Saturday, June 25, 2016

Guest Post: How Do You Even Blog?

Guest Post!  Lucy is here from Ryebrynn's Random Ramblings with popcorn and some blogging tips.  (Just kidding, I don't think she actually brought popcorn.)  I need a lot of these tips myself!  "Be yourself" is one of the ones I'm working on most at the moment.  Everyone welcome Lucy and go visit her amazing blog!

* * * * * * * * * 

BLOGGING IS HARD. That's a fact. Don't do it unless you're going to actually be invested. People want to read the blogs of individuals that ACTUALLY want to be blogging.

Don't be afraid to self promote. Post on your blog? Write a ten word hook that kind of explains the content and go social media crazy. Share the hook with a link to your blog. Comment on other blogs. Sign your emails and comments and stuff with your name and blog link.

Know when to call it enough. I know when I told you to be social you probably thought; "I don't want to scare people away." So this is a warning. Know when to call it enough. Sign your comments, emails, and everything with your URL. BUT don't say; "visit my blog!" "please follow me!" The person you're talking to is actually less likely to visit your blog if you specifically tell him/her to.

Stalk other blogs. Follow some cool blogs. Find some that have the same sort of subject as you want your blog to have. Draw inspiration from what they post. BUT DON'T COPY THEM. If there's anything unattractive about a blog, it's plagarism!

Go on Pinterest. Stumped for ideas? Pinterest is the answer. There are hundreds of prompts and ideas if you just search for them.

Blog what you love. I struggled for a long time with blogging until I found the specific sort of blog I wanted. Don't feel pressured to blog about books or to love chocolate or to hate love triangles unless YOU want to. If you don't like your content, then your readers probably won't. They're attracted to what seems truthful to them and they will really believe you if you love what you're talking about.

Ask questions! Are you posting a book review on your blog? Ask your followers what THEY thought of that book. People like bloggers who seem invested in them.

Don't do the "dear readers" cliche. Start your posts like a conversation, not a letter or email (unless that's your style!). This makes the readers feel like you're their dear friend, not some person selling something.

Be yourself. You have your own unique style. Don't abandon that. There's 7.4 billion people in the world. That's enough that you don't have to be something you're not.

Don't apologize. Out of all my blogging years, this is some advice that has stuck with me. I still struggle with it. Remember; your blog is first and foremost for YOU. Post content you enjoy. Even if some people don't like that, someone is out there now looking for your specific brand of blogging.

Ryebrynn is a Kansas born and raised American who lives in Liberia, West Africa. She is a book reviewer for Netgalley, Edelweiss, BloggingForBooks, and Liftuse Publicity Group. She fangirls periodically on her blog, Ryebrynn's Random Ramblings, and is probably insane.

Stalk her on social media!
Instagram: @life_books_cats
Facebook: @lucygracedoesalot (also message me there for free book covers!)
Twitter: @LucyBuller
Pinterest: Ryebrynn Crossblade

Which one of these tips can you use the most?  Wasn't the popcorn great? Any other tips?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Glitter and Roses - YouTube Debut!

I've always wanted to be a songwriter.  I start trying to write lyrics often, but never make it all the way.  Usually, I lack inspiration.  And all jokes aside, it's seriously hard to make lyrics and a melody that works with them.  Like, do you write the lyrics first? Or at the same time?  I've never been able to really figure it out.  (Please comment if you have the secret to this precarious art.)  xD

A slightly easier hobby is fan art.  Some time ago, I read a draft of Sierra Abram's "The Color Project", and absolutely loved it.  It inspired, like, all the fan art.  And finally, I had a song idea based off of it.  Let me tell you right now, it didn't happen in a day.  For the last few months I've been working on it for a few hours, then forgetting about it or giving up for a few weeks.  The other day I finally added some harmony and was mostly satisfied.  

I showed it to Sierra and her reaction was priceless.  Made me want to do this kind of thing more often, tbh.  I don't know.  It's just so great to be able to look at someone's art and be inspired by it.  It's kinda like..............seeing an adorable squirrel and subsequently wanting to be an adorable squirrel yourself.  Something like that.

I think I'll be trying stuff like this more often, now that I've broken the ice.  It's always been a dream of mine to have a Youtube channel.  We'll see. xD

Thanks for listening, and I'd love some feedback!  

Do you write music/have a channel that I can stalk?  Do you do fan art for things you admire, or want people to do fan art for you?  Are you an adorable squirrel?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Q&A: The Harvest of the Questions for an Upcoming Thing

Hello there!  Soon I'm going to be doing a Q&A post with questions from other bloggers, readers and writers!

So....if you have a question for me, comment below!  If I choose a question(s) of yours, I'll link to your blog.  :)  The questions can be serious, funny, random...

What do you want to know?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Voicemail: Folks, Always Name Your Rubber Duckies.

I'm sorry, but Caroline is not here to write a blog post today.  She has been abducted by a suspicious character clothed in black (probably one of her own) and taken to an undesirable place (probably some dungeon she intended for somebody else).

After that, her captor likely proceeded to feed her nothing but a nasty and unsustainable substance resembling food that was meant for long, boring journeys or torture.  If Caroline has not perished by the claw of resident Minotaurs along the way, she will be detained for only a few years - nothing more than she has done those she created.

