Guest Posts Are Like Crocheting A Present

oliver-thomas-klein-207908Just this last week I wrote a guest post for Patti, who is writing the biography of my favorite author, Emilie Loring. You can read my guest post here. Guest Post: I Became a Writer Because of Emilie Loring.

I have only written two guest posts in my blogging life. It’s not that I don’t like writing guest posts, but I actually usually avoid them because they are like when I crochet a present for someone. How you ask?

Well, see when I write for my blog, I am not always grammatically correct and I throw in fragments and quirky writing. But when I am writing a guest post, I sit there and try to revert back to my high school English. Or at least to the best of my remembrance of the rules. Language was never my strong suit and I never really liked it. Ironic as I am a writer.

So I try to make a post as neat and tidy as possible. To which you are asking why this is like a crochet project.

When I am crocheting a something for someone, I am worried about every little stitch and have been known to take out entire rows because I missed one stitch that I could easily add in later, but to me it’s obvious. If it were something for myself, I might fudge it. But for a gift, it had better be pretty darn neat and tidy.

Same applies to guest posts. I like to be grammatically correct and sound like a writer. My writing gets messy and goes all over the place. Oh sure, I go back and clean things up for a lot of writing, but not always with a blog post. Sometimes I let a typo slip. Or I don’t worry if something rambles on. Now that I use Grammarly, it kind of warns me when I’m getting really messy, and sometimes I take its suggestion, but I still like to let my writing show me. I am a cluttered person and my thought process is very strange sometimes, but it is me.

That guest post is like standing on stage and straightening your skirt and making sure your hair is smoothed down. You want to like slightly presentable.

But I still enjoy doing a guest post here and there. Haha, my two! How do you feel about guest posting?  Or how do you feel about others guest posting for you? I’ve never asked someone to write a guest post. I always feel a little protective of my blog so I’ve been afraid to ask someone to guest post for me. Maybe I need to step out of my comfort zone.

Kate

Where’s The Writer Been?

I realized that I’ve been a little unfocused when it comes to blogging when I got a notice from the book review site that my account had been deactivated. Just as I was working on a new review! Crazy summer. I’ll blame that. And that I have been spending more time writing within my actual writing instead of blogging. You have to give up a lot of stuff to be a writer. Even your sanity at times.

That being said, I have some posts in the works, and a couple of reviews coming down the pipeline. Along with that, in just 10 days I will be doing another Write 31 Days. This year’s theme will be 31 Days of Autumn Photography, or something titled like that. Then come November I will be participating in Writer’s Digest PAD challenge again. So things are coming. So sorry to be behind the times. And gosh, I hope I get my Gold status back again on the BookLookBloggers.

Kate

Continuing On – Day No. 32 Finished

My Write 31 Days list that is a little messy.

My Write 31 Days list that is a little messy.

Why did I think I could get by without another post this weekend? Seriously, I hadn’t thought of a recap post at all. Not sure why I didn’t, but then I’m not one to carry something on when I’m done. When I’m done, I’m done.  So recapping the month of October is a new thought to wrap my head around. But it’s a good thing.

So, I started off the month with plans to write about feminine things and I managed to keep the theme going clear through the end. Yes, there were some days where there was only a quote or a short-ish post. Several posts where I wondered why I was even writing because I wasn’t saying anything someone couldn’t find out by Binging it. I didn’t add in any new advice or new information. It was mostly a month of personal posts, things I found I liked and so forth.

But at the same time, I hope you, my readers, my dearies (sorry, I’m still channeling Rumpelstiltskin from OUAT) enjoyed what I had to say.  I honestly think my poetry was a little more exciting, but at the same time, it was fun all around to dabble in a theme.  Last year I had more of a random month of just, well, randomness. There wasn’t a specific theme to stick to, so in a sense, it was easier.  This year, I had to make sure what I was writing related to women. I had several things I wanted to write about that were not women related, so I put them on the back burner, and promptly forgot about them. Short attention span, I guess. If I can’t remember it, then I must not have really needed to write about it.

I did struggle as I wrote, some days not writing till late evening and I felt kind of guilty. I wanted to stick with the writing every single day and not skipping. I stressed a little about ‘checking the box’ for writing that day. I wasn’t worried about post length or even originality too much, but I did stress over writing ever single day. It wasn’t until I mentioned this on the Facebook group page for the Write 31 Days community that someone told me not to worry. And the person that said that was Crystal Stine herself, the moderator and head girl in charge this year for the challenge.

