Guest Blog Roundup

Guest Blog Roundup

The picture I have chosen for the title of this Guest Blog Roundup is of a teacup and saucer. It is the old china rose pattern, the same set from which I currently have a small collection of. I treasure the pieces I have now and would someday hope to be able to set a complete table. I am looking for more and also looking forward to the day when I can display them in a china cabinet. They live in a bookcase in my kitchen, currently, where I can see and use them easily.

In Cape Breton, whether you are a host or a guest, the offer is always made for tea or coffee. Your choice would then be accompanied with sandwiches or sweets, depending on the time of day it was. Therefore, it seems fitting to choose a pretty tea cup to represent the guest blogs shared here today.

Why do bloggers write guest blogs?

In early 2019, I sent out a message that I was looking to write guest blogs on other websites. As I am working on my writing continuously, I am strive towards my goals of writing full-time. Since I have now written three this year, I thought it would be nice to highlight them all together. This will allow me to showcase the new style I am learning to write in.

The new style is geared towards Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I have struggled to learn how to use it properly. It has had frustrating moments, however, I think I am starting to learn how to use it more effectively.

In other words, bloggers write to share what they have to say with their followers. When you reach out to ask about writing a guest blog, you are looking to have more exposure to different readers. Furthermore, the hopes of building your own readership to a larger following is also desirable. The host of the guest blog also wants to find more readers once they visit their website.

Another reason for me to do this is to add to my portfolio, and to write with a different purpose in mind. Here at my own blog, although it is not as personal as my journal, I strive to have that sense of a post for my readers. The minute I decide to write a guest blog for another website, it immediately takes on a different sense of importance. I often write very freely here, but when I write for someone else, it needs to look and feel professional.

Guest Blog Roundup #1

Guest Blog Roundup number one of 2019 can be found on the website of Pattimouse. Her website is a fun place to visit, with several guest blogs there to read along with her own musings. Her tagline, A glimpse into the mind of a half mad poet, sets the tone for all sorts of blogs. She shares poetry, and links for her poetry books, yes that is plural, and her work is exceptional. She has a gift for finding the correct photos to match her prose. My own guest blog, Conquering Your Inner Gremlins, would be my recommended place to start, of course. If you take the time to look around Pattimouse’s website, I am certain you will find something you like as well.

Under the name of Patricia Harris, she has published 3 children’s books and 16 poetry volumes. Her books are available in both paperback and ebook formats. Under the name of Serena Mossgraves, she has written a novel and a novella with dark and adult themes.

Guest Blog Roundup #2

When you enter The World of Shannon McRoberts, you will find an active website right from the home page. Shannon McRoberts has also written several books. Her characters are strong female leads which you can also see with her artistic representations of them. Her books are epic fantasy, with some falling within the realms of urban fantasy. She writes in several formats, including graphic novels, comics and poetry, along with her fantasy/science fiction novels.

For this guest blog, I wrote about Top Notch Writing Tips. I wanted readers to have an inside look into what an author may need to do to keep their writing fresh and to help avoid writer’s block. Sometimes we need to put aside the main work in progress (or WIP as you will see it noted in other places) for a short time. This allows author to be able to go back to work on it with fresh eyes. In my guest blog post, I explain some of the things I have tried when I need a change. I then go into some of the skills an author can learn when tackling a short story as a break from the WIP. If you read until the very end, you will find out about the plot twist!

If you are looking for a website which has vibrant colours paired with digital art and poetry, this is a great one to visit. I do hope you take the time to look around when you read my guest post there. I am positive with the variety of choices available that you will find something to check out while you are there also.


Guest Blog Roundup #3

Finally, the third guest blog roundup visits Rita’s Reading Room, you will see my third guest blog post from 2019. Not only will you find the guest blog, but her website displays books of many colours above a clean, crisp display of her blog posts on the home page. I really love the picture of the books, it is very appealing to the eye. It also suits the website title so well, a reading room would have a bookshelf filled with books.

Rita Kruger writes novels of fantasy, gothic and horror genres, challenging major themes of her own life. Her novels, Angela’s Epistles, books one and two follow the story of Angela Wright as she learns about herself. Consequently, she is making choices and changes in her life.

