out* Seeya later. And get writing!
Me: That wasn’t all that illuminating.
Gawain: Oh I disagree. *grins* Got to know you a lot better, didn’t I?
Me: Oh go on scamp! *chuckles*
Gawain: *laughs and heads out after Darrion* Hey! Maybe we should do these get-togethers for the A-to-Z Challenge next year. It’s fun!
Me: We’ll see!

       There you have it people, a few moments of life with the Nordian boys. And yes, they’re a lot like this to me when I write them too… Anyone else have characters constantly surprising and defying you as you write?


Blurb:
Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.

Bio
M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.
She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.
If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you'd like to see her writer-side (beware, it's pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blogYou can also add The Vanished Knight on Goodreads.


Links



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Monday, October 14, 2013

Are You Getting Ready for A to Z 2014?

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris
The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
         When the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge isn't consuming nearly my every thought, it at least lurks in the shadows at the back of my mind.   I keep thinking about what's coming in 2014.  How many bloggers will sign up?    Who will be on the A to Z Team?   Will we find enough good folks to assist the team?   What will I be blogging about in April?

         Have you thought of a theme for your 2014 A to Z entries?   That is if you're going with a theme.  You might be just going random, which there's certainly nothing wrong with that.   Many participants fly through April by the seat of their pants and have a grand time doing it.  There's no right or wrong way to go with how you want to do the A to Z Challenge.

        Personally, I've found going with a theme easier to work with especially if I enter more than one blog as I have done in the past couple years.  It may seem superfluous, but I feel like I'd be neglecting my other blogs if any of them weren't part of the April Challenge.  I don't know for sure if I'll keep all four of my blogs busy that month.  It is a lot of work.  But it's also been worth the work I've put into doing it that way.

        Just the other day, the theme came for my main blog Tossing It Out.   I won't be revealing the theme until right before the Challenge begins but I just wanted to mention that I've started the planning for April for that blog and am beginning to organize the daily posts.   I've heard that others have also already started into preparing their posts for April.  How about you?   Have you started yet?  Are you still trying to decide what you want to do?   Or are you just going to improvise when April comes?

        No matter which way you go, have a good time with it!

        Please visit my post at Tossing It Out and leave a comment.  I'm doing some information gathering and would like as many opinions, suggestions, and insightful information that I can find.  I will be presenting my findings in an upcoming post on that blog.

        Thanks!
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Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Rhyme Time with Pat Hatt - Challenge Participant Feature!

Today we have a special Challenge participant – Pat Hatt from It’s Rhyme Time! Pat is the author of over twenty books and a rhyming genius who has posted every day for two years straight. The cats keep him straight at his zoo, so no need to stage a coup.


Your Challenge theme was poetry, which is the focus of your blog. Was it any different following the alphabet and did anything tie the letters together?

I consider myself about as much of a poet as the cat. He is probably even better at it than Pat. So for theme I'd go with rhyming nut. That works better for my hut. Difference you ask? Well I guess it was more on task. Most never know what is going to show. At least with the A to Z they knew what letter would be posted at my sea. I wanted to tie them together but such a thing I could not weather. The cat ate the string I was going to use. So I just went with whatever was brought on by my muse.

Since you already post daily, was there anything challenging about participating in the A to Z?

I always joke the A to Z is a break because a little less random I have to be at my lake. So for posting wise easier is true. Grab a letter and post what comes due. What is challenging though is getting daily to every other blog high and low. Going to 100 a day is fine for me thanks to being able to do it at work like thee. But when it's like 100-200 every single day even on a Saturday, it can get a bit rough. But my OCD is tough. And I find a way to read and have my say.


What letter was your favorite?

I had fun with most at my coast. But U with Unite was probably my favorite one that took flight. A bit crass and even made a video come to pass. Can't beat that. Those kind of posts are much enjoyed by the cat.

What is Whoopdi Friggin Doo?

Whoopdi Friggin Doo kind of randomly came into view. It was just a saying that was used. Some felt abused others amused. Then some were confused. Basically means who gives a "you know" when something comes that curls a toe. Unless it is another toe curling act, then whoopdi friggin doo you might want to retract. Anyway, then came a new voice in my head on display. So Robbie Raisin was born. Hey, it beats zombie porn. And he hosts the show singling out commenters from a previous post who stopped and gave a comment below.

