With the start of January, many bloggers like to share a statistical overview of their blog’s traffic and engagement for the previous year. I’ve chosen not to bore you with share my numbers, because personally, I value the quality of blogger/ follower interaction over the quantity of views, likes, follows and comments.
In the spirit of that, I’d like to throw out a bouquet to all of you who consistently stopped by and liked my articles, updates and photos throughout the year, but particularly I wish to thank my most frequent commenters of 2017. You know who you are, and I hope you also know how much I value your visits and our conversations! 🙂
December 31, 2017 marked my sixth blogging anniversary.
How long I will continue to blog? I suppose I’m still getting something out of showing up here, so I haven’t the faintest idea, really!
I’ve seen other bloggers come and go over these six years, and some of them I truly miss. And as recently as this past week, two of my favourites have decided to close their blogs, one dealing with grief over the loss of her spouse, and the other citing lack of time due to her job and her art. Both of them have been here on WordPress at least as long as I have, so naturally, their absence will be deeply felt.
How long have you been blogging, and how long will you continue? What do you like the most – or the least – about it? Have you lost some of your own go-to bloggers?
Please share your thoughts with me.
Annika Perry – no relation to yours truly – is a writer, wife and mother who was born in Sweden and lives in the UK. She is busy finalizing edits on her first short story collection, and is also working on the last edits for her debut novel, Island Girl.
From her About page:
“Writing has been a passion since childhood although it is only in the past year that I have seriously started to write fiction.
In Spring 2014 I won First Prize in the Writing Magazine Short Story Competition which was a joy. Furthermore, I was short-listed for Inktears Short Story Competition in 2014.”
I’ve highlighted the following post of Annika’s where she shares the highs and lows, as well as the distractions, of the editing process. For example, how does a breakfast bowl end up in the bathroom? Check it out:
Norm 2.0 is a “born and raised bilingual Montrealer” who I’ve followed for the last few years here on WordPress, and more recently on Instagram.
I particularly enjoy his weekly photography feature, Thursday Doors, “allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world.”
From his About page:
“Among my many interests, I like to write, travel, bake, work wood, enjoy wine, play tennis, grow vegetables and take pictures.
This blog is my creative outlet to share any of the above and so much more.”
I selfishly chose the following post of Norm’s to highlight because it’s his Thursday Door post from right here in Newfoundland and Labrador. The photos are from his recent trip to Gros Morne National Park on the west coast of the province.
“From a novelist’s perspective, the Sixties, itself, is like a character – so rich was that period as a decade of change.” ~ Connie Lacy
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Connie Lacy to my blog as a special guest. I hope, dear friends and followers, those of you who read or write fiction would kindly say hi or leave a comment for her below.
Connie writes speculative fiction, climate fiction and magical realism, all with a dollop of romance. Having worked for many years as a radio reporter and news anchor, her experience as a journalist shows up in some of her novels.
Connie’s post today is about 1960s music, stemming from her research for her latest novel due out this fall. I am a huge fan of the music from that era, so I jumped at the chance to share it with you. Take it away, Connie!
The 1960s – when social consciousness hit the airwaves
When you think of music of the 1960s, what pops into your mind? The Twist by Chubby Checker? Ricky Nelson’s Hello, Mary Lou? Maybe it’s Come Together by the Beatles, or Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone. All of those songs were popular in the 1960s. But the first two were in the early sixties. Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone hit the charts in 1965 and Come Together was released in 1969. Needless to say, the volatile decade of the 1960s saw a huge transformation in the music everyone heard on the radio. Looking back, the first few years of that decade seem like a continuation of the 1950s, while the middle and late sixties come across as a new era with a more complex sensibility.
I’ve been re-listening to some of those songs as I write my latest novel which comes out this fall. The story is set in 1966-67 as musical tastes underwent a tectonic shift. It’s surprising now to think that the actual top forty playlist as my novel opens in September of 1966 included such varied songs as: Sunshine Superman by Donovan, Summer in the City by The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, Land of 1000 Dances by Wilson Pickett and Stevie Wonder’s version of Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind, all in the top ten. Then at #11 was Wouldn’t it Be Nice by The Beach Boys and #12 was Lil Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.