While I was preparing to write for this particular blog post, I came up with a title late one night while I was struggling with my own blog and the Yoast SEO editing plugin. It is meant to help me to write better blogs, but I was becoming so frustrated while using it, I had a moment. From this moment came the title How to Become a Better Blogger Without Becoming a Bitter Blogger. It also caused me to do a little more research, and you can read about what I learned when you visit Rita’s Reading Room to find my guest blog there. Again, I encourage you to go a little further into the reading room, to see what you can find.

It was a good experience.

To conclude, I will continue to write guest blogs to expand my own portfolio and improve on my writing skills. I am open to writing for different blogs, with the hope that it will allow me to pursue writing full time.

Did you choose a favourite guest blog in this roundup? What about the websites, are to going to go back to visit any of them? Are you a blogger looking for new content from a guest blogger like myself, or looking to share a guest blog here, on my website? Please let me know what you think in the comments below!

Starting over. Changes are necessary for evolution.

Starting over. Changes are necessary for evolution.


Here I go again. I am starting over.

I have been working for over a month and a half to get to this day. Today I relaunch my website. It wasn’t a simple task for me. I am not trained for any of this. I am using The Easy Author Website; template two of three amazing options. The creator of The Easy Author Website and The Happy Writing Co, helped me to build it, I couldn’t have done it without her. Dionne and a few of my other friends have been very supportive of my journey here on the internet. Without their answers to my questions, it would not have been relaunched.

A website is never really done, is it? There is a risk of it becoming boring and people stop visiting. This is what we bloggers try to avoid. Losing our audience. We work hard to reach out and stay in touch with our frequent visitors, friends, family and supporters. Every blogger needs a support team. To the people who have patiently waited for me to get this show back on the road, thank you.


What has changed?

Many things have changed. I published my first novel in October 2018 and I have been working diligently to organically market it. Marketing is a must in the Indie Author world. To do it organically, without paying for advertising is how I am approaching it. Marketing on social media is tricky to navigate. I have learned about marketing on social media, and I am applying what I learn every day.


Which brings me to more news.

Here I go again. I am starting over.

I am currently working on building a full time writing career. Things changed in my life. I found myself with an opportunity to dive into this adventure with all of my gusto. My peers in the writing community assure me that I can earn a living by writing. It will be up to me to get it started and keep things moving smoothly. I didn’t plan for this to be the way things turned out. Now I can focus on what is important to me for the first time in a really long time. It is scary and new. It feels like the right move for me.


I am going back to the original blogging schedule for now.

Tomorrow, Trust Your Gut Thursday will be back. I have new material to write, for you to read tomorrow. The angry tomato will return for the weekend warrior series. I will be continuing the #Tishspiration Tuesdays. Things may look different, and changes will keep happening. I plan to keep blogging.


The Tish MacWebber Always Blinging…online store opened today!

The store is new on my website. Dionne came to my rescue again. Writing friends are the best. We help each other out. I ask lots of questions and usually, one person out there has the answer I need. I love the supportive writing communities I am active in.

In November, I won first place in the Kit Sora Flash Fiction Contest, sponsored by Engen Books. The name of my first place winning story is Love in a Bottle.

The story was received well in the different places I shared it.

People want to read more, they want to know what happened next. I didn’t know what to put in a newsletter. I have decided that it would be good to add more to this story in it. Every month, I will send a newsletter out, with a new part of this story, and in the future there will be new stories.


I took a chance this fall and paid admission to a prestigious short story competition.


The NYC Midnight Short Story Competition has 3 heats. I have submitted my first story. If I get to keep going, I am up for the challenge. They assign topics, genres and a character to write into your short story. I want to win and there are prizes. The best thing about it is that we all get feedback on our work. It will be priceless to get feedback on how to improve my writing skills.Timing is everything. I am hoping it is my time to shine. I am ready. Are you with me? Let’s go!

Sun Kissed and Salt Licked

Sun Kissed and Salt Licked

 

If you have been to my About page, you will recognize this picture.  It is from one of my favourite places in the world, in Chimney Corner, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.  It is a bench made from driftwood that overlooks a private beach.  You will not find it easily, it is not open to the public.  Not even very many locals have been here.  It is a gem in the home of my heart, and a place I think of often.

