Blog Plodding

Wdesklady1_2 Since I spend all day sitting at my computer writing, answering e-mail, researching, and doing promo work, I’m not much inclined to spend my evenings at my desk as well. It’s bad enough that my  e-mail often spills into my evenings, so the idea of staying in my office, surfing through the web, looking for juicy websites simply doesn’t occur to me when I’m done work for the day. All of this is a long-winded way of saying that I seldom read any blogs except the wenches or visit any website, including my own. <G>

Which means I’m fairly clueless as to what people look for in a blog or a website. I know when someone tells me to check out so-and-so’s site for a particular piece of information, I’ll jump out of my chair if it blares music at me, and I go cross-eyed if flickering things start flying across my Image006ma121965270006 screen.  So I firmly voted with the other wenches not to have things that go bump in the night here, and I don’t have them on my own website.

That doesn’t mean I’m not aware that a lot of people like excitement from their online reading. I’m not entirely certain if they’re looking for TV entertainment, music to rock by, a constant stream of information, or chatter, but I catch enough gossip to know some sites are reader magnets. I assume some of the better ones are like a familiar reading group where one chats with friends about books or people they know or would like to know.  I would love to join communities of booklovers, but after a day at the computer, I’d rather join them in a nice lounge chair at the bookstore where I can see actual faces.

I dislike being selfish. I know hundreds of people stop by to visit us here from other blogs and websites.  I’d love to return the favor. I’m sure there are lots of sites out there that I’d enjoy visiting, but I can’t figure out where to find the time!  Right now I’m posting a draft of this message online because I’ll be flying out of here shortly for a brainstorming session with some of the other wenches. I’m hoping I’ll find a few minutes to get online and post by my Tuesday deadline, but I doubt that I’ll even have a chance to read our other postings until I return home.  (and I’m at Mary Jo’s with Susan King right now as I hit Publish on this blog, before I rush downstairs to get to work, so no, I have no idea what’s happening on the blog right now, and I won’t have time to read comments for days.)

So tell me, please, how do you squeeze time out of your busy days to cruise the net for interesting File000ma110991100002sites?  What is the best way of finding them?  And what most catches your interest in the sites that you enjoy? And please, where do other bloggers steal pictures?   

27 thoughts on “Blog Plodding”

  1. I don’t know how to advise you on how to fit reading online into your day – I’m afraid it’s soaked into my DNA by now, like reading books and breathing. I was an “early adopter” – hanging out online as early as 1994, when I was still using a DOS-based operating system and a 3200 baud dial-up modem. I constantly get online – in the mornings, while watching TV, at work for breaks, between tasks as a “palate cleanser” (that’s my excuse, anyway ;)). But then, if I’m not ADD I’m the next best thing. I did have a blog for 3 years (and have a new one that is occasionally updated), so I know about the difficulties of regular posting.
    I’ve read a lot of blogs in the past five years, and right now Word Wenches is in my top four – along with Instapundit (not romance!), Squawk Radio and Running with Quills. I think you all do a great job. What people want from romance writer blogs, I think, are three things: getting to know you all, picking your brain about all the information you have packed in there, and getting your unique take on the world. We read your blog because we already love your “voice” from your books. Reading your posts gives us a fuller sense of that voice. We know we don’t *really* know you unless we’ve met you and interacted with you (most of us aren’t stalkers with fantasies that we’re actually your best friends :D), but it’s such a pleasure just to read what you all think about things. And I know that you really would prefer not to read comments much, but I have to tell you, one of the great pleasures of reading someone’s blog is the interaction with the person who writes it. Actually having a conversation of sorts with you all in comments is a highlight (for me) of the blog. And I think that’s why Squawk Radio and Running with Quills are so popular (besides the fine writers there)- most of the writers are very active in comments. The keys to a good blog site: Daily posting, unique voice, active comments.
    That’s my 2 pence worth. 🙂

