12.31.2011

NaNoProgMo: Ready to make some more progress on your novel?

NaNoProgMo: National Novel Progress Month
Hosted by Lauren from LaurenWayne.com / Hobo Mama
and Teresa from Write On, Mom! / Mom Grooves

Well, I don't know about you, but December for me went into a big black hole of holiday festivities. But it's almost the New Year, and you know what that means: time to resolve to start working on your writing again!

I'd like to celebrate what our NaNoProgMos did in November, and invite you to continue making progress with us in January!

Impressive November progress

Here are the writerly participants who joined us for our November journey and their respective daily goals:
1.
Lauren @ LaurenWayne. com / Hobo Mama = 2 hrs per dayVisit
2.
Tree @ Mom Grooves . com / Write On! Mom = 1 hr. per day finishing novelVisit
3.
Stephen @ Poptrope . net = 1 hr. per day finishing novelVisit
4.
Zoie @ TouchstoneZ - 30 minutes per dayVisit
5.
Moorea@ Mamalady- 30per dayVisit
6.
From My Mind to the Page: 1 hr per dayVisit
7.
Lisa @ My World Edenwild = 15 min/day or moreVisit
8.
Renae - 1 hour per dayVisit

 



Here are some results and updates from all of us, as I could find them, in order as above:

Lauren @ LaurenWayne. com / Hobo Mama = 2 hrs per day: 60.25 hours. I made it! I can hardly believe it, but I worked over 60 hours on my mystery novel and the NPN cloth diapering book in November. Here are some posts I wrote about the experience:
  • Progress on NaNoProgMo: Halfway or two-thirds? — what I learned about faling headlong into the world of my novel, the dearth of description, and the fear of failure
  • #NaNoProgMo: Stop talking and do it:
    I'm 2 hours from the end of my goal on this last day, so barring major malfunctions (pray not), I'm confident I'll complete my 60-hour editing goal for November. It wasn't glamorous, but every day I sat at my computer, and I did it. I put in my time, and I made progress.

    So, wherever you are in your progress today, I encourage you to figure out what you want — what you really, really want, right now — and do it. One foot in front of the other, in as little or as much time as you can commit, make tangible progress toward your goal.

This is mine, and I'm owning it:
NaNoProgMo with Write On, Mom! and LaurenWayne.com


Tree @ Mom Grooves.com / Write On! Mom = 1 hr. per day finishing novel: 6.5 hours. Woot!
  • NaNoProgMo…. How’s your “Prog”?:
    I want to encourage everyone participating with us for NaNoProgMo (or anyone who wants to start now!) to pick up your proverbial pen and finish the month writing. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or have not done so far. I doubt anyone can be as far behind as I am, so let’s bring up the rear together!
  • NaNoProgMo and Beyond!:
    I came nowhere near my goal, and that bums me out. However, I’m not one to dwell on the negative and I’m really good at praising the tiniest victory in myself, so I give this month a huge thumbs up. I’ve re-connected with my novel and we’d been estranged for oh so long.

    What’s pertinent is this. Progress will continue. My novel lives, my writer self lives. Time to settle into the long term care and feeding of both.
I love that last thought! That's what progress is all about — nurturing the writer that you are.

Here's your certificate, Tree!
NaNoProgMo with Write On, Mom! and LaurenWayne.com


12.24.2011

How to support bloggers



Want to make your favorite bloggers happy? There are many ways you can support your must-read bloggers and show you value their writing that won't cost you a penny. There are other ways that cost you some money but are cents well spent.

Is this a self-serving post? Well, as much as I appreciate any support for little ol' me, I also use the techniques below to support my own favorite bloggers! I hope this can be a resource for all of us to spread the love around to the writers we admire.

I'll also include three linkies for anyone who's interested in linking up or supporting those who do:
  • One for blogs on Kindle
  • One for blogger-run businesses
  • One for affiliate links from relevant bloggers
Read on for the linkies and more information!

Comment

This is probably the most important way to show you care — and one of the most natural. If you read a post that resonates with you, say so! If you have a follow-up question, ask it. If you have a different perspective to offer, do so gently. If you have advice to share, most bloggers will appreciate it. There are commenting challenges, such as at Adventures in Mommyhood and IComLeavWe, which makes it fun to join the crowd in commenting. But even apart from those, you can make it your own little mission to spread some comment bliss. Writers love to know there are readers out there.

Email

Even more direct than a comment, sending a note of encouragement and appreciation can mean so much to a blogger.

Promote blogs on your blog

If you have a website, put other bloggers' buttons in your sidebar or on a special page. Add their URLs to your blogroll.

Connect

Follow your favorite bloggers on Facebook, Networked Blogs, Google Friend Connect, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr … wherever you are that they are, too. Interact with them on the sites that are meaningful to you. This is beneficial for you in that you get to build more connections with the writers you like, and it makes your beloved bloggers feel the warmth of your presence.

Social media-ify posts

Pass around the posts you enjoy. Share them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, etc. — whatever will get some more eyes on the article. (This can help build your own community of like-minded folk as well!)

Link back

Write posts building off what someone wrote that interested you. Participate in link-love pursuits like blogging carnivals. Share relevant articles in a link round-up like Sunday Surf. If a subject comes up in a post and you know someone else who wrote about it, link away. Bloggers always appreciate good linkage!

Link up

If bloggers offer a linky for Wordless Wednesday, giveaways, or bloghops, join in! Fill up those linkies and make a blogger feel popular.

Click on their ads

Only if you're interested, of course, but if you see an interesting ad in their sidebar or in their feed, click through and check it out. Those clicks are being tracked by someone, and it can help boost their revenue (as with Adsense) or their reputation with the advertiser.

Review their blogs or products — with Kindle linky!