The ocean seems to find its way into my words when I write, whether it is song lyrics or into my fantasy trilogy.  That’s right, I am planning to write a fantasy trilogy based in the home of my heart.  It won’t be about my life, exactly, it will be straight from my imagination.  There may be familiar issues or mannerisms found in some of the characters, but I am not basing any of it on real people.  After meeting Kelly Armstrong a few weeks ago, I realized that for my first trilogy, it will be enough to write it without creating a new world for it to happen in.  I asked her during the Q&A session at the local library if she would ever write in a world that she created, and she answered that she didn’t plan to create any other worlds for her writing.  She said that she felt that there are people that are better suited to world building, and she isn’t one of those people.  I am reading some of her books now, and have read some before the event at the Library.  I am not sure if I will write more than a trilogy based in Cape Breton, or if I will connect all of my books there somehow.  However,  I do think it is a logical place for me to start.

I also got some books signed after the Q&A had finished.  I told her that I am writing my first trilogy and that I am a little nervous about writing book 2.  I am scared that I might get lost and stuck in there.  She told me I was looking at it from the wrong perspective.  She shared that book two is not where I should get lost, but where I should plan to have fun.  I am going to try and remember that.

Meeting Kelley Armstrong

Matty, Kelley Armstrong, and me at the local library.

I am writing this post to tie it into my upcoming Guest Post on another Blogger’s page. He is a friend I have met online since I started my blogging adventure, and he asked me to write a story for his Around The World category.  I wrote to him about my upcoming vacation in Cape Breton Island, and this became the topic I decided to write about.

The Atlantic Ocean, kissing the Cape Breton Coastline

The Atlantic Ocean, kissing the Cape Breton Coastline

The sun setting beside Margaree Island, seen from the shore of Cape Breton Island

The sun setting beside Margaree Island, seen from the shore of Cape Breton Island

What a Beach day! Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

What a Beach day! Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

Thanks to my friends and family members for the beautiful pics I blended together in this project, with permission.  I came back from my week in Cape Breton feeling relaxed and refreshed.  I did go swimming twice, and that is where I got the title for this story.  Salt water therapy on the shorelines of Cape Breton Island is the best kind and one money can’t buy.

I was honoured to be invited to share my story on Mohamad Al Karbi’s Blog.  I hope you take the time to visit and read the story of my vacation.  It is written to share MY Cape Breton with the world.  While you are there, if you have some time, there are many other posts in this and other categories.  I have enjoyed reading about different places in his blog, and I suspect if you want to read more about other places in the world, this is a way for me to help you discover the world through other people’s eyes, with their own stories.

You can read my Guest Blog # 2, Homesick for the Home of my Heart, here.

I hope you enjoy both stories for this project.  As always, I have enjoyed writing them.  Always Thinking…

I Have Arrived

I Have Arrived

First Rejection Letter

First Rejection Letter

In the journey to becoming an author, there are many roadblocks along the way.  Inspiration or the Muse must be present to begin.  Time must be set aside each day to write and practice your craft.  There is a whole different world to enter when one wants to become a published author.  WIP means “Work In Progress”.  It is the current project that is being written.  A social media presence is a must to develop your target audience.  Writer’s Block is a fear that can strike at any time, and if it takes hold, can have disastrous effects on that WIP.

If an author survives all of these obstacles, the biggest hurdle of all looms in the distance. Submissions are needed to take the scariest step of all.  Submitting the WIP for publishing.

Self-publishing is an option.  Editing is a must.  Beta readers test read the WIP and hopefully provide constructive criticism and positive feedback.  Repeat as necessary. Query letters are sent to publishing companies.

Then the waiting begins.

The self-doubting during this time, which does not always have an exact deadline for a reply can be paralyzing.  The WIP is sent out to one or many different publishers, with excited anticipation.  As the days turn into weeks, which turn into months, the feeling changes.  The belief in the WIP can fade.  Negativity creeps into the picture and can cause the author to stop writing.  This is the hardest thing a writer has to face.

It happened to me.  I wrote a poem and submitted it to my writing group.  I have experienced new friendships, answers to many questions, and support in this group.  I continue to be a member of the Ninja Writers.  I found them on facebook, and I am now a card carrying member.  I am supporting a co-operative publication.  My submission did not make the first publication.

I got my first rejection letter.  It was not the result I wanted, but it is done.  As an author, it will not be my last.  As an author, I have arrived.