    Reply
  2. I don’t know how to advise you on how to fit reading online into your day – I’m afraid it’s soaked into my DNA by now, like reading books and breathing. I was an “early adopter” – hanging out online as early as 1994, when I was still using a DOS-based operating system and a 3200 baud dial-up modem. I constantly get online – in the mornings, while watching TV, at work for breaks, between tasks as a “palate cleanser” (that’s my excuse, anyway ;)). But then, if I’m not ADD I’m the next best thing. I did have a blog for 3 years (and have a new one that is occasionally updated), so I know about the difficulties of regular posting.
    I’ve read a lot of blogs in the past five years, and right now Word Wenches is in my top four – along with Instapundit (not romance!), Squawk Radio and Running with Quills. I think you all do a great job. What people want from romance writer blogs, I think, are three things: getting to know you all, picking your brain about all the information you have packed in there, and getting your unique take on the world. We read your blog because we already love your “voice” from your books. Reading your posts gives us a fuller sense of that voice. We know we don’t *really* know you unless we’ve met you and interacted with you (most of us aren’t stalkers with fantasies that we’re actually your best friends :D), but it’s such a pleasure just to read what you all think about things. And I know that you really would prefer not to read comments much, but I have to tell you, one of the great pleasures of reading someone’s blog is the interaction with the person who writes it. Actually having a conversation of sorts with you all in comments is a highlight (for me) of the blog. And I think that’s why Squawk Radio and Running with Quills are so popular (besides the fine writers there)- most of the writers are very active in comments. The keys to a good blog site: Daily posting, unique voice, active comments.
    That’s my 2 pence worth. 🙂

    Reply
  3. I don’t know how to advise you on how to fit reading online into your day – I’m afraid it’s soaked into my DNA by now, like reading books and breathing. I was an “early adopter” – hanging out online as early as 1994, when I was still using a DOS-based operating system and a 3200 baud dial-up modem. I constantly get online – in the mornings, while watching TV, at work for breaks, between tasks as a “palate cleanser” (that’s my excuse, anyway ;)). But then, if I’m not ADD I’m the next best thing. I did have a blog for 3 years (and have a new one that is occasionally updated), so I know about the difficulties of regular posting.
    I’ve read a lot of blogs in the past five years, and right now Word Wenches is in my top four – along with Instapundit (not romance!), Squawk Radio and Running with Quills. I think you all do a great job. What people want from romance writer blogs, I think, are three things: getting to know you all, picking your brain about all the information you have packed in there, and getting your unique take on the world. We read your blog because we already love your “voice” from your books. Reading your posts gives us a fuller sense of that voice. We know we don’t *really* know you unless we’ve met you and interacted with you (most of us aren’t stalkers with fantasies that we’re actually your best friends :D), but it’s such a pleasure just to read what you all think about things. And I know that you really would prefer not to read comments much, but I have to tell you, one of the great pleasures of reading someone’s blog is the interaction with the person who writes it. Actually having a conversation of sorts with you all in comments is a highlight (for me) of the blog. And I think that’s why Squawk Radio and Running with Quills are so popular (besides the fine writers there)- most of the writers are very active in comments. The keys to a good blog site: Daily posting, unique voice, active comments.
    That’s my 2 pence worth. 🙂

    Reply
  4. I think I’ve found most of the blogs I’m a regular on because one of my friends is a member or because someone I RESPECT posts an announcement to a loop I’m on (which is how I found this blog).
    I’m still in the fulltime job world, so I read blogs on my breaks or at lunch. If/When I quit my job, I don’t know what will happen to my blog addiction.

    Reply
  5. I think I’ve found most of the blogs I’m a regular on because one of my friends is a member or because someone I RESPECT posts an announcement to a loop I’m on (which is how I found this blog).
    I’m still in the fulltime job world, so I read blogs on my breaks or at lunch. If/When I quit my job, I don’t know what will happen to my blog addiction.

    Reply
  6. I think I’ve found most of the blogs I’m a regular on because one of my friends is a member or because someone I RESPECT posts an announcement to a loop I’m on (which is how I found this blog).
    I’m still in the fulltime job world, so I read blogs on my breaks or at lunch. If/When I quit my job, I don’t know what will happen to my blog addiction.

    Reply
  7. It’s slow at work, so a couple of ideas for finding interesting sites:
    Google everything. Ever heard of the “Year Without a Summer”? 1816, right in the middle of the Regency, caused by the 1815 eruption of a volcano in Indonesia. It was responsible for food riots in England and even for the writing of Frankenstein. I learned all that from googling about what happened in 1815, for a story I was working on. Googling is one of my favorite things to do.
    The second site is Wikipedia. It’s a free volunteer-written encyclopedia that’s only online, and quite fascinating. I did a lot of research on Waterloo starting there, including finding the first reference I’d seen to Napoleon losing Waterloo because his physician had misplaced the leeches. Heh.

