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Bloggers Helping Bloggers

It’s one of the big surprises of my writing life.

Discovering that becoming a blogger meant I was joining a worldwide community.  A community that cares, and helps.

I became a blogger because my daughters thought I needed to “get myself out there”. I was struggling with the effects of a head injury and damage to my body; I’d become ashamed of myself and extremely reclusive.

Blog Photo - Pink Phlox and Butterfly

Blogging helped pull me out of hiding by giving me pen-pals all over the world.  As I read their stories — or their comments on mine — we started getting to know and care about each other’s projects and well-being.  They inspired and uplifted me.

Bloggers also help each other in practical ways:

Tweeting: Some bloggers often/routinely retweet my (and others’) posts. Take a bow, Wendy MacDonald, Sally Cronin, Sarah Vernon, Tina Frisco, Annika Perry, D.G. Kaye and all of you who do this!

Reblogging: It’s a great compliment when followers reblog a post. Props to Sally Cronin; Chris (The StoryReadingApe); Marcia Meara;  Bernadette; and many others who do this routinely.

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Sally Cronin

Helpful insights: Bloggers such as Gallivanta, Clare Pooley and Lavinia are likely to share a helpful insight, fact or contact in their comments. I always take note!

Writing Tips: Bloggers share tips to improve our writing — blogs or books. Props to Michael Dellert, Sue Uttendorfsky, and many others.

Connections: The best story I know is my own. Chris Graham connected me with Jo Robinson to illustrate Myrtle the Purple Turtle. A great partnership was born. I’ve been recommending Jo as an illustrator and editor ever since.

Author Services:  Jo, Kev Cooper,  Jeanne Balsam and others offer one or a range of services at affordable rates:  editing, design, illustration, publishing, promotions and promotional materials such as bookmarks and posters.

Recognition:  Blogger-reviewer-author Kev Cooper reads many books and started the Diamond Book Awards. Other bloggers give book/blog awards too.

Blog Photo - Diamond Book Award 2017

Promotions: Sally and Chris are the best I know, generously promoting what seems like hundreds of authors each year. How they find the time, I don’t know, but  — take a bow, you two!

Featuring other Bloggers: I do this on my blog, as do many others.

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Yvonne Blackwood

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Diane Taylor

Deliberately Buying each other’s Books:   All my purchases/requested Christmas gifts from family are books from small presses and especially by indie authors who blog.  I borrow books by the big-name authors from the library.

Blog Photo - Sally Cronin book

Blog Photo - Maya and the book of everything

Blog Photo - Donna K Mind Book

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Giving feedback on Manuscripts: When the draft is done but you’re still not sure and a blogger gives feedback, that’s a major gift.

Reading and Reviewing each other’s books: When a blogger reads my book then reviews it on Goodreads, Amazon or even better – their own blog — that’s a gift! Take a bow, everyone who does this! Thanks to bloggers who’ve done this for me.

Blog Photo - Lavinia Album cover

Spreading the Word:  We spread the word about each other’s books in circles beyond blogging. Lavinia Ross and Gallivanta: Thank you for spreading the word about Myrtle in your own circles and beyond.

Praying/holding faith for each other: We celebrate other bloggers’ “wins”. Invariably, we also learn about their life struggles. When my husband was critically ill, bloggers around the world expressed concern. Many were praying. And when my blogger friends or loved ones face troubles, I do the same.

Been helped by bloggers or helped? Please share!

 

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A Good Home, Books

Short Books I’ve Enjoyed

Let’s hear it for the short books!

The slender ones that you can slip into your handbag, your “man-purse” or even a (very large) pocket. I almost always have one such book with me when I go to a place where I have to wait: hospitals, for example.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the following in recent months, and some I have even reread (short books are good for re-reading).

Unfinished Business by Michael Topa  (available from: greenoaks2@yahoo.com)

This is poetry about everything from the creation of the universe, to growing up in a strange family situation, falling in love and travel to intriguing places. Some of these poems are very moving, and all are beautiful in some way.

Blog Photo - Caboodle & the Whole Kit

Caboodle & the Whole Kit by Kevin Cooper

This book is an anthology — an unusual mix of topics and story types — and, as Kevin says, “inadvertent run-ins with some quite unsavory characters”. 

I have read and reread my favourites from it, including the author’s hilarious visit with a famous fictional character. Kevin is a musician, author, editor and blogger. Caboodle includes a mix of short stories, poetry and songs, and topics include romance, faith, family  — the whole kit and caboodle of life.

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My Vibrating Vertebrae by Agnes Graham

I have loaned this book to 2 friends, and they also enjoyed it.

It asks the intriguing question:  What if you are a girl growing up in 20th century Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’?

The answer comes in the clear, strong poetry – and humour — of Agnes Graham. The book was published (after her recent death) by her children, who said:

“From the poetic thoughts of our Mother, we get a sense of what it was like. Ranging from humour, sadness, wistful thinking and sometimes just downright nonsensical, these are the words of one such girl.”

Well-known book blogger Chris Graham is Agnes’ son, by the way.

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D.G. Kaye’s P.S. I Forgive You

D.G. Kaye writes on a powerful topic: forgiving a very difficult and abusive parent. Yet she does it in a clear-eyed way, in simple and taut writing. The topic may be difficult, but this book is easy to read, and more memorable for it.