I like the concept of a podcast. Being able to tune in and listen to people talk about a topic I’m interested in sounds like something I’d love.
But for a long time, I couldn’t find one that didn’t make me cringe.
Some of my favorite bloggers have podcasts, but if an episode consists of the blogger reading one of her posts, sorry; I can read it quicker myself.
I went to the podcast section of the iTunes store and typed in a topic. There must be hundreds of writing podcasts, but I couldn’t find one that engaged me.
Reasons for rejecting podcasts:
I needed a different strategy for finding podcasts.
Every once in a while, I’ll read an article about best podcasts for (your special interest here). I’ll test the ones that sound most promising, and I’ve now amassed a list of podcasts that I like (not that I listen to any of them regularly—I generally listen when I’m drawing or cleaning in my office, both of which I do too infrequently).
My current favorite podcasts (in no particular order):
The nine podcasts above, for the most part, are giving me what I expect.
What makes a good podcast:
Sometimes I think I’d like to create an ARHtistic License podcast. But I don’t know that I could make one that meets my high standards.
Now it’s your turn. Do you follow any podcasts? What, in your opinion, makes a podcast good? Please share in the comments below.
More Flowers of the Day.
Would somebunny love a new picture book? Here are some you could win–or buy!
Sleeping Bear Press sent me a copy of DADDY LOVES YOU by Helen Foster James, illustrated by Petra Brown. Then I noticed that Helen had another book, MOMMY LOVES YOU. Of course with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming up, I contacted Helen about featuring both of her books, then she pointed out the other books in the series. Sleeping Bear Press agreed to share a copy of the latest book DADDY LOVES YOU and Helen has agreed to send a copy the other four books to four additional winners. Yes that’s right, you have a chance to win a copy of Daddy Loves You, Mommy Love You, Grandmom Loves You, Grandpa Loves You, or Auntie Loves You for a total of five winners.
All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a…
View original post 1,431 more words
More Sunday Trees.
Wisdom from the mind of the great inventor, Thomas Alva Edison:
- Opportunity is missed by most people, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
- To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
- To have a great idea, have a lot of them.
- The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around.
- Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.
- The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.
- I find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success.
- The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet, and the cause and prevention of disease.
Joy Harjo is the current poet laureate of the United States, the first Native American to hold that position. I bought this book because I wanted to learn more about her.
Harjo is almost the same age as me, which made me like her immediately. However, our life experiences couldn’t be more different.
Harjo starts her memoir with the story of her parents and ends with her young adulthood. Her writing style is musical—even her prose is poetic. The poems included in the book reflect her native culture, which is woven throughout.
As a child, Joy was a good student, an artist who loved poetry, photography, and music.
Harjo’s parents divorced, and her mother married an older white man who physically and emotionally abused her and Joy and Joy’s sister and brothers.
Her stepfather wanted Joy gone, so he suggested sending her to a fundamentalist Christian school. Joy asked instead to be sent to an Indian boarding school, so she would have classmates who looked like her. The family applied through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and she was sent to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. She studied art and theater in addition to her academic subjects. When she graduated from the high school program, she was pregnant. The baby’s father promised to send her money to join him, but he didn’t.
Joy borrowed bus money from her brother to travel to her baby daddy’s home. They married, but the marriage didn’t last.
With tribal assistance, Harjo entered the University of New Mexico in a premed program. After one semester, she changed her major to studio art. She met a student who wrote poetry. Joy had always loved poetry; she had loved to recite it as a child. She thought poetry had to be in English. This young man wrote poetry about his tribe and his pueblo and his people and their ideals. He changed the way Harjo thought about poetry. She fell in love with the student, and he beat her. She bore him a daughter and named her Rainy Dawn. He was an alcoholic, and she eventually left him. The book ends shortly thereafter, with Harjo pursuing poetry.
This is an excellent book for a white person to read, especially one whose experience with Native Americans is as non-existent as mine. It’s eye-opening.
