Tag Archives: Blog

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear readers!

May 2016 be an exciting year of change in your life!

May God bless your life according to what is suited to you.

Thank you for faithfully visiting my blog. I hope you continue to find things of help and interest to you here.

 As we enter a new year, my goal is to write more, read more, and progress forward to publication.  (I don’t set resolutions.)

What are your goals for 2016?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

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NaBloPoMo: leaves in transition

dscn1093.jpgIt has been a very busy day but I want to post something for NaBloPoMo before the day is over. I thought you may find the coloration of these maple leaves interesting.

We had a very windy Friday and Saturday, but mild with some rain. So many of our Autumn leaves have been beaten off the trees making a colourful carpet on the ground.

Fall is not my favourite season because of the cooler weather it brings in leading into Winter cold, but it is such a beautiful season. This year it seems to be an especially exquisite one here in Nova Scotia.

What is your favourite season and why?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

 

NaBloPoMo – I am participating for the first time!

NaBloPoMo?  what is that?

NaBloPoMo_November_badges_small

National Blog Posting Month. It was started in November 2006 as a counterpart to NaNoWriMo. Each day in the month of November bloggers post something new on their blog. (They actually keep going for the whole year if wanted, but it seems November is a busier month because of NaNoWriMo.) It can be as simple as a photo or a quote, or as lengthy as they want to take the time to write.

Do I have enough to do this month? One would think so, but here I am adding another challenge to my already quite full list. I decided since I will likely be posting here every day, anyway, keeping updates of my NaNoWriMo progress, I could attempt to add a little to each post for this challenge, too.  So, crazy or over-extended — or both! — here I am. By the time my blog appeared on the long list this morning, it is number 1258 with over two hundred after it!

To console those who don’t like tons of posts from me, I seriously doubt I will continue every day after this challenge ends. And I will try to make it interesting for the next 28 days.

If you love to blog and would enjoy this challenge, go here for information, then sign in and sign up! Or simply cheer me on.  🙂  That would be great, too.

Are you doing this challenge, have you ever, or would you like to another month? How often do you usually blog?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

10 points on how to create a welcoming blog

I have been working on cleaning up my blog. Again.14502340-orange-cartoon-character-with-dust-mop-and-bucket-on-the-white-backgroundI read somewhere that the less clutter there is the more pleasant it is for visitors, and maybe they will return more often. I like that idea. What blogger doesn’t like repeat visitors? So, as a visitor of many other blogs, and keeping that advice in mind, I have tried to make my blog esthetically pleasing – easy on the eyes, interesting to view, and a snap to navigate.

Here are my ten points on how to create a welcoming blog:

  1. WordPress has many themes, most of them free, a few I have tried and liked a lot but I’ve decided that my choice of three columns is a convenience for me. I like that I have my written content in the middle and on either side I can choose widgets to contain the extra things I want to share, things I hope my readers will benefit from and enjoy.
  2. I have tried to keep it as simple as I can, removing the extra unnecessary items that really don’t do much to enhance what my blog is about. That has evolved over time and is ongoing.
  3. I chose a theme with adjustable background colours I can change if I want to; right now light blue is working well. It’s calming and, I think, makes the writing easy to see. Plus, for the month that WordPress has snow falling on my blog if I want it (and I do), I can adjust the colour to see the snow more clearly.
  4. I recently discovered menus! All my page names are in the top bar of every page and now you can mouse over them for drop-down menus. Fun! I enjoy that feature on blogs I visit; it’s like finding hidden treasure. 🙂 And it’s a convenient way to see what’s offered without having to take forever to search for it, such as writers helps.  Another great thing is that using drop-down menus, I listed all my individual book reviews posted here so far, but – being concerned about monitors that have smaller screens – I divided the list into two per year where necessary so the reader can access every review. One long list could mean the reader might miss the books at the bottom, and they’re too good to miss. The menus can be layered to accommodate what I needed to do.
  5. The calendar in my left column has the dates of my blog posts in each month underlined.That way it is a reminder to me that I need to get busy writing, and an easy way for visitors to see if there is a post they may have missed.
  6. Because I find it difficult to keep to a tight routine, not as many posts are written as I would prefer, but I schedule posts ahead if I have been able to get them prepared. That’s another great feature on WordPress. It is very easy to use, along with drafts to save for later use.
  7. I wanted a countdown clock so did an online search for one. What I discovered is that WordPress has one right here! It’s called Milestone, which is why I didn’t recognize it as a countdown clock. It doesn’t even look like a clock but I like it; it’s easy to use and program. Now I have it in my right column to count down to writers workshop dates and to introduce upcoming topics. I also put up a second one when I have a scheduled author interview or book giveaway to announce. How simple, fun, and convenient!
  8. There are many other items offered by WordPress that are very helpful and some of them you can check out here on my blog. I mentioned only a few of the ones I chose and enjoy the most. I like that WordPress is so user-friendly and the team is always working to improve and add to what they offer. And one of the best things is most of the themes allow the user to personalize their blog, which is what a blogger really wants. Making your blog represent who you are can only enhance it.
  9. I am very grateful for the spam filter (Akismet), used here. It has been 99.87% accurate on my blog! The team is always aiming to stay ahead of that battle. Along with that, I’m happy with the way the comments section is set up as I have the choice to approve or deny comments as they come in. I choose to require people to fill out their name and email address in order to comment, but that is to be sure they are sincere. I also DO NOT give that information to anyone else, but I do use it to notify the person if they have won a book. 🙂  If that setting is discouraging you from leaving comments, please be assured that I am safe.  🙂  In my opinion, that setting qualifies as a good feature once the blog feels safe to the visitor.
  10. Perhaps the most important point in creating a welcoming blog is to BE welcoming. So simple a thing to do. My way of doing that is to try to be myself with everyone. I share what’s on my mind, what’s going on in my life – while trying to not go overboard with that, along with posting what my blog is mainly about … which is WRITING. I am delighted to have YOU visit me and let me know you have been here. I love it when you leave a comment or “like” a particular post.  Oh, there’s another fun feature. 🙂

