Showing Posts From: Just for Fun

13 Nov, 2014

My Review Process – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

What is My Review Process?

I write reviews of books as soon as I finish the book. There is no way I’d remember enough about the book to write about it later. I tend to sit down at the computer with the book for reference so I remember how to spell names of characters (and a lot of times I need help even remembering what the names were at all).

I start with a one or two paragraph summary of what the book was about and then get into what I thought about it. I’ve recently added a Spoilers page so I can get deeper into books where I want to talk about key details.

Sometimes I schedule the posts ahead. If I do that I put them on a Thursday or Friday when I don’t have other memes that I do. But, if I’m finishing several books at once I’ll post one a day. I won’t save them and schedule them for next Thursday. That’s way too much planning ahead for me!

I just started using the Book Review wordpress plugin on a post for today. Prior to that I’ve been using Goodreads to host the images.

12 Nov, 2014

Advice for Newbie Bloggers- #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

My Advice for New Bloggers

Do What You Want!

  • Don’t feel like you have to cater to different groups just to get people to like you.
  • Don’t read books that you don’t want to read just because you can get them for free.
  • Don’t go crazy the first time you get on NetGalley (It happens to all of us).
  • Don’t blog if it isn’t fun anymore.
  • Don’t obsess about numbers. Remember this is supposed to be fun.

What I do

  • I write about any topic I want to.  I don’t try to make the blog just one topic.  It is my space so I’m in charge.
  • I read whatever catches my eye.
  • I work with a few blog tour companies and reject 99% of what they offer.  I may read 1 to 2 books for them a month at the most.  Everything else is from the library or my own books.
  • Get involved in the communities not to drive traffic but to learn about books from other people
10 Nov, 2014

Memes I Meme – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

What memes do I link to weekly?

I do link ups for lots of stuff – not just books.

Mondays

33

I do a Monday post with links to any reviews I’ve posted and what I’m currently reading and/or listening to on my iPod.

Dreaming of France Meme Eiffel

I started linking up with the site when I was getting ready to go to France. Now I do a post about my trip weekly and will link up reviews of books based in France.

Tuesday

Readers-workouts-Joy

I write a post that sums up my workouts for the week. It helps keep me motivated to actually do the workouts.

Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

This one is for my quilting, when I actually make any progress.

Saturday

Saturday Snapshot at West Metro Mommy Reads

Memes I Sometimes Do

One Flower Wednesday – I miss this one. This is for hand piecing hexagons. I’m past that stage with my hexagon quilt so I don’t get to link up anymore. It is a good group.

British Isles Friday – I link to this one when I have reviews of British books. I’m also starting to plan a trip to England so I be posting here more.

Sunday Traveler – I may start cross linking travel posts here. It is a bit of a confusing one because you have to dig deep to find other people’s posts but I like reading and writing about travel.

Life of a Blogger – Writing prompts about the lives of book bloggers

Saturday Situation – Link up your reviews

Slow Stitching Sunday – for hand sewing.

09 Nov, 2014

Blogging Workflow – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

Today we are supposed to share our blogging workflow and rituals.

I’m not sure I have any of those.

Maybe I do because I’m typing this on October 30. I’ve been writing my BookBlogWriMo posts ahead of time. That’s one thing I do when I’m participating in an event like this. I like to get at least one week ahead so I’m not frantically trying to remember what I wanted to write on the morning that I’m supposed to post.

I also always set my scheduled posts to post at around 4 AM. This is because my site is in its own magical time zone that doesn’t relate to the real world. If I set something to post at 7 AM it won’t and I can’t predict when it will post. It may post at 7:18 or at 9:30. If I set it at 4 though, generally it is up by 6:30 or 7 when I’m ready to link it up or share it with Twitter.

For weekly posts like Fitness Tuesday, I tend to start the new draft as soon as I publish the old one. Then I add in workouts as I do them or else I may not remember.

For me this is a fun hobby and I’m not trying to put up huge numbers so I don’t have a formula that I stick to at all but I’m interested to see what everyone else does.

