Still thinking…

It’s been a while and I’m still thinking about changing things here in this humble blog. And still not sure. Hm…

No one can ever accuse me of rushing into change.



I like predictability and patterns. And I had those in my little blog. I actually had a schedule of posts. Each day of the week got a different post and I knew what to write depending on what day it was.

Now, I’m considering throwing my schedule to the wind and going off into the future schedule-less…

Who knows what’s going to happen next?


I’m thinking of changing things. I haven’t done anything different in this blog for a while and maybe, just maybe, it’s time for a change.



I don’t know what I’ll do or what changes I’ll make but there’s a bee in my bonnet. I think it’s time for a change.



Some posts will change, some will go, some will stay…who knows what I’ll do. Only the bee does.

Want to have your say in this? Give me a shout.



Blogging: Quality or quantity?

When I started blogging, I researched on line to find out what to do and I read that the trick to finding ‘traffic’ was to blog every day. The subject didn’t really matter. I just had to post something on a daily basis. It was all about quantity, not quality.

I’ve been blogging for a bit now but I’m still not certain about that piece of advice. Is it really about frequency of posts? If a blogger posts twice a day do they really get twice the traffic? What about three times a day? What about four? Ten? Wouldn’t there be a point when their followers would get annoyed?

And what about the topic? Does that matter at all? What if I wrote a post about elephant foot-fungus? Would my readers devour the post with glee? Or would they wonder what was wrong with my medication today and scamper off?

Joe Bunting argues for quantity in this post. He not only claims that it’s easier to blog everyday, he adds that your blog will get more ‘love from Google’ if you do.

Jeff Goins goes even further with his post “What you write about doesn’t matter as much as you think”. His position is you have to find your ‘voice’, the rest is inconsequential. Hard to argue with a guy who has as much success as he does.


On a completely different note, does anyone know if elephants even get foot fungus?

Readers’ Choice

April’s choices, the best tips and juiciest reads. Here are the top posts for the month, according to you!

10. The importance of tags: limits on tags. Some good tips on the number to tags for bloggers.

9. Blogging ideas. Blogging tips from a pro.

8.  Of mushy peas and olives. I wrote this one back in February and people are still reading it and loving it.

7. Psychology and Characters. On how to use the Karpman triangle (a therapist tool) to flesh our characters better.

6. Hope. The idea of spring got everyone going with in this post.

5. Creating real characters. From the villain to the hero, everyone loves a fully-fleshed out character and this post explains how to do it. Readers loved the tips.

4. Don’t take your writing too seriously. Readers loved this one on writing and lightening up…but maybe it was the ostrich.

3. Info dumps. Readers loved and identified with the issues on this post.

2. Posts I loved this week. This week was a complete hit and no wonder. The posts were superb. A big thanks to all the bloggers for their inspirational work!

1. Don’t believe your characters. A reality check on characters who tell the hero’s background story…without missing a single detail.

That’s them. The top ten posts in April according to you! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

Don’t believe your characters

I loved this post by . How many times have I used a character to retell the history of my hero or heroine? Tons…and each time, I fail to take into account the impact personality and memory biases would have on the tale. My character told the story exactly as it happened. That’s unrealistic.

It would be more interesting if my character forgot something, a part, that messed up the story. It would also be more interesting if they were biased against the hero and told an edited version of the story.

Reality says that even if they weren’t biased or had forgotten something, they’re not reporters. They’re people. They weren’t simply standing around waiting for the events to happen so they could remember them. They were busy living. They probably remember what they were doing that day more than what actually happened.

Ms. Fairwin mentions two main reasons against a character remembering things accurately.

Positive Emotion, “… positive emotion following the accomplishment of a goal—like feeling good after seeing your favourite team win at a sport—can lead to attention and memorybroadening. In other words, you’re more likely to take in and remember the details that are a core part of the scene—like the players as they’re battling it out for sports supremacy—and the background details—like the setting in which this heroic battle is taking place.”

Negative Emotion, “As with feeling positive emotion when pursuing a goal, negative emotion can narrow attention and memory to the core features of a scene. And it makes sense—if something causes you a negative emotion, like fear or anger, it’s likely a threat, and so you zoom in on the thing making you feel that way. The stuff around it is less important and so you’re less likely to remember it.”