This article has been reprinted with the permission of Web Design Relief. Whether you’re just starting out or a best-selling author, Web Design Relief will improve your existing website or build you an affordable, custom author website to support your author platform, boost your online presence, and act as a hub for your social media outreach. Web Design Relief is a division of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. Sign up for their free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit the site today to learn more.
If you are a ravenous book reader, you may be able to turn your passion for the written word (and your love of sharing your opinion) into a rewarding book review blog. Not only do book review bloggers get the satisfaction of reading and critiquing, they also often score free books from writers and publishers who want to generate some book review blogger buzz. Here’s what Web Design Relief wants you to know about how to start a book review blog!
Pinpoint a genre/readership. Although your reading tastes may run the gamut from quiet literary fiction to noisy international espionage thrillers, you may want to focus your book review blog on one specific genre. When you focus clearly on a particular target audience, you’ll have a better chance of connecting effectively with that specific readership.
Sharpen your hook. There are a lot of book review blogs out there. What makes yours stand out? Now is the time to think about how you might distinguish your blog from others.
Find your voice as a blogger. The tone and style of your book reviews will help define your future readership. If you are reviewing books that have an academic or literary focus, you may be able to get away with writing long, formal, winding sentences in your book reviews. But keep in mind that the most popular bloggers often embrace a witty, chatty, casual style, because the way people read using a computer or mobile device is different from how they read print. Learn more: Author Website Copy: Five Essential Tips For Writing Web Text.
Establish a format for your book reviews. The traditional publishing industry format for book reviews includes dedicating the majority of the review to the facts of the book in question (story/content/synopsis/background). Only in the last few sentences, would you share your personal opinion and include both strengths and weaknesses of the book.
But you don’t have to stick to the traditional style of writing book reviews. As a blogger, you can take creative liberties with your book reviews. You may decide that the bulk of your review should focus on opinion, with only a few sentences dedicated to summary of the book itself.
Develop a book ranking scale. Another thing to consider is how you will rate or rank the books on your book review blog. You can use a traditional five-star system, or you can develop your own rating guide—using anything from emojis to color schemes. You may want to link each of your book reviews to an explanation of your personal book ranking system so that readers who are new to your blog can understand it.
Focus on value. Whatever the format/style/voice you choose for your book reviews, keep in mind that the most successful book reviews are those that are practical and helpful to readers who are trying to decide whether to read or buy a given book. Readers who are looking for the next great addition to their TBR list may not want to waste their time reading a lengthy diatribe about a book you consider a “don’t buy.” They might prefer to spend their time learning about a book they will actually want to read.
Select which books you will review. Your choice of book titles to review will say a lot about who you are as a blogger and what you value as a reader. Will you choose to join the conversation by reviewing nationally released, buzzworthy books that are already being discussed all over the Internet? Or will you focus on hidden gems from independent presses?
Keep reviews short, memorable, and quotable. Book readers want you to cut to the chase and let them know what makes a particular book a great read. Witty insights, pithy phrases, and unique perspectives can make your book reviews memorable. Plus, authors who are happy with your turn of phrase might just feature your book review quote and URL on the cover of their next book release—which will help spread the word about your book blogging efforts!
Reach out. Book bloggers rarely succeed by writing in a vacuum. To generate an audience and increase the likelihood that writers and publishers will send free books your way, you’ll need to do some marketing. Here are a few ideas:
If you are active in the creative writing community as an author, you may want to be aware of how your book reviews will be received within the community of your peers. What you write today about a given author’s book could affect you tomorrow if you sit down at a luncheon and an author you once lambasted is seated right beside you. Also, if you come down hard on a particular publisher’s title in a way that makes a big splash, that publisher might not be particularly receptive when it’s time for you to pitch your own book for publication.
Your words have power—as both a book lover and an author, you’ll have to make decisions about your priorities and values if you decide to start a book review blog. Learn more about what it means to be an author who also writes book reviews.
Question: What most influences your decision to buy a book?
We are a nation of survivors. Let us never forget those who were taken from us in hate. Let us honor their memories with random acts of kindness.