This is what she said: “Just so you know, writing in advance or using quotes isn’t cheating smile emoticon it’s how I did a lot of my series and I love that you stuck with the goals you set for yourself. I just don’t want anyone else to think they did it “wrong” if they scheduled their posts smile emoticon My favorite part, personally, has been all the creative and unique ways everyone found to complete the challenge – there is no “right way” to blog and it was fun seeing what worked for everyone!”

This was so incredibly helpful. I am cutting myself some slack, and I am going to take a little mental break. I am going to listen to what else she said in her Periscope that I can watch on a video she uploaded Here.  I like that she says to rest. I seriously need to.

I had been feeling a little weird about the writing towards the end of the month. Partly because some of my ideas had flown out the window at the last moment, and other ideas came because I finally pulled up my Firefox Pocket (a cool app on Firefox that allows you to ‘pocket’ links to articles so you don’t have to save millions of bookmarks. Yeah, because I need to read all those things I have no time for)  But that is where I came up with the post on what women need to know. I had the article floating around in there.

So, in conclusion, this was a fast month that flew by and I wrote more religiously than any other time. It felt good. It felt stressful, and it left me wanting to continue. Just like I want to continue on with more poetry, but haven’t made time for.  I decided a week and a half ago to sign up with The Daily Post‘s new Blogging U course. I believe it is Writing 101.  It runs from November 2 through the 27, I believe. Writing every day to keep the ideas going. While I might not stay with all the suggestions, I will try to take time to work on all the things I need and want to work on. I have several children’s book ideas floating around in my head, from female carpenter bees that only go to purple flowers (of course, because they are purple!) to Blue Jays as being the re-foresters of the world (what with all their acorn placement) I have novels I have started and let idle along. I have a short story that needs submitting to Readers Digest…. or other literary magazines.

I have a house that needs a serious de clutterization. No that is not a word, but it works. I also call it deleting. I need to delete things from my life.

So November promises to be a busy month. I will rest though, like Crystal said. I don’t want to get burned out, but at the same time, I want to keep going. I do know some serious correspondence letters are in my future. Jules needs a letter. As to others.

On a side note, some of my favorite posts this month were:

 

 

What were your favorite posts? Anything that stuck out? Anything you would like to see in the coming year? I don’t normally ask my readers what they would like to see, but I would love some input. What do you like to read about? Tell me in the comments section below and I will seriously consider it.

Thank you for spending this month with me.

Kate

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas deariesMerry Christmas, readers one and all. My dearies who have held up under my very random, but Christmas inspired 25 Days of Christmas.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. I’ll be taking a few days off through the weekend to just relax a bit and hopefully write some posts for future dates. I’ve been doing these blog challenges and I love ’em, but man, they require a bit more foresight that I don’t seem to always have. Especially towards the end. I still have a Toolbox post in the works. A Writer’s Path (Ryan, I think)  knows what I mean since I commented about his blog and his toolbox… I’m rambling. Anyways, I have ideas in the works. I still need to attempt more flash fiction, but it seems to have escaped me this month. Ironically since I want to write Christmas flash fiction! I had this thought about being snowbound at Christmas, a la Hallmark-y film with the Bing wallpaper that was the other day’s…..SJMountainCabin_EN-US11195673674_1920x1080 I just have ideas I need to work on!  Now that I don’t have sewing projects, I might be able to finish or start some writing things.

So, I hope you all are having a great Christmas wherever you are. North, south, east and west.

Kate

25 Days of Christmas

25 Days of ChristmasI think I’m a little nuts, but I’m going to attempt a 25 days of Christmas; though it’s more like 25 days of December.

I liked doing the 31 Days of October (look up to your upper right. There, see the tab? Click that for the 31 Days) and I thought it might be fun to keep the ball rolling for December. And like anything else I write about, not all will be themed with Christmas because I just can’t be that kitschy.  So there will be winter and books and Christmas and thought provoking.  Pretty much a usual day for Kate’s Bookshelf.

First post is coming right up with a post called Trees.  Then you can keep track of these days by going under the 31 Days of October heading and you will have a new page for the 25 Days challenge.  I hope that makes sense. I didn’t think about it when I started the 31 Days challenge. I should have aligned it better. Live and learn.

So, enjoy, dearies.

Kate

Plans… Discarded

I’ve gone three days without writing a decent post and I had plans today to write something that was of decent capacity, but here I am writing about not writing. I want to update this blog a bit; I’m not exactly sure what I want to do. I think a bit of a new sidebar and a bit more information that I’ve kind of let go by the wayside. A new quote or two might be nice.

What would you like to see?  Any ideas? Categories you might want to see. A better index?  Do you like my Saturday Inspire posts?

More quotes? More flash fiction?  I’d love to know what you readers are interested in seeing.