    Reply
  8. It’s slow at work, so a couple of ideas for finding interesting sites:
    Google everything. Ever heard of the “Year Without a Summer”? 1816, right in the middle of the Regency, caused by the 1815 eruption of a volcano in Indonesia. It was responsible for food riots in England and even for the writing of Frankenstein. I learned all that from googling about what happened in 1815, for a story I was working on. Googling is one of my favorite things to do.
    The second site is Wikipedia. It’s a free volunteer-written encyclopedia that’s only online, and quite fascinating. I did a lot of research on Waterloo starting there, including finding the first reference I’d seen to Napoleon losing Waterloo because his physician had misplaced the leeches. Heh.

    Reply
  9. It’s slow at work, so a couple of ideas for finding interesting sites:
    Google everything. Ever heard of the “Year Without a Summer”? 1816, right in the middle of the Regency, caused by the 1815 eruption of a volcano in Indonesia. It was responsible for food riots in England and even for the writing of Frankenstein. I learned all that from googling about what happened in 1815, for a story I was working on. Googling is one of my favorite things to do.
    The second site is Wikipedia. It’s a free volunteer-written encyclopedia that’s only online, and quite fascinating. I did a lot of research on Waterloo starting there, including finding the first reference I’d seen to Napoleon losing Waterloo because his physician had misplaced the leeches. Heh.

    Reply
  10. Hi Pat!
    Wow!! Three wenches all in one spot right down the road from me. I can feel the power. *g*
    I’m with you on the lack of time. Balancing a job, family, and a writing career/habit is more than challenging for me. I couldn’t imagine trying to fit in any more.
    For what it’s worth (remember, this is coming from a self diagnosed workaholic) there’s only thing you need to do every day. WIN. I will never forget the man who said that to me or the pleased look that passed over his face as I worked mine into nasty scowl. ‘What do you mean,” I wanted to shout, “my life is all about meeting other people’s needs not winning!’ I didn’t. Didn’t have the courage. So I said, “I don’t understand. Win?” “Yea,” he answered, “Win. Every minute of every day just remember to do What’s Important Now. You will WIN every moment and the rest will fall away.”
    I tried it. It works. But only when I being my day with the end in mind.
    Hug MJ and Susan for me.
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  11. Hi Pat!
    Wow!! Three wenches all in one spot right down the road from me. I can feel the power. *g*
    I’m with you on the lack of time. Balancing a job, family, and a writing career/habit is more than challenging for me. I couldn’t imagine trying to fit in any more.
    For what it’s worth (remember, this is coming from a self diagnosed workaholic) there’s only thing you need to do every day. WIN. I will never forget the man who said that to me or the pleased look that passed over his face as I worked mine into nasty scowl. ‘What do you mean,” I wanted to shout, “my life is all about meeting other people’s needs not winning!’ I didn’t. Didn’t have the courage. So I said, “I don’t understand. Win?” “Yea,” he answered, “Win. Every minute of every day just remember to do What’s Important Now. You will WIN every moment and the rest will fall away.”
    I tried it. It works. But only when I being my day with the end in mind.
    Hug MJ and Susan for me.
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  12. Hi Pat!
    Wow!! Three wenches all in one spot right down the road from me. I can feel the power. *g*
    I’m with you on the lack of time. Balancing a job, family, and a writing career/habit is more than challenging for me. I couldn’t imagine trying to fit in any more.
    For what it’s worth (remember, this is coming from a self diagnosed workaholic) there’s only thing you need to do every day. WIN. I will never forget the man who said that to me or the pleased look that passed over his face as I worked mine into nasty scowl. ‘What do you mean,” I wanted to shout, “my life is all about meeting other people’s needs not winning!’ I didn’t. Didn’t have the courage. So I said, “I don’t understand. Win?” “Yea,” he answered, “Win. Every minute of every day just remember to do What’s Important Now. You will WIN every moment and the rest will fall away.”
    I tried it. It works. But only when I being my day with the end in mind.
    Hug MJ and Susan for me.
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  13. I’m not one for the popular blogs, I prefer the smaller conversational ones overall. And my reading list changes. Since we’re throwing down old school, I’ll see the above 1994 and take her back a decade to 1984 when it was barely a word processer, a hard drive held a megabyte, and the network server was being run in someone’s basement. You had to know your c prompts to get chat in THOSE dark days. Graphics? Fuggedabout it. Unless you took typing in middle school and still knew how to make them.
    So, can’t help you. When I’m busy, I read almost nothing. When I’m not busy, I have a list I keep go through till I’m busy again or bored. If the conversation doesn’t interest me, I tend to move on to somewhere else. Hate the game, not the player.