Was I disappointed?  Absolutely.  Did it break my desire to keep trying?  Not a chance.  My work is just beginning as an author. There will be times when I want to give up.  If I am going to succeed, I have to be able to keep trying.  Stubborn determination twisted with an immense amount of patience will help me to persevere and succeed.

I will be looking forward to receiving my first copy of the Ninja Writers Zine.  It is called The NW.  I am planning to read it from cover to cover, more than once, so that I can up my game for the next call for submissions.  More information about it can be found at their Patreon link:

The NW

If you are interested in becoming a part of the phenomenon known as the Ninja Writers, here is a link to their facebook page:

Ninja Writers Facebook Group

It is a closed group, but the creator of the Ninja Writers, Shaunta Grimes, has given me permission to share both of these links here.  She is a published author, and leading the Ninja Writers Revolution!  She has created so many useful tools and guides for up and coming authors like me.  Thanks for giving me a place to share, learn and improve upon my writing dreams, Shaunta!  Ninja Writers Rock!

Finally, I will link the poem that I have published in January here.  It was featured on this blog, and I am proud of it whether or not it shows up anywhere else.  This is what I submitted for The NW.

Give yourself a little Grace

I will continue sharpening my writing skills until the next call for submissions.

 

 

The Little Blog That Could!

The Little Blog That Could!

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The Little Blog That Could!

This adventure is growing.  One like at a time.  One laugh at a time.  One follower at a time.  One share at a time. Most importantly, one story at a time.  It has given life to an imagination.  It is a small obsession, reaching beyond what it was supposed to be.  It is gaining momentum.  Every time inspiration strikes, so do the strokes on the keyboard.  Is it going to change the world at large? Maybe.  Is it going to change my life?  It already has.

Something is happening to me.  I am gaining confidence in my abilities.  I am pushing myself to write several times a week, and I am following through with the schedule that is developing as I write.  I am watching the stats, and grinning while shaking my head at them.  They tell me that I have reached an audience in 30 different countries.  I have had more than 100 likes on this Blog, as a whole.  Most of them are from people I do not know personally.  To anyone that has looked at this blog, read any of my stories, liked, shared, commented or followed, I want to personally thank you.  It humbles me to realize that people take the time to do this, even if it is just for the few minutes they take to read what is on my mind.   I am finishing month five today.  I have been consistent and persistent.  It takes dedication.

I am having fun.  I found my passion,  I really believe it.  I want to write and share the things that matter to me here.  I want to expand my horizons, and get those books published.  I am also sharing how I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle, and how my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions are progressing.  I am writing about things that matter in my world, and from the support I see in the stats, these things matter to more people than just me.

It was a steep learning curve for me to take a run at when I started.  For me, HTML was a thing that popped up by accident on my computer when I was surfing.  Literally.  There I was, Facebooking away when suddenly, there was a box of text that appeared on top of my facebook pages.  Thank goodness I found the corner with the “X” to close it when it happened.  Which was more frequently than I want to remember.  It still scares me, when it is just there because I don’t really know what it does, or why it jumps out at me.  But I have used HTML in setting up this blog, and I would not call myself an expert in any way shape, or form, I can now say that I have used it, and that is something I wasn’t able to say six months ago.

Constructive criticism helped me to develop the page you see today.  I didn’t know anything about colour palettes for websites or branding myself as an author.  I have a long way to go yet, and lots to learn, but if it keeps being this much fun, I see me working on it for the rest of my life.  I have always had a vivid imagination and a creative artist inside of me.  When I work with beads, and I create something that is mine from concept to finished product, I get this feeling.  There is pride, but it is more than that.  It is excitement and that thing that everyone says you should base your career choices on.  That thing is passion.  I feel it even more strongly when I am writing, reading, editing, and previewing every story that I publish on this blog.  It is infectious.  It is contagious.  And it is bubbling out in every direction!

I am happier.  I am doing better at my day job.  People can see the difference in me.  I am feeling the spark of inspiration all around me, and I am fueling it with all of the creativity and optimism I can get my hands on.  I am able to process things in my everyday life, even things that I am not writing about, in a different way.  I got my optimism back.  It was missing for quite some time, but I have hope again.  I have always had faith and a belief that things would work out even when times are tough.  Now that I am working on this blog, and making plans for my future as an author, I am making one of my dreams come true.  Because I am making it happen, I KNOW that things will be better in my future.  It is up to me, and I am taking control of the next chapter in my own life.