These are a few things I hope will help you a little in creating a welcoming blog. They are what I have figured out over the three years I’ve been here on WordPress. In fact, January 9 was my third WordPress birthday.  Thank you for making my blogging an adventure I truly enjoy. (most of the time) 🙂  Oh, and if you want to subscribe to receive notice of new posts, you’ll find an easy-peasy widget at the top of my left column. It’s automated and free to sign up! 🙂

What blogging features or tips have you found that work for you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Writers’ Helps

This is another quick post to let you know that if you visit my Writers’ Helps page you will find a few more links to check out. They are interesting and fun, I am sure you will agree.

I also made a change on my About Me page which is now About Me/Contact Page. After you scroll down past the me blurb you’ll find a contact form. This is just in case you want to contact me about writing or reviewing or something else valid – without knowing my email address – but you don’t want to leave a comment the usual way. This form puts your message through to me after checking it for spam. (Thanks WordPress!)

I’m glad you visit my blog, and I hope you enjoy what you find here.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

I received the Beautiful Blogger award!

On May 10 I received a lovely surprise from fellow blogger Ruth Schiffmann, the blessing of the Beautiful Blogger award!

That’s really encouraging since I feel that I’m not keeping up my blog very well between going back and forth (if you are following my blog you’ll understand what I’m talking about) and trying to catch up on the books I have here to read and review on my blog and elsewhere,  along with .. just keeping up.

Have you ever wondered, as I have … when do I get back to my life? Then I realize .. oh yeah! This IS my life!

Enough whining.

THANK YOU to Ruth for this cyber hug. Please pay her a visit at her blog, Out on a Limb.

I don’t know if I can fulfill the rules for this one, share 7 random things about myself, and then pass the award on to 15 other bloggers – that’s the hard part so I am awarding it to 10 instead.

7 random things about me:

  1. A friend recently called me an internet junkie. I think he may be right. And I see nothing wrong with that as long as I am careful about where I go on the Net, get food and exercise, and don’t totally neglect my responsibilities in ‘real life.’
  2. Blessing others is such a joy (blessing) to me. It’s fun to do things secretly, too.
  3. I’m 5’4.5″ (that’s 5 feet 4 1/2 inches) tall. (never forget that half inch!)
  4. When I was a child my eyes were definitely brown, now they are more hazel.
  5. I would love to have a dog like my beautiful Shasta who died three years ago this month.  She was German Shepherd/Husky/Wolf and had such personality. I still miss her so much. But I also would like to adopt a Greyhound. Anyone have one?
  6. I enjoy movies, but not horror or gore or ones that are overly sappy or loaded in swearing. I like movies that do not insult one’s intelligence, although some comedies seem to have that as a requirement.
  7. I am starting a list of my favourite words  … for no particular reason, I just like them.

I am sending this award on to the following beautiful bloggers:

  1. Sue Harrison
  2. Linda Leinen
  3. Donna Yates
  4. Janet Sketchly
  5. P. Allen Jones
  6. Renee Johnson
  7. Jo Hart
  8. Patricia Blomeley-Maddigan
  9. Karen (whose last name I don’t know)
  10. Darlene Foster

I hope you visit these great bloggers. Thanks again, Ruth, for this award. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

I love Sunshine & I received the Sunshine blogger Award!

Ever need a little something of encouragement that arrives at just the right time? I do now and again. Thanks to Darlene Foster, on March 1 I was given the Sunshine Award! What a lovely, and appreciated blogger award.

This award comes with the requirement to answer “ten easy questions”, but for me it’s not so easy. I cannot pinpoint favourites very well, but I told Darlene maybe it’s because I like so many things. You’ll see how indecisive I am with naming just one thing.

Now, on with the show —

Of course, the Sunshine Award has some rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

TEN EASY QUESTIONS

Favorite color: This varies, sometimes pink, sometimes green … or purple

Favorite animal: donkey, elephant, my own dog, – personality is important. 😉

Favorite number: 7, or 4 because I often seem to prefer things to be even

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: ice water with lemon, Rooibos tea, fruity or spicy herbal tea

Prefer Facebook or Twitter? definitely Twitter, I am not convinced about Facebook.

My passion: helping and encouraging others; reading/writing

Prefer getting or giving presents: Giving. Although it’s fun to receive gifts there is so much enjoyment in giving to bless others, especially if it’s a ‘just because’ gift.

Favorite pattern: Snowflakes come in amazing patterns, and frost on window panes can make exquisite patterns

Favorite day of the week: any day of peace in my life – and the rare days I can write and/or read without interruption or other obligations – is a great day. Also, I tend to be reclusive, if possible, to regenerate and think.

Favorite flower: the Mammoth Russian Sunflower

PASSING IT ON:

I hereby pass forward this cheery Sunshine Award to some worthy bloggers whose writing I have discovered and enjoy for one reason or another – even though I don’t get to visit many very often. Give yourself a treat by checking them out.

http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/
http://deryncollier.wordpress.com/
http://thegracefuldoe.wordpress.com/
http://www.singer-scribe.blogspot.com/
http://www.happybirthdayauthor.com/
http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/
http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com    
http://jancoates.ca
http://misscharlottesbookblog.blogspot.com/
http://ishtamercurio.blogspot.com
http://rebeccaberto.wordpress.com/
http://michelledevans.blogspot.com/
 

And that’s it! Again, thanks Darlene. I will be notifying all the above to let them know of their award. Please visit these wonderful people, including Darlene who can be found at http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