    Reply
  14. I’m not one for the popular blogs, I prefer the smaller conversational ones overall. And my reading list changes. Since we’re throwing down old school, I’ll see the above 1994 and take her back a decade to 1984 when it was barely a word processer, a hard drive held a megabyte, and the network server was being run in someone’s basement. You had to know your c prompts to get chat in THOSE dark days. Graphics? Fuggedabout it. Unless you took typing in middle school and still knew how to make them.
    So, can’t help you. When I’m busy, I read almost nothing. When I’m not busy, I have a list I keep go through till I’m busy again or bored. If the conversation doesn’t interest me, I tend to move on to somewhere else. Hate the game, not the player.

    Reply
  15. I’m not one for the popular blogs, I prefer the smaller conversational ones overall. And my reading list changes. Since we’re throwing down old school, I’ll see the above 1994 and take her back a decade to 1984 when it was barely a word processer, a hard drive held a megabyte, and the network server was being run in someone’s basement. You had to know your c prompts to get chat in THOSE dark days. Graphics? Fuggedabout it. Unless you took typing in middle school and still knew how to make them.
    So, can’t help you. When I’m busy, I read almost nothing. When I’m not busy, I have a list I keep go through till I’m busy again or bored. If the conversation doesn’t interest me, I tend to move on to somewhere else. Hate the game, not the player.

    Reply
  16. Shout out to my boy Usenet! W00t!
    Ok, ps and all – random googling rules, I agree with that comment all the way. Some phrase or odd name that catches my ear gets chugged through the google and the ebay and I see what spits out.
    My great-great-great-great grandmother’s memorial booklet? Why thank you very much. An article on infectious disease in Colonial America focused on STDs? Why not! An mp3 of the Afghan Whigs covering Pink Floyd? Don’t mind if I do!

    Reply
  17. Shout out to my boy Usenet! W00t!
    Ok, ps and all – random googling rules, I agree with that comment all the way. Some phrase or odd name that catches my ear gets chugged through the google and the ebay and I see what spits out.
    My great-great-great-great grandmother’s memorial booklet? Why thank you very much. An article on infectious disease in Colonial America focused on STDs? Why not! An mp3 of the Afghan Whigs covering Pink Floyd? Don’t mind if I do!

    Reply
  18. Shout out to my boy Usenet! W00t!
    Ok, ps and all – random googling rules, I agree with that comment all the way. Some phrase or odd name that catches my ear gets chugged through the google and the ebay and I see what spits out.
    My great-great-great-great grandmother’s memorial booklet? Why thank you very much. An article on infectious disease in Colonial America focused on STDs? Why not! An mp3 of the Afghan Whigs covering Pink Floyd? Don’t mind if I do!

    Reply
  19. “Ever heard of the “Year Without a Summer”? 1816, right in the middle of the Regency, caused by the 1815 eruption of a volcano in Indonesia.”
    This kind of thing fascinates me. I recently found a source for the weather records of London from the 18th and 19th centuries. There is also an report on the average temperatures in the metropolis over a 10 year period (1763-1772).
    The average temperature for August (stated in the document to be the month “in which the heat is greatest”) is 55 degrees at “night”, 60 degrees at 8am,and 68 degrees at 2pm (note that the average high now is 73 degrees).
    For the month of August in 1816 the average at 7am was 61 degrees and the average at 3pm was 63 degrees.
    So normally there was about an 8 degree difference between morning and night, and in 1816 there was only a 2 degree difference. On 13 of the 31 days the morning temp was actually equal to or above (!) the one taken at 3pm, and on only 4 days did the temp approach the normal range.

    Reply
  20. “Ever heard of the “Year Without a Summer”? 1816, right in the middle of the Regency, caused by the 1815 eruption of a volcano in Indonesia.”
    This kind of thing fascinates me. I recently found a source for the weather records of London from the 18th and 19th centuries. There is also an report on the average temperatures in the metropolis over a 10 year period (1763-1772).
    The average temperature for August (stated in the document to be the month “in which the heat is greatest”) is 55 degrees at “night”, 60 degrees at 8am,and 68 degrees at 2pm (note that the average high now is 73 degrees).
    For the month of August in 1816 the average at 7am was 61 degrees and the average at 3pm was 63 degrees.
    So normally there was about an 8 degree difference between morning and night, and in 1816 there was only a 2 degree difference. On 13 of the 31 days the morning temp was actually equal to or above (!) the one taken at 3pm, and on only 4 days did the temp approach the normal range.