08 Nov, 2014

Blogging ToolKit – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

What tools do I use when blogging?

1. WordPress

This is a self hosted wordpress blog which makes things pretty easy. WordPress has gotten better over the years. Now you can add functionality with minimal html and coding know-how which is nice.

2. Goodreads

I use Goodreads for all my book posts. I add a book I’ve read to my list and give it a star rating. Then I am able to copy a code that lets me paste the picture and the rating on the blog without having to use space to the host the picture myself.

3. Picasa

I use Picasa to host other pictures even though I’m not a big fan. I used to use Flickr but then Flickr decided it was too good for my computer and will crash it every time I open the site. I use the No Redirect option on Picasa so it doesn’t go to the version that is integrated with Google+ because I can’t figure out how to use that thing at all.

Favorite Plug Ins

1. Akismet

I use this plug in for spam. It does a really good job of catching most all of the spam that comes in every day.

2. Duplicate Post

I just started using this for repetitive posts, like these ones that have the same format or meme posts that all start with the same heading every week. It lets you clone a previous post and then you just add the new content.

What I Want to Find

I want to find a really good plug in that emails a response to comments when I reply. I don’t like answering questions in the comments and then having to copy them to an email to make sure the commenter gets a response. I have two plugins that are supposed to do this installed and I don’t think they actually work. I have Comment Reply Notification and Reply Me. I’ve tested them by replying to myself and I’ve never gotten an email. Anyone have any suggestions on one they like?

07 Nov, 2014

Blog’s First Design – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

What did my blog used to look like?

I used to change up the template I used all the time until I decided just to keep things simple and clean. I went to Waybackmachine.org to look at some old versions of the website.

This is the first screen shot they have saved. Boring.

I had this template for a long time.

I liked this one too.

06 Nov, 2014

Favorite Childhood Books – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

I know I read a lot as a kid but I don’t actually remember much of my childhood so I don’t know the details.

My mother still complains about my love for the book “Big Little Kitty” and how I wouldn’t let her skip a single word in any of the billion times she was forced to read it to me.

I was a kid who read the encyclopedia for fun. It was very educational. That’s how I learned the mechanics of sex – from the World Book Encyclopedia.

We had a set of short books about historical events. I would read two every morning over breakfast.

One book I remember loving and still love is The Phantom Tollbooth.

The Phantom TollboothThe Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I remember being fascinated by the creativity of the world in the book. It was my introduction to fantasy novels.

I read a book in fifth grade about an explorer in Mongolia. I wish I could remember the name of it. Even since I’ve been fascinated by Mongolia and travel books.

05 Nov, 2014

Where I Blog – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

I blog here. Usually there is a cat on my left arm. That is helpful. Feel free to read that sarcastically.

This picture just shows a cat in the way. (This is a promo picture featuring my cat posing with the website for my office.  I thought she was a lovely model.)  That’s not as annoying as a 16 lb cat laying across my left arm while having a paw on the shift key and getting crabby when I try to move him. Of course, he hasn’t done it since I’ve been trying to get the picture.

Update: See, it happens!

This happens.

A dog that is just a bit too big to fit on my lap invited herself up onto my lap because she needed attention. This is how I get distracted from blogging.

I don’t have a proper desk.  The house we lived in before this had a built in desk that we used for the computer.  When we had to move for the husband’s job it happened quickly.  Once we found a house and got moved to a new town, we decided just to put the computer stuff on a narrow folding table that I used to use in my sewing room until we figured something else out.  It is still there almost 3 years later.  It works just fine.  This horrified the husband’s teenage niece when she came to visit.  She insisted that we had to have a proper desk.  She seemed to feel that we were doing something shameful.  We told her to get a job and then price proper desks and come back to talk to us.  We are probably moving in the next year for his job again so we’ll take our temporary set up down and reassemble elsewhere.

I did buy a new rug today for under the table and chair since the backing on the other one disintegrated.  That’s progress, right?