If bloggers have products online (like a poetry book) or have
their blogs on Kindle, a lovely thing to do is write a nice review (if you like it and it's in a reviewable place). This goes for Etsy and eBay sellers as well, or even places like Yelp or Facebook place reviews if it's a local business. It can take a little time to write something up, but it makes a big difference in alerting other people to what you love about this blog or its related products, and it gives a huge boost to the blogger you're reviewing.

Is your blog on Kindle? I'm making my way through reviewing the blogs I love, and I'm sure others would like to do the same. Link up if you have a blog on Kindle. Put the link directly to your Kindle blog page. (I reserve the right to delete from the linky blogs that would not be of interest to my readers here or at Hobo Mama.)



12.04.2011

Sunday Surf: Mystery plotting, indexing, & Google nonsense

Links I've read, from Writing Tidbits:

Yea, I’ve gone up in page rank!

I don’t know where else (or why, but whatever) to brag about this. I just got an email from a possibly suspect ad company telling me “because you’re PR 4, we’ll give you this rate, blah blah blah,” and I was like, I’m PR 3 (for www.HoboMama.com). But I went to check — herehttp://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.phpwww.HoboMama.com). But I went to check — here http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php — and I am 4 now! Woohoo!
Yes, this is out of 10, but 4’s pretty good for a blog. Most blogs I read (Hobo Mama included till just recently) are 1-3, and there’s no shame in that. (LaurenWayne.com is a 2, and NaturalParentsNetwork.com is a 3.) It’s just kind of fun to have moved up a notch!
In case you were wondering, Google, which sets the PR algorithms, ranks 10/10. ;)
There’s a PR checker I usually prefer, by the way, because it doesn’t have captcha, but it wasn’t working today so I’m not sure if it’s defunct. In case it works later, it’s here: http://www.page-rank-calculator.com/ A little easier to deal with.
google page rank blogging

Occupy Google Reader: Changes to the RSS feed irk the ‘sharebros’ - Arts Post - The Washington Post

The protest, organized throughFacebook, brought Google Reader fans — or “sharebros,” as they’re sometimes called — together with signs like “Google: Don’t Mark All as Read,” and “We are the 1000+.” There were 10 protesters total, if you count one protester’s daughter, a toddler.
Funniest & aptest protest ever. ;)
5 DAYS AGO
google reader google rss feeds

So You Want to Write a Book With MS Word

Comprehensive resource of links and tutorials for laying out a book in Word. Doing so is one of the most frustrating experiences, but at least here are some tips.
5 DAYS AGO
publishing self-publishing design layout Word

Official Google Blog: More spring cleaning out of season

Google Friend Connect—Friend Connect allows webmasters to add social features to their sites by embedding a few snippets of code. We’re retiring the service for all non-Blogger sites on March 1, 2012. We encourage affected sites to create a Google page and place a Google badge on their site so they can bring their community of followers to Google and use new features like Circles and Hangouts to keep in touch.
On the one hand, what do I care about GFC? It’s just used to boost giveaway sites now as far as I can tell. 
On the other hand, how in the world does Google equate GFC with Google+? They’re entirely different models. It’s like saying, “Twitter’s shutting down; go use Facebook instead.” GFC is primarily for public followers on public blogs. G+ is all about using your real name and having circles of friends. I don’t doubt that people are figuring how to use G+ for business, but if you want to keep a separation between your professional & personal life, right now G+ doesn’t offer many options.
Why does Google keep fixing what ain’t broke? And why do they do that to the exclusion of things that are broke, like the Blogger commenting system that users have been complaining about for years? Huh?
5 DAYS AGO
google google friend connect google+ blogging

Index a Book Using Word and Excel

Sounds like a decent way to work on an index. I need one for the cloth diapering book and am hoping the actual indexing feature in Word will help me out. But if not, this sounds like the way to go.
6 DAYS AGO
index nonfiction writing writing tutorials

How to Make Your WordPress or Blogger Blog DoFollow | DoFollow Blog Directory & Compendium

How to make links in comments “dofollow” on Blogger and WordPress. This can help add comment love to your site; however, it can also open you up to more spam comments.
6 DAYS AGO
blogger wordpress tutorials blogging blogger tutorials wordpress tutorials

Online Stopwatch

In case you’re curious, this is what I use to time my NaNoProgMo hours.
6 DAYS AGO
writing time

Sandra Parshall: Writing — Clues Drive the Mystery Plot

Tips on cluing in readers.
1 WEEK AGO
novel writing mystery novels plotting writing

KILLER HOBBIES: How to Plot a Mystery

Good tips on mystery management, including not naming your characters all the same, keeping the cast down to seven (whoops!), and starting the plotting with the “Let me explain” bit and working backwards. I should have read this a long time ago!
1 WEEK AGO
mystery novels novel writing writing plotting

12.02.2011

FeedBurner feed too big? How to fix it

My recent FeedBurner woe:


Click any image to embiggen.


The past few days, I noticed signs that my RSS feed for Hobo Mama wasn't updating, though it took me awhile to believe it.

I caught glimpses first in CommentLuv entries when I commented on other sites. It kept pulling up my "Gratitude Challenge" post from Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, even though I subsequently posted on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I didn't really think much of it the first few times, or the first couple days — I just used Ping-o-Matic to give my feed a little boost and figured it would fix itself.

But after it had been a week, I noticed the delay wasn't just in CommentLuv. It was in the sidebar widgets on my other sites; it was in Google Reader; and — most obviously, now that I looked for it — the delay was on my feed's page itself.

I went to FeedBurner, through which I burn all my feeds, for the answer. I clicked right through to the humorously named "Troubleshootize" tab, hoping the humor didn't mean they wouldn't take this plight seriously.
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