Excellent tips. A great post and one that got me thinking of all sorts of possibilities for my book! A big thank you to Skye Fairwin for the inspiration!


5 Tips to write a great blog post

I liked the title of this post even before I read it because I blog on a daily basis and I’m always happy to find new ways to create better posts.

 wrote the post and, as promised, it contains easy tips for a better post. All you have to do is answer those five questions.

But maybe answering questions isn’t for you. Well, here‘s another format for you. This time, Rachel Sprung has 5 steps. I thought they were pretty good, easy to follow and broad enough for any blog.

Though there’s something to be said for inspiration and going with your gut, I like the idea of having a goal for my posts and keeping a focus for my blog. In my goal to be a professional writer, I want a blog that remains professional, elegant and keeps writing as a focus.



Most of the time.



Dialogue tags

He said, she said…dialogue tags. We put them in during dialogues to tell the reader who is talking. Easy right? Hm. Not so much.

If you repeat them too often, it sounds monotonous and pretty artificial. That’s bad. If you don’t put them in, no one has any idea who’s talking any more. You’ll lose your reader and that’s bad too.

It’s tricky.

To try and avoid repetition, I once tried to replace the famous ‘said’ with something more…flowery. I got horrid things like: ‘sarcastically rebutted’. It wasn’t pretty. So, I started reading and seeing what the pros did.

Some work it in. Watch.

Here’s an example with the tags.

‘”Have you seen the man who works on the third floor? Who is he?” Anna asked sipping her coke.

“I have no idea,” Michael said, seating back on his chair and scratching his nose.’

Here’s an example without the tags.

Anna sipped her coke. “Have you seen the man who works on the third floor? How is he?”

Michael sat back on his chair and scratched his nose with gusto. “I have no idea.”

In the second example. We know who’s speaking, even if the writer doesn’t actually say it.

Did my example help or make things worse? No worries, here come the experts! 🙂

Jodie Llewellyn has a great post about dialogue and tags here.

Here are three other great links about dialogue how-to’s and questions I never dared to ask; scary things like hyphens, comas and ellipses.

Romance book, just how real are you?

Let’s be honest, some times romance doesn’t exactly hit the reality mark.

I’ve read books where the hero will inherit a fortune if only he marries the heroine first and, no, it wasn’t a historical romance. Or another book where the heroine finally found her soulmate but stayed away, in spite of their ardent attraction for each other, because…well, there actually wasn’t even a reason mentioned. Or books where the hero had a perfect body, face, personality, teeth, hair, nails even toes…and none of these were damaged by the fact that he was a SEAL. Hm…

Libido is off the charts in romance novels. The hero never has any physical issues or is shy or incapacitated or has PTSD from the war he has just returned from.

Like Winter Bayne says in her fantastic post, “It may be escapism, but the readers do like a little bit of real life thrown in there. Ideal situations and characters are not looked upon as favorably in reviews as stories with more reality.”

Sometimes, romance is so off the mark, its simply ridiculous. And we don’t buy it. Like AAR Blythe says in her great post, “You have to have a reason you’re not sharing your Big Secret, a reason you became a prostitute, and probably a convincing villain for your Big Misunderstanding. We’re not going to buy it if you just use romance novel shorthand and depend on the hard work of better writers who have gone before.”

I love what AAR Blythe suggests.

“You can go one of two routes. The first is to go big or go home, a la Swiss Family. If you are going to have a beat a bunch of armed pirates, you should probably have them do it with a nine year old on an elephant, a log booby trap, and…wasn’t there a zebra? Or have your twenty-seven year old, Fifty Shades of Fucked Up anti-hero make more money than Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, because your whole story is already silly anyway.

Second route: Sell it. Have a reason your villain is taking Joseph out of the Christmas story, or your heroine is stealing documents, or your dashing, rich hero refuses to marry. A reason that makes sense and holds up to scrutiny. There are no shortcuts with this, and your reason can’t be “Because Romance Novel”.  Believe me, we’ll know.”

What do you think? Does reality fit in romance? Or should we just embrace escapism and give up any and all pretence?

A final note of thanks to both Winter Bayne and AAR Blythe for their amazing posts on the subject. Thanks ladies! What inspirational work!