I am a blogger, hear me type!

 

The Story of Tish MacWebber

The Story of Tish MacWebber

Once upon a time a man was introduced to his granddaughter, Patricia MacLellan.  When he met her, he called her Tish.  It stuck.  Tish MacLellan grew up in Cape Breton, in a house that used to be a church, on the world famous Cabot Trail.  She spent her summers at local beaches and at a place she calls The Cabin.  She learned to swim, and spent a lot of time rock hopping along the shores and coastlines of Cape Breton Island.  She had a wild imagination, and dreamed of owning a horse someday.  She still has her walkman with the best mixed tape ever, and it still works, even after putting all of those years and miles on it.

She loved to read, and began writing.  Creative writing is one of many hobbies that she spent her spare time on.  She kept a diary and when she got older, she called it a journal.  She enjoyed cross stitching and embroidery.  She learned to knit and to crochet.  In high school, she wrote her first song.

Her love for animals made her decide to take a pre-vet program at NSAC.  She was ill during her first year, and this delayed her completion of her B.Sc in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Science.  While studying at NSAC, she met her future husband, Roy Webber.  They dated, fell madly in love, and made it official with a wedding.  The same day they got married, there was a hurricane.  It was all very memorable, and all who attended the celebration of their marriage had a wonderful time, despite the weather.

Before the wedding happened, Tish was thinking about the name she wanted after she married Roy.  She thought it would be a fun thing to create a new last name, and they could both become the first MacWebber Clan.  Roy did not agree to this idea, and did not want to make any changes to his last name.  Not even when Tish told him that she would create a brand new tartan for the new name.  Tish decided to go the traditional route and take his last name, and legally became Patricia Webber.  It didn’t take her long to adapt to her new name.

They moved around the Maritimes so much, that Roy’s family joked about them being gypsies.  After living all over Nova Scotia, they moved to New Brunswick, shortly after a brief time living in Prince Edward Island.  In Fredericton, New Brunswick,  they made new friends, had roommates, and eventually bought their own mini home.  They had cats constantly as pets for many years.  After living in apartments for the majority of the years they were together, Tish decided that it was time, now that they have a home of their own, to get a dog.  She  looks forward to that.  She still has no horse of her own, yet, the baby barn is not quite big enough for a horse.

When Tish decided one day that it was time to take a chance and share her songwriting with the world, she thought about creating a blog.  Little did she know that it would build itself into a bigger project than she had imagined.  She had also always wanted to write a fantasy trilogy, being a fan of reading them, herself.  She asked her friends online what the best options were, and decided to go with a Blog page here, on WordPress.  Then another new friend stepped up and made her think beyond the surface of what she was building.  She revisited an old idea of hers to write her novels under a pen name, and she remembered wanting to become the first MacWebber.  So, there it was.  Tish MacWebber became her pen name.

Her beginner attempts at creating a blog page were good, but they weren’t great.  So she asked again for help, and her new friends helped her some more.  One of them took her page and changed it, and this was her new and improved starting point.  Tish absorbed all the information this friend had shared with her, and thought long and hard about the next steps.   She is very grateful for all of the help her new friends have given her, and she plans to return the favour, even if it is just by paying it forward.  When she asked about her colours, branding and logo, people liked it for different things, but it wasn’t what she needed it to be.  She kept thinking.  After about three weeks of mulling it over in her mind, things clicked into place, simultaneously.

She searched through hundreds of colour palettes, picking her favourites.  She found one that she kept referring back to, and decided that it was the one she would choose.  Then she made a tartan design.  She got her friends and family to give opinions on her progress as she tried to put the pieces all together.  Her father told her that a circle would not be wrong on a tartan, rather that it would be the french connection.  Her mother is french, so it fit.  The motto for Clan MacLellan is, “Think On.”  Her logo was developed with the phrase “Always Thinking…” because she is a dreamer that does think a lot; but also to honour her ancestors.  Her cousin helped her pick the final design, and through their online chat the “…” was added to the logo.  So that explains the colour, logo, and the circle.  But the circle is made up of diamonds.  The diamonds symbolize the marriage of all these things together, and connects all of the dots.

Tish does tend to overthink things at times.  However, when she does this in terms of being creative, and it works, it makes her feel amazing.  Being creative is her passion.   She is going to share it with the world, and see how far it will take her.

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