Tag Archives: blogging

Thoughts on Blogging – A Question For My Blog Readers

As we approach summer, (which means I should have more time to write blog posts), I’ve come up with a question for those of you who read my blog:

What do you like reading on my blog, and what do you want to see more of?

Is there anything you would prefer to see less of?

About a year ago I went from only posting “behind the scenes” content about book covers I had designed, to writing articles on my writing processes and the steps my husband and I were taking in creating our publishing company.

Then I started creating the video blogs with the readings, and then finally reblogging our pseudo-steampunk series, The Multiverse Chronicles.

From what I can tell, most of the people who follow this blog are writers. Do you want to see more posts on writing and the writing craft? Publishing? Self-publishing techniques?

Do you like seeing the Behind the Scenes posts about how I make book covers?

Do you watch the video blog posts I do, and/or listen to the readings of Magic’s Stealing?

Do you read the Multiverse serial episodes?

Is there anything you want to see that I haven’t tried yet?

Feel free to respond via the form below, or to send me an email privately (my contact page).

I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

* * *

Just a quick reminder, I’m running a giveaway for two ebook copies of Magic’s Stealing! There’s only four days left, so enter while you can. 🙂


Filed under Writing

Thoughts on Publishing – A Video Blog Post – Reading “The Dragon’s Tree”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Today I’m doing a Holiday Special video blog. Instead of reading a chapter from Magic’s Stealing, I’m reading a children’s story that Isaac wrote. He modeled the style after the style of fables. It’s called The Dragon’s Tree. We hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Click here for the link if you can’t see the video.

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Filed under Business Ventures, Writing

Thoughts on Blogging – Video Blogs

For the past month, I’ve been experimenting with doing a weekly video blog post. The goal was to see if doing a video blog would allow me to spend more time writing fiction and working on Isaac’s and my tabletop games, rather than writing blog posts.

While doing video blogs is certainly fun (I enjoy reading the stories aloud), it doesn’t necessarily speed up the blogging process. Since I’ve just started learning how everything works (the Youtube editor, Premiere Pro…), it actually takes longer. Combine this with the tendency for the computer to take a while to upload the videos, and for Youtube to process the edited video once I’ve finished making edits, this takes time.

For example, I actually did create a video for last Friday. By the time I got it loaded, however, it was already early Saturday. And once I started to edit it on the Youtube editor, I realized that the blog portion was very rambly– the result of trying to rush. So, rather than uploading a rushed video while