04 Nov, 2014

Why I Blog – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

I talked about starting blogging to have a place to express my opinions. I think that is still the main reason I blog. No one I know in real life wants to hear my opinions on all the books I read. No one wants to see pictures of whatever I’m making right now. Only a few people are interested in my workouts. But with a blog I can find more people who are interested.

I love the anonymity. I’ve worked hard to keep my blog private. I don’t link it to my real life. Most people know that I have a blog but I don’t let them read it. I won’t tell them where it is if they ask. If they really wanted to know, it wouldn’t be hard to find but most people don’t care that much. It makes me furious when people I know mention having seen my blog.

I think that comes down to being a very private person. I don’t want people I know to actually know what I’m thinking. I would censor myself if I knew they were reading. I don’t want to do that. I don’t mind strangers knowing what I think. People tend to find that strange but may be you need to be an introvert to understand that.

03 Nov, 2014

Where I Read – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

Where do I read? The short answer is Everywhere.

I like to be comfy when I read. I read a lot in bed. There is generally a cat and a dog.  One cat allows reading because it makes me hold still to cuddle.  The other cat hates reading. If I have time to hold still and stare at a book, my time would better be spent giving all my attention to him.  He is not above lying down on top of the book or iPad to emphasize this point.  He doesn’t care if I’m holding the book up in the air either.  He will flatten it. He’s huge. I can’t stop it.

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

Behold the cat who needs my full attention.

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

Freckles usually lays down at the foot of the bed to nap while I read.

I read in the bathtub. My bathtub is boring to look at so I didn’t take a picture. I’m saving bathtub pictures for the Reading Dream Cave post later in the month.

I read when I’m eating. I like to go to restaurants alone and read. Nonreaders tend to think that is weird.

02 Nov, 2014

How I Read – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

I read anything that holds still long enough. Most of my books come from the library. I definitely can’t afford to buy all the books that I read.

When I do buy books, I read them on the Kindle app on my iPad. I like instant gratification. The only problem with that is then you can’t read them in the bathtub.

I don’t plan what I’m going to read. I just read what I feel like reading. I have a TBR list that I refer to for ideas but I don’t stick to it. I just browse the library. I check out what looks good and if I change my mind when I bring it home, I don’t worry about it. I probably return 25% of my books unread. Sorry if that makes the planners out there cringe.

Do I have rituals?  Not many.  One thing I absolutely have to know is the date it was published.  I don’t know how that started.  I think it helps me put the books in time.  If it is contemporary but written in 1990 then I treat it mentally as a historical instead of getting twitchy about old technology and wondering why they don’t just call people’s cell phones if they can’t find them.

Bookmarks?  I use anything that is close at hand.  My favorites are folded up paper napkins rings from the Mexican restaurant near my office.  I don’t have actually pretty bookmarks because I would lose them.  You can track my reading through the house by following the trail of abandoned receipts where I set them down and then got up and walked away from them while still reading.

01 Nov, 2014

History of My Blog – #BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

 

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

 

Day 1 History of My Blog

I started blogging because I needed a way to voice my opinions. At the time I started I was married to a man who wasn’t interested in what I did at work or what my opinions were on any issues, especially if my talking interrupted him talking. Lord, he could talk! I needed a place to have some opinions of my own.

I started blogging in 2004 with a blog on another platform that I don’t even think exists anymore.  It was called TBlog. I really liked it because it grouped together all the posts in the same categories from all the bloggers everyday so you could find lots of blogs to read. In January 2005 I moved to my own domain with absolutely no idea what I was doing.

The URL is spiritblog because Spirit was my horse’s name and I used it for most of my usernames. I thought I was just making a user name. I had no clue.

I wrote mostly about what was going on in my life with an unwanted mother-in-law living in my dining room, a farm to run, and ranted about current events.

Eventually I started writing more about books and quilts and then exercise. Since the blog started I’ve:

  • Moved twice
  • Gotten divorced
  • Gotten remarried
  • Ended up with a step kid
  • No longer have horses at all
  • Have a different dog and bird
  • I’ve changed all kinds of political and social views sometimes circling back to the original opinion.