Do not let this act of revenge worry you, however.   Unruly book characters plague even the best of writers.  Especially the best of writers, in fact, for they typically get you to like their book by causing you to form attachments to their characters, then inflicting damage on anyone you might have remotely been fond of.  In these cases, revenge comes two-fold - from both the characters, and their legions of lovers.

If you have an urgent need to contact Caroline immediately, you may send a message via glass bottle.  Drop it in the Aegean sea, and it should reach her in Crete in about twenty years.

If you need a slightly faster method, her current address is:

00 West Cave By the Wall
APT #5, Labyrinth Corridor
Cestia, Mygyia 234897.7*

This address, however, has changed at least five times a day since she arrived at her undesirable location, so beware of shipping difficulties due to the dreaded "NO SUCH PERSON EXISTING HERE" error.

Her phone number, if it has any signal at the moment and hasn't caught on fire yet, is:
Call now for a free consultation with a psychic rock!  Only $99.99, and only $99.98 if you let a friend eavesdrop on this once-in-a-lifetime session.

Thank you for so faithfully checking this blog for recent news!  As Caroline's personal assistant, I will wait until she is released from her punishment, and then promptly relay all of your wonderful concerns and comments.

So now you know the real reason Caroline is so inconsistent with her blog posts.  In fact, this is reason most authors seem so repulsive reclusive sometimes.  Character torture. Their past decisions in literary works often catch up with them.  And they do not come bearing donuts.  And they are not adorable penguins (vicious penguins, perhaps).  If you are an author reading this, remember - today is National Be Nice To Your Poor Babies Day.  Probably.

Please leave a message at the sound of the wind whistling like a too-quiet herald of the end of death and the beginning of gentle spring, with your own blogs and foolish writing misjudgments toward characters.  Also include your zodiac sign and the name of your first rubber ducky.**

Thank you.

*sounds of wind whistling like a too-quiet herald of the end of death and the beginning of gentle spring*


 *Numbers are approximate.  We are not responsible for shipping difficulties due to wrong estimations of the recipient's location.

*If you have the misfortune to never have owned a rubber ducky before, or have been stupid enough to not name your rubber ducky, you may make up an imaginary name at this moment. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

poem // shades

I wrote this a long time ago, over a year ago.  But sometimes words are more powerful the second time through, and this one hit me hard today.


I can feel the colors of emotions that I’ve never felt
Not only happy smiles, because rainbows can’t come without a storm...
But sad smiles that are full of colors I can’t see.
Behind the rainbows -  upside down smiles, still bright in the light of the sun,
An invisible canvas of shades that can’t be described.

But the heart can feel beyond the rays unknown
that shine through sun and rain, though none can know another.
It feels, as if they were its own, the heartache and regret,
the storm-clouds and floods yet unexpressed.

I feel the silences in the deepest hidden shades
that are richer than the whole display.
They say a thousand words and then some
The most important words I cannot say.
I stand by a rainbow that arches high
but always comes back down,
flickering in shadows cast by the sun,
and I understand -

the small smile full of colors I can feel
when I stop to hear a while.  

Friday, June 3, 2016

Sometimes I Can't Handle a Blog

Sometimes, like in these last few months, I can't handle a blog.  Oops.  :P
I'm also a perfectionist and sometimes I don't write because I can't get it to say exactly what I want to say, in the way I want to say it.  So this is a post of me just talking and not worrying about that stuff.

I've had a really busy month or so, but I'm officially done with my junior year of high school and two weeks into summer.  I'm still trying to unwind from being so stressed, and I think today was one of the first days I really felt like it was summer, so yay!  That's probably why I'm here writing, actually. xD

I'm also freaking out about a conference that's happening in about two weeks.  Writing conference. In Minneapolis.  With HANNAH AND OLIVIA AND KATIE AND AIMEE AND EEEK.  It's going to be the literal best.

I've kinda taken a break from Labyrinth too, but that was restarted again today.  Still handwriting.  Word Count at about 27,000 words!!  About 180 pages in my notebook.  I got stuck cause I got to the middle part, which I never plot out, and consequently get stuck in each time, but I made progress today.  Sierra gave me the idea of plotting out some random/key scenes in the front, middle and end.  So I tried jumping ahead and doing some of that.  It's working well and I'm so excited to get back into it.  I've missed feeling like a writer.

ART ART ART I'M PLANNING ON DOING SO MUCH ART THIS SUMMER.  I'VE ALREADY START SOME.  One of the best things will be decorating this gorgeous guitar that broke at our church recently.  AAACCKKK.

Other dreams for the summer?  Working out more.  Getting my book "The Drawing in of Breath" into a library and a bookstore.  Performing at a First Friday's downtown on a street corner. :)

I've also started READING AGAIN.  Those of you who have known me for years know that I used to read about a book a day, on a good month.  Then, in the last two years, that number has gone down to one or none.  It's TERRIBLE AND CRYING.   But this last month, in the last few weeks of school, I demanded to find time to read and I did.  Now I'm reading about half a book to a whole book a day and it feels SO GOOD.

These are the books I've read this year so far.  13 out of my goal of 60.

How have you guys been doing lately?  What'd I miss?  Have you read any of these books?

*exit Caroline*

Haha, now I probably won't appear for like 58 more months xD