Tag Archives: blogging

The Dejection of Rejection

Last month, after a mere 270 days of editing, I submitted my first-ever piece of literature for publication to Highlights Magazine. 

On Saturday, I received my first-ever rejection letter from Highlights Magazine. 

I’ve come full circle. 

The Editors tried to soften the blow with a form letter telling me that I was “competing with hundreds of other authors” when I sent in my manuscript. 

I was not comforted by this information.  I wanted to be the CHOSEN one.  I wanted Ed McMahon to show up at my door with balloons, an over-sized check, a limo, and a magnum of champagne. 

rejected

My husband tried to bolster my spirits, noting that my form letter didn’t indicate that my story lacked focus or had weak characters.  And yes, it helped a bit.  I know it wasn’t realistic to think I’d be published on my first submission, but a teeny part of me desperately hoped it would be so.

So, it’s back to the proverbial drawing board for me.  I am going to send the piece out to a few other children’s magazines and see how it goes.  I have another story idea on tap and will settle down to write it after we return from our summer road trip at the end of July.  Wish me luck!

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Talk Me Down: I’m on the Twitter Fence.

Thank you to everyone for their comments, advice, and direction.  I’ve made my Twitter decision–you can see if I’m going to ‘drink the Kool-Aid’ or not HERE.

Last fall, I started hearing some noise about Twitter; I ignored the hype and continued my little life blog, thinking nothing of it.  Fast forward to March 2009 and my new book blog:  Twitter is all the rage over here in book-blogging land!

To be honest, I briefly considered joining Twitter after Christmas to keep up with my life blog buddies, but it seemed too absurd.  My blog was enough of a time suckage; I don’t have Facebook for that very reason. 

With my introduction to book blogging, Twitter seems to be an invaluable tool–I miss many discussions and buzz because I don’t ‘tweet’ or ‘follow’.  (I don’t even understand the lingo!!!!)

Could you please take a mo’ and argue FOR or AGAINST Twitter?  Do you use it?  How does it help or detract from your book blogging?  Why do so many book bloggers love it?  Will joining improve my book awareness or something? 

I’m on the Twitter fence and have to jump one way or the other.

Way back when, WHY did you start your blog?

In December 2007, I stumbled upon a few blogs and discovered an online society I never knew about.  After following two or three blogs for a few days, I decided that blogging was something I could do too.  And so, without much thought or direction (evidenced by my early posts), I started my own life blog. 

18 months later I have two blogs that I love, an ever-widening circle of ‘blogging buddies’, and have had more fun than I thought possible.  I’ve received packages of candy, goodies, books, and more from blogging friends.  I’ve gotten support when things were dicey and have laughed more times than I can count.  I love the sense of community that blogging creates.

Since debuting Book, Line, and Sinker on March 1st, my circle of blogging friends has expanded exponentially.  In addition, I’ve read some really terrific books and have written several reviews. 

What started as a whim–a “Hey, I can do this too!” idea–has blossomed into so much more.  Now, what I really want to know is:

How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?

Cooking Up a Good Book Blog: What’s the recipe?

I subscribe to about 65 book blogs and over the last 8 weeks have been reading and researching to help me find balance over here on my own new book blog. Is the ‘recipe’ 2 parts reviews, 2 parts bookish-themed posts, 1 part giveaway; shake and serve over ice?

I’m working on creating a ‘recipe’ that produces a blog that’s:

  • not too dense (too many long reviews each week)
  • not too fluffy (not enough posts each week)
  • not too sweet (reviews that are afraid to critique for fear of backlash)
  • not too bitter (too many negative reviews that aren’t substantiated)

I have yet to do a ‘Sunday Salon’, ‘Teaser Tuesday’, ‘Wordless Wednesday’, or any of the other variations even though I like to read them on other blogs.

Posting 3 to 5 times each week seems to be average and since I write two blogs, it’s all I can do to keep up with that schedule. Generally, I’m going to host one review or book tour each week and will post a monthly calendar on my sidebar–‘The Crystal Ball’ (tag line: Look into the Future) detailing upcoming events.

Little by little I’m hoping to tweak and develop my book blog into one that people enjoying reading and visiting. Quality reviews, interesting posts, pictures, questions, and giveaways are the things I hope will generate interest, help my blog stay fresh, and keep readers coming back for more.

What do you think are the key ‘ingredients’ to a good book blog?

*Thank you to my dear friend EP for pointing out my mixed metaphors.  I reference baking, mixing drinks, and cooking all in one post.  Just call me Martha.

Book Blogs: What are your favorite features?

I spend lots of time visiting other bloggers’ pages in my efforts to idle away time at work night.  There are some really cool features and extras that some bloggers have on their pages.  And then there are some not-so-cool features.  (But of course these are just my own personal pet-peeves and I still visit blogs that have these features.) 

In the blogging community in general, I find the follwoing the most annoying things on blogs:

  • Music: I love music…but don’t relish a musical assault when blog-hopping.
  • Fort Knox Security: Why, oh, why do I have to enter nonsense words, the name of my first-born, and my mother’s maiden name to leave you a comment.  It makes me want to weep a little (and not leave you a comment, but I do anyway).  *Update: Apparently, Blogger uses word verification to prevent spam.  I never knew…and all this time I thought it was just to torture me. Ha!
  • Long Posts: I don’t mind a long post (400+ words) every few days, but can’t commit to reading War and Peace every time I drop by. 
  • Stalker Widget: I get so nervous from the widget that says, “Nat @ Book, Line, and Sinker just arrived from Anytown, USA.”  It’s just too stalkerish to me.

My book blog is new and I’ve been doing a ton of book-blog visiting–such clever stuff out there!  I haven’t had the time or energy to figure out how to install the features, but appreciate them.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Bookshelf Feature: Shows off what books the blogger is reading.
  • What I’m Reading Slideshow: Small images of book covers that flash by.  Much more sophisticated than my sidebar still pictures.
  • Rating System: I love when bloggers have a rating system.  Sometimes I don’t have enough time to read an entire review and the rating system makes life easier.

So, what are some of your favorite (or LEAST) favorite book blog (or regular blog) features?  Have at it!