Who is Tarsier Man?

This nut annoys the cat at his hut. He thinks he is great and being the next Superman should be his fate. Damn thing can pop out his eyeballs to look around. He can even burrow into the ground, make his ears stretch like that Stretch Armstrong guy and now he can go all Dumbo with his ears and fly. Fighting off The Mailman, The Astronaut and the likes of The Weiner Man must be so rough. Boy, his life must be tough. The loon even has a theme song. The cat will scratch you if you sing along.



Oh and just so you know, if you call and want him to beat your foe, long distance charges still apply, even if doesn't get there in time and you die.

What is floccinaucinihilipilification?

I may tell you but first can you say it? I bet you'll say more than Whoopdi Friggin Doo as out comes the spit. Floccinaucinihilipilification is basically the foul word that rhymes with spit, or at least a bit. It means utter worthless crap. Like a Mars map. An empty litterbox? Holy socks? The end of a toilet paper roll? Just let your brain take a worthless crap stroll.

Did it bother the cat that R was about Rats? (Hey, I rhymed!)

Nah, the cat was not bothered at all. He can suck it up with no matter what appears on his wall. Reading the commentators get grossed out by the sight of all the rats was enough for him. See, you can rhyme. Just don't rhyme and sing or things may get grim.


If you participate in the Challenge next year, will you have a theme or wing it?

Oh the cat will be there and by the end of January I'll have A to Z done at my lair. Staying three months ahead is the way to be because then posting everyday is easy. If I can think of a theme that isn't too confining I may go with one. Otherwise just wing it and have some fun.

Now after that ninja wannabe you should be able to rhyme up a storm at your sea. No excuses allowed but like a mime you may draw a crowd. Is that good? is that bad? Maybe if you're understood it won't be so sad. Finally my interview has come to pass now I'll go bother someone else with my little rhyming ass.

But I am a Ninja…!!!

Thanks, Pat!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, and his blog can be found HERE


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why do the truly stupid rule our world?

Why do the truly stupid rule our world?
 
NASA celebrated its 55th anniversary by shuttering websites and furloughing most of its 18 000 employees as a U.S. government shutdown took effect on 1 October. But future space exploration missions stand to suffer the most from the shutdown's impact.
 
The U.S. space agency will likely halt work on satellites or spacecraft that have yet to launch, according to NASA's shutdown plans ….. the shutdown could delay the upcoming Mars MAVEN mission beyond its scheduled launch on 18 November and possibly push the mission back until 2016—the next time when Mars and the Earth will be aligned in the best positions for the spacecraft to reach the red planet. Reference

Now I’m really upset! And still the Congress are about the only government workers getting paid. Unbelievable!
 
But not to worry. Once again, it’s the private sector that will lead us into the 21st century, not the bungling buffoons in Washington people waste their time and energy supporting.
 
Four decades ago, NASA's Launch Complex 39A was at the center of the Cold War race to the moon.
 
Now the mothballed launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which dispatched Neil Armstrong and his crew on their historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969, is the focus of a battle of another sort, between two billionaire techies seeking to dominate a new era of private space flight.
 
A fierce competition for control of the pad by digital entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos has led to a government probe and congressional lobbying, delaying NASA's choice of a partner.
 
Musk's 11-year-old Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, already has two U.S. launch sites for its Falcon rockets at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and California's Vandenberg Air Force bases.
 
Musk, the co-founder of Paypal and chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc, also plans to build a site, probably in Texas, for commercial launches and wants Pad 39A for Falcon rocket launches to ferry cargo and possibly astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA.
 
Blue Origin, the company formed in 2000 by Amazon.com Inc. founder Bezos, is working on a suborbital reusable spaceship called New Shepard.
 
SpaceX has a backlog of more than 50 customers for Falcon rocket launches, including 10 more cargo runs to the International Space Station for NASA and satellite launches for commercial firms and foreign governments. The company also has two U.S. Air Force launches that are considered trial runs toward potential bigger contracts.

Blue Origin plans to evolve its rockets and spaceships for orbital flight as well and has proposed running Launch Complex 39A for multiple users while it continues to develop its technology. Reference
 
For a related article on SpaceX, please CLICK HERE.

Question: Need I ask? Who will lead us into the 21st century. Governments? Or private industry?