The Sixties, of course, was a time of great social upheaval, with opposition mounting to the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement gaining momentum, growing demands by women for equal opportunities, and the gay rights movement picking up steam. The music we listened to incorporated or reflected growing social consciousness. Some popular songs were overt political statements. It’s amazing when you realize we went from Brian Hyland’s 1960 hit, Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, to James Brown’s Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud in 1968… and from 1961’s My Boomerang Won’t Come Back by Charlie Drake to Barry McGuire’s 1965 anti-war anthem, Eve of Destruction.
This musical evolution took us from silly novelty songs like 1962’s Monster Mash to 1965’s My Generation by The Who – a teen rebellion anthem if there ever was one. But the airwaves were also filled with anti-war songs. Think Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Peace Train by Cat Stevens, Universal Soldier by Donovan and the very powerful War by Edwin Starr – “War, huh, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” There were songs calling for equal treatment of black Americans such as A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke and Southern Man by Neil Young. There were also songs that became anthems for women, like Aretha Franklin’s Respect, Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me, and on the Country and Western side, there was Dolly Parton’s 1968 hit, Just Because I’m a Woman.
From a novelist’s perspective, the Sixties, itself, is like a character – so rich was that period as a decade of change. Our country was undergoing a dramatic transformation and our music was changing as well. What a gift for me as a writer. And I make use of popular songs the characters listen to in my novel to help create that Sixties vibe.
Kristine over at candidkay is a journalist, marketing exec and mother of two.
From her About page:
“I write about life as I know it. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious. But always interesting.”
Kristine recentlyshared “one small slice of life on a Sunday afternoon that deserves a bit of limelight.” And I wholeheartedly agree. When you are part of a two-household family and you realize that an important lesson in values – namely, kindness to others – has gotten through to your child, it gives you pause to be thankful for good role models.
D. Wallace Peach (aka Diana) is a delightful blogger and fantasy writer that I’ve discovered only recently and am now following.
From her Myths of the Mirror blog About page:
“I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show.
Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit.
Tolkien … literally changed my life.”
Seeing as I’m taking a short break from my own blog for the next couple of weeks, I’m highlighting a timely post of Diana’s today where she asks: “How does anyone keep up with blogging and not burn out?” Check out the useful tips and tricks she shares in the link below.
Come visit me over at Jill Weatherholt’s blog today. Jill is a friend and a fellow author/blogger who writes delightful stories about love, friendship and forgiveness, and she has graciously invited me to take part in her Summer Spotlight series.
As it happens, there are just a few days left to snap up Calmer Girls on Kindle for only 99¢, and you can get the link at Jill’s place. Please drop by with a comment when you get a chance, and I will chat with you later this afternoon when I get home. I look forward to seeing you there.
Cindy Knokeis a popular blogger, photographer and world traveller with a loyal following on WordPress. When you check out her collection of breathtaking photo captures, many of them from nature, you will see why. She even has her own National Geographic page!
From her About page, I Blog, Therefore I Am:
“I retired early after 27 years as a psychotherapist/mental health director and moved to the outer limits of no-wheres-ville to a home I call “The Holler. …This is our little bit of heavenly Appalachia right here in rural California. I like to write and if something strikes my fancy, usually something odd or unusual, you will learn about it here. And thankfully, at The Holler, almost everyday is odd and unusual. So “Holler Happenings” including photos of flowers, birds, and wild animal interactions, are included too. I travel three-four months a year so you will find my photos and honest reviews of locales, attractions and accommodations from all over the world. The good, bad and the ugly. So put your feet up and let’s devote our attention to the best things in life, our leisurely pursuits!”
Check out Cindy’s latest post, where she shares gorgeous images of “the remarkable and endangered” Saker Falcon.