    Reply
  21. “Ever heard of the “Year Without a Summer”? 1816, right in the middle of the Regency, caused by the 1815 eruption of a volcano in Indonesia.”
    This kind of thing fascinates me. I recently found a source for the weather records of London from the 18th and 19th centuries. There is also an report on the average temperatures in the metropolis over a 10 year period (1763-1772).
    The average temperature for August (stated in the document to be the month “in which the heat is greatest”) is 55 degrees at “night”, 60 degrees at 8am,and 68 degrees at 2pm (note that the average high now is 73 degrees).
    For the month of August in 1816 the average at 7am was 61 degrees and the average at 3pm was 63 degrees.
    So normally there was about an 8 degree difference between morning and night, and in 1816 there was only a 2 degree difference. On 13 of the 31 days the morning temp was actually equal to or above (!) the one taken at 3pm, and on only 4 days did the temp approach the normal range.

    Reply
  22. Okay, this stuff is addictive. I had to sneak back up here at lunch to check my email and saw all the comments and couldn’t resist stopping by.
    Don’t think that we don’t like comments, please! I love them, which is why I ask for them. Dialogue between writers and readers just doesn’t happen every day. But this can be an addictive conversation, and I’m neglecting other things when I creep back here to look. “G”
    I adore Google and can waste a great deal of time “researching” that way. How great is it to surf the Lamborghini site hunting for a car for one of my contemporary heroes?!
    Wikipedia has to be doublechecked, though. Never use it as primary reference. The things people post on there can be unreliable.
    I’m aware of the Summer that wasn’t in Regency. I’m also researching revolutionary France and know about the droughts and ultra cold winter that precipitated the revolution. Human history is tied up in weather in many strange ways.
    Now I’d better get back where I belong and start contemplating Iason’s story. It’s very weird to be working on a follow up book to one that won’t even come out until next summer, but there you have it. We live in a time between times!

    Reply
  23. Okay, this stuff is addictive. I had to sneak back up here at lunch to check my email and saw all the comments and couldn’t resist stopping by.
    Don’t think that we don’t like comments, please! I love them, which is why I ask for them. Dialogue between writers and readers just doesn’t happen every day. But this can be an addictive conversation, and I’m neglecting other things when I creep back here to look. “G”
    I adore Google and can waste a great deal of time “researching” that way. How great is it to surf the Lamborghini site hunting for a car for one of my contemporary heroes?!
    Wikipedia has to be doublechecked, though. Never use it as primary reference. The things people post on there can be unreliable.
    I’m aware of the Summer that wasn’t in Regency. I’m also researching revolutionary France and know about the droughts and ultra cold winter that precipitated the revolution. Human history is tied up in weather in many strange ways.
    Now I’d better get back where I belong and start contemplating Iason’s story. It’s very weird to be working on a follow up book to one that won’t even come out until next summer, but there you have it. We live in a time between times!

    Reply
  24. Okay, this stuff is addictive. I had to sneak back up here at lunch to check my email and saw all the comments and couldn’t resist stopping by.
    Don’t think that we don’t like comments, please! I love them, which is why I ask for them. Dialogue between writers and readers just doesn’t happen every day. But this can be an addictive conversation, and I’m neglecting other things when I creep back here to look. “G”
    I adore Google and can waste a great deal of time “researching” that way. How great is it to surf the Lamborghini site hunting for a car for one of my contemporary heroes?!
    Wikipedia has to be doublechecked, though. Never use it as primary reference. The things people post on there can be unreliable.
    I’m aware of the Summer that wasn’t in Regency. I’m also researching revolutionary France and know about the droughts and ultra cold winter that precipitated the revolution. Human history is tied up in weather in many strange ways.
    Now I’d better get back where I belong and start contemplating Iason’s story. It’s very weird to be working on a follow up book to one that won’t even come out until next summer, but there you have it. We live in a time between times!

    Reply
  25. I use my mornings for bloghopping/websurfing as I find it hard to be creative earlier in the day.
    Finding sites is a matter for me of googling then following various links from one site to another. I also subscribe to a couple of research newsletter lists that mention new and interesting sites each week 🙂

    Reply
  26. I use my mornings for bloghopping/websurfing as I find it hard to be creative earlier in the day.
    Finding sites is a matter for me of googling then following various links from one site to another. I also subscribe to a couple of research newsletter lists that mention new and interesting sites each week 🙂

    Reply
  27. I use my mornings for bloghopping/websurfing as I find it hard to be creative earlier in the day.
    Finding sites is a matter for me of googling then following various links from one site to another. I also subscribe to a couple of research newsletter lists that mention new and interesting sites each week 🙂

    Reply

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