I like having the blog around so I can keep track of what happened!

24 Oct, 2014

Looking for Potter-heads

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

Are you a Potter Head? Do you….

Sometimes find yourself whispering a spell under your breath at a family member, co-worker, or friend?

I so wish that Accio really worked.

Get excited every time you see one of the movies playing on TV?

I got really excited when the husband wanted to see them.

Have now or ever in your past used a Harry Potter type of ring tone (this also counts if your phone case has now or ever been Harry Potter)?

Current ring tone!

Own(ed) any sort of Potter paraphernalia – IE. Article of clothing, movies, costumes, a wand, board game, posters, bookmarks, signs… ok – you know what I mean ;).

I feel very strongly about my Hedwig mug.

Ever went to Universal Studies in Orlando mainly because of Harry Potter World?

Yup.

Recited movie lines or profound Dumbledore quotes with a sense of superiority?

No, but I might need to start.

Well… if you said yes to any of the above. YOU are a Potter Head. And this post is for you.

Sheila over at Book Journey is running a Harry Potter reread starting Nov.1. Besides reading the books you can earn points for your house for commenting on blogs and other activities.

I’m trying to read Harry Potter in French anyway so this is a good excuse to keep working on that.

g2b

I’m going to be in Ravenclaw for the challenge so come and join us!

24 Oct, 2014

#BookBlogWriMo

/ posted in: Just for FunReading

I’m joining #BookBlogWriMo in November.

What is #BookBlogWriMo?

Basically, it’s a lax version of NaNoWriMo for book bloggers. I created prompts for each day, discussing different topics around books, blogging, and books + blogging.

BookBlogWriMo-Schedule

My Posts

History of my blog

How I read

Where I read

Why I blog

Where I blog

Childhood Books

Blog Design

Toolkit

Workflow

Memes

Popular

Advice

Reviews

Ratings

Favorite blogging things

Least favorites

Favorite tropes

Subgenres

TBR books

Flashback

Shelves

Boyfriend

Caves

Hangovers

Movies and TV

Authors

Pet Peeves

Future

Wrap up

23 Oct, 2014

Life of a Blogger – Origin of My Name

/ posted in: Just for Fun

Life of a Blogger is hosted at Novel Heartbeat to learn more about the weird stuff in our lives.

The origin of Heather is Celtic and comes from the plant.

heather2

That’s pretty straightforward but my name confused family members. My grandfather had never heard a name as strange as mine so my mother finally explained that I was named after a flower. He understood that and called me Blossom. A few years later they had a pony who had a foal named Blossom and I’m still not clear if she was named after me or if he only knew a few names and had to recycle.

I have an uncle that insisted on calling me Tabitha. No explanation was ever forthcoming.

21 Nov, 2013

Quilter’s Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

/ posted in: Just for FunQuilting

I’m playing along with the Quilter’s Blog Hop. It’s a party! With free stuff!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Let’s get to the good stuff. I’m giving away a $10 gift certificate to Pink Castle Fabrics.

pinkcastle_square2

In case you are new around here, this is one of the projects I’m working on now.  Hexy MF is one of my long term works in progress.  That’s my polite way of saying that the quilt-a-long was in 2012 and just this week I finished the first half of my blocks. I get distracted easily – don’t judge.

101_1623.JPG

I based my fabric selections on this pink Outfoxed print.  I’m excited to start cutting up the second half of my fabric selections because I’m tired of hand piecing the fabrics I’ve been using for a year.  In this group there will be foxes and hedgehogs to entertain me!

I hate having to do all kinds of stuff to sign up for a giveaway so I’m not making you do anything but leave a comment. The giveaway closes on November 26.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Winner Is :  Tamie!

06 Jun, 2013

Food Truth

/ posted in: Just for Fun

bo130606

I loved The Boondocks.

This is how I feel whenever I discuss my diet around “normal” people.

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