Comment and let me know. I’m open to more options.

Signing off

Kate

Being Proactive

I am being incredibly proactive.  I just finished writing my post for Christmas.

Next year.

Yes, I decided that I never get around to a proper holiday post, so why not do it now, while I’m in the spirit and have major inspiration.  I need to add a picture, but I have it all ready for the 24th of next year.  It’s kind of fun.  Like a little present to myself and all my readers.  Now, sure, it takes away the surprise if I tell you now that I already typed it up, but will you actually remember that I told you that?  Probably not.

I’m never one to be very good at blogging on time.  In fact, I’ve become quite horrible about it.  I was much better with the WordPress challenge of Postaweek  last year.  It was much easier when I had a deadline.

But I’m trying.

I’m trying to get back on track to blogging more regularly, along with writing query letters and writing in general.  I’ve gotten bogged down in holiday cheer and the whole relaxing after a crazy summer and fall.  I have millions of ideas in my heads, and actually some time to write, yet I spend it futzing and reading.  Oh well.  Reading is important.

So, here’s to one of my New Year’s resolution of being proactive.

Signing off

~Kate

Upgrading the Bookshelf

I’m slowly trying to clean up Kate’s Bookshelf, making it neater and much more streamlined.  I want to make a page specifically for the blogs I follow, along with my tools of the writing trade, and various other things.  So, if you happen upon a page that seems lacking, well that’s probably because it isn’t finished.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get it much neater soon, but until then, please be patient. It’s a work in progress.

Signing off

~Kate

WordPress Just Fueled My Already Obsessed Obsession With My Email

I love email. If I had to pick one thing I’m obsessed about, besides books, pens, writing, reading, photography and various other things, email would be one of those things. Clearly I can’t pick one thing, but that is beside the point. Happy, happy emails in my inbox. Oh that new mail at the top highlighted and waiting to be read. The blink of a familiar address popping up in my inbox. All those lovely emails to read. Why, someone wanted to contact me, and there is their note waiting for me to click it open.emailing1.jpg

I am habitually checking my email, hoping for a note from someone, even if I don’t expect anything from them. Or checking for a note from someone though I’ve yet to reply to one of theirs. It is usually the first thing I think about in the morning, and since my laptop is right by my bed, I can indulge in that obsession. Or habit. I’m not sure which one it is. And usually checking my email is the last thing I do before clicking off my light, or many times, the light is already off, like right now, and I’m checking my email.

Can I live without email? Yes. Do I want to? No.

No, while it would probably be healthier if I didn’t obsess over it, nor rely on it for various things from moments of mood boosts when a ‘Like’ comes in from WordPress, to blogs I want to read but do not have the time to even glance at, I still really enjoy it. I actually don’t use it that much for correspondence, unless you count the few people in my life who I don’t actually write letters to, meaning on paper. There are a couple people in my life I do not actually send a stamped letter to, though I would like to. Email is more of a collection of blogs that I am subscribed to, though this is more recent in the past two years, and various other updates.

I attempt, in my life to keep writing to paper and pen, which for the most part, I succeed at. Email is actually, when one comes down to it, a necessary evil. We would all get along fine without it, but for anything online, you need it. You can’t subscribe to anything online without an email, whereas on paper, email is still usually optional.

Sometimes I miss the paper and real life optional aspect.

All that being said, this feature of WordPress where you can send your post in via email is great. While I like the format of writing on WordPress, there are times when I just don’t want to have to pull up a new window. Why right now I’m typing via my email, partly to keep with the post from The Daily Post at WordPress on Mail It In. I tested it out on Monday to see how it worked, and wow, that is a nice feature. I mean, a really nice feature. I like that I can tap something quickly out and it will post, just so long as I remember my Catagories, and common tags. The categories might be tricky to remember, and I don’t have the coding down yet, but maybe a few more times and I might. I do miss the fact that with the WordPress Dashboard new post, there are usually suggestions for images and other posts to link to, but I don’t always need that.

Do I need one more reason to use my email? Probably not, but I can see how this feature will be something I use in the future for blogging. Does this fuel my email obsession? Probably more than it should, but it might be just the novelty of a new thing. I get this way when I see new themes on the Theme Showcase. Heck, right now I’m debating changing my theme to the new Twenty Twelve, just because. I probably won’t, though it is tempting.

For now, I’ll just use the email your blog post in, when the mood strikes. I still like planning out my posts before just tapping one out. Though honestly, this was not one of my better posts. I had it plotted out much better in my mind and it did not come out that way. Pardon the randomness of it all.

Signing off
~Kate