Weekend Edition – At the Intersection of Words and Life plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

A fantastic blog, Live to Write – Write to Live has great weekly posts and the Saturday version includes some awesome links!

Live to Write - Write to Live

At the Intersection of Words and Life

A winter landscape that provided the perfect backdrop for my writerly reflection. A winter landscape that provided the perfect backdrop for my writerly reflection.

I’ve noticed a theme emerging in my last few weekend edition posts. For whatever reason – where I am in my own writing journey, the usual end-of-year reflections, the muted desperation that seems to pervade the news these days – I find myself wanting to better understand how this writing thing fits into my life. I want to explore the “why” as much as the “how” and the “what.”

I am not questioning whether or not I should write. No matter what happens, I will always write. It is too much a part of who I am and too deeply embedded in how I experience the world. I may as well lose my sense of sight or hearing as lose my ability to write. Putting words down is how I give…

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Pay-It-Forward-Friday: Gene’O

Pay It Forward Fridays came from this post by Emily Guido. The idea is to feature a blogger or author on Fridays and give them a little shoutout. Anyone goes as long as they’re interested.

I’ve received an incredible amount of support from bloggers, authors and people I’ve met on line who didn’t know me and were just very kind, supportive souls. And, when I read that post by Emily Guido, I thought: time to give back.

I loved this quote from Emily’s mother:

“I cast a couple of pieces of bread on the water and the waves bring me back a ham sandwich.”

Karma is a beautiful thing.

My focus today is Gene’O, a blogger, writer and photographer just to name a few. He also happens to have a M.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Creative English. He’s also one of those people I’ve mentioned above.

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Gene’O describes himself as a: “Compulsive writer, amateur photographer, and blogaholic.”

He’s is a contributor to several fantastic websites:

(Sourcerer)

(Sourcerer)

(Parttimemonster.com)

(Parttimemonster.com)

(quaintjeremy)

(quaintjeremy)

He also runs his own site and is active on other media:

(just Gene'O)

(just Gene’O)

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pinterest for Bloggers

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stubleupon for Bloggers

His sites are filled with goodies like incredible photographs, writing resources, great posts, helpful tips for Social Media and more. I follow them and the day doesn’t go by when I don’t find something worthwhile on them. Why not check them out?

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Top 10 posts for October

Here are the top 10 posts for October according to you!

10. Five books I re-read over and over was a hit with readers. They shared what they re-read and it was a great way to get ideas for books!

9. Two books got released on the same week and are absolutely awesome. Check them out here.

8. 5 Reasons I want to come back as my dogs was a hit with everyone.

7. I asked for input on a very difficult subject here.

6. This one was my return-home post and everyone loved it!

5. I was in awe at the colours in this one.

4. Ah…the cute factor made everyone love this post. I can completely understand why. Puppies and kittens…soooo adorable.

3. Everyone loved the teeny, tiny announcement that I was leaving…maybe that’s a hint? Hee hee.

2. You thought Pay-It-Forward Fridays was a great idea and told me so with likes and comments.

1. The very top of the pile belongs to Posts I loved this week. This one in particular was a huge hit.

That’s the top 10 according to you! Thank you so much for reading and for those wonderful comments!

And, as a big thanks for reading, here are some cuties! 6-corgi-puppies-sleep-their-way-into-your-heart-1-18001-1345930337-12_bigsleeping_6_days_old_kitten_by_elvira1990-d68py53tumblr_komwlvcDJ41qzwtoyo1_400

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Thank you so much for reading!

Pay-It-Forward-Friday: Ellen Hawley

Pay It Forward Fridays came from this post by Emily Guido. The idea is to feature a blogger or author on Fridays and give them a little shoutout. Anyone goes as long as they’re interested.

I’ve received an incredible amount of support from bloggers, authors and people I’ve met on line who didn’t know me and were just very kind, supportive souls. And, when I read the post by Emily Guido, I thought: time to give back.

I loved this quote from Emily’s mother:

“I CAST A COUPLE PIECES OF BREAD ON THE WATER AND THE WAVES BRING ME BACK A HAM SANDWICH.”

Karma is a beautiful thing.

My focus today is Ellen Hawley.

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Ellen says this about herself: “I was born and raised in New York, and it’s hard to talk about my life without talking about politics. My parents were organizers for a CIO union when they met, and my mother later helped found a New York tenants’ rights organization, Metropolitan Council on Housing. I grew up during the McCarthy period helping my mother pass out leaflets on the street and watching her speak at meetings and from sound trucks.”

She has a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing and has written two other books: Trip Sheets

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and Open Line.

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Her next book The Divorce Diet is due out in January 2015 and “is dedicated to every woman who ever walked away from a relationship. Or a diet.”

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Check out her sites:

http://notesfromtheuk.com

http://www.ellenhawley.com

Or find out a little more about her writing here.

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Pay-It-Forward-Friday: Melissa Barker-Simpson

Pay It Forward Fridays came from this post by Emily Guido. The idea is to feature a blogger or author on Fridays and give them a little shoutout. Anyone goes as long as they’re interested.

I’ve received an incredible amount of support from bloggers, authors and people I’ve met on line who didn’t know me and were just very kind, supportive souls. And, when I read that post by Emily Guido, I thought: time to give back.

I loved this quote from Emily’s mother:

“I CAST A COUPLE PIECES OF BREAD ON THE WATER AND THE WAVES BRING ME BACK A HAM SANDWICH.”

Karma is a beautiful thing.

My focus today is Melissa Barker-Simpson, a very talented author who also works as a British Sign Language Interpreter.

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She says of herself: “My first novel was published in 2008, and I love nothing more than working on a new project. The voices inside my head invariably pull me in different directions, so although I try to work on one thing at a time, those who know me would tell you it doesn’t always work!

I have two beautiful daughters who bring me great joy. They also keep me grounded, because otherwise I would have my head in the clouds permanently!”

Melissa Barker-Simpson is the author of several books including Hands of Evil and Sins of the Father. She’s coming out with a new book on November 21st. It’s Sci-fi and titled The Fifth Watcher.

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Personally, I have read both Hands of Evil and Sins of the Father and loved them both. I find her writing captivating and would highly recommend her books. I have reviewed Sins of the Father and Hands of Evil.

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Her blog is: http://mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com/blog/

And she also has a site: http://melissabarkersimpson.wordpress.com

Check out this fantastic interview here.

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Blogging tips

A new gaggle of helpful links about blogging. Hope these are helpful to you!

This one is a do and don’t for Twitter. 5 suggestions of what to do and what to avoid. I found it helpful because it’s written in plain language and has some common sense ideas that I thought were great. See if you agree. A big thank you to  for the great post!

Here‘s a great post on 10 things to know before you start blogging…and maybe even after you’ve started! A huge thank you to Marc Andre for the great post on Twelveskip. By the way, this is a great blog to have as a resource, check out their blogging tips page here.

If you’re already blogging, here‘s one on how to increase traffic by Marcus TaylorA fantastic post by a great site for resources, problogger.

This one is focused on free marketing resources, imaging resources, tools, technical resources, and others. All Free. A huge thank you for that awesome list to Beafreelanceblogger.

If you’re still looking for blogging resources, here‘s another site full of them, CrafterMinds. Awesome list of great ideas, resources and tips.

New and fabulous!

Check out the new look at A Writer’s Life for Me. It’s absolutely beautifully done! Love the colours, the tone and the background.

I love that I can see the books Mishka’s written right away on the side. They’re easy to find and those covers are stunning so they add to the overall look of the site. Plus, the entire site just looks so professional.

Do you know of a blog that has done a recent change and looks better than ever? Let me know!

Blogging tips

The tips aren’t mine. I’m a baby blogger, just starting out and quite humble at that. These tips are from people who know.

CRAIG MCBREEN knows. His site is a real mine full of resources. Here‘s a post on how to build your brand (if you’re an author, your author name is your brand) and another on how to make that brand come alive and another on how successful people built their brands. Here‘s another on why blogging will help your business. Another on finding customers online…I could keep going and going.

 also knows. She has this post on how to spot the weakest part of your blog post and how to fix it. It contains examples and steps which make it easy–and I love easy. The post comes from the site Copyblogger, another great resource for bloggers.  It has a great post on how to be on the top 5% of bloggers. An awesome and interesting read. And this fantastic post with 35 tips for bloggers.

Finally, this one on how to save time writing for your blog because it can take a life of its own and your significant other might start to complain. It’s by  on CoSchedule blog, yet another great resource with great posts like: Social Media Branding for beginners.

3 sites that I hope will come in handy. Blogging can be so much fun and it’s full of fantastic people. Enjoy!

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Top ten posts for June!

These are the top ten posts in June according to you!

10. Coming in last is my post announcing changes to Olivia’s Choice page.

9. This one got a lot of attention. It’s about getting editing help from a pro who also happens to be a really, really kind person. Check it out if you’re looking for help.

8. A grumpy me and a bunch of cat pictures, readers loved this one on change. Have I mentioned I don’t like change?

7. This Tuesday Teaser got a whole bunch of attention. I actually really like Sandra Brown. I have a couple of her books to read next. YUM!

6. This one was posted a while ago but interest in it has flared up now. It makes sense. If you blog, you need to know about tags. They’re really important.

5. This is what happens when you know someone called Winter Bayne. She’s an incredible writer who’s also insanely busy. Yet, she does this. I’m still in awe.

4. This one was a major hit with readers. I think it has to do with the cutie at the end. And no, we didn’t accept his offer.

3. My mother-in-law is a very unique individual. And so is her way of obtaining pizza. Readers thought it was hilarious.

2. This one was a surprise for me. I had no idea how much readers would connect with this idea.

1. This one is the all time favourite.

A big thank you to you for reading my little blog and sharing your likes and dislikes with me. You made June a wonderful month!

To niche or not to niche your blog

When I started blogging, I looked around to see what the experts recommended and, time after time, they said to have a focus for my blog. Write about one topic. One. Have a niche for your blog and you’ll get an audience that knows what to expect and that will respect your blog.

So, I did. My blog focuses on writing, books and reading. That’s it…ahem. I do comment on my daily life from time to time and tell readers about my dogs and other funny bits, but the majority of my posts are on topic. I try to follow their advice but, now, after a while, I started wondering…is that good advice?

Here‘s a post by Jessica Lawlor who argues against the ‘experts’ and leaves her blog unfocused.

What do you think? Is that a necessity for a blog? Do you as a reader turn away if you find a post that’s not on topic? Is that too rigid? Do you follow that idea with your own blog or are you more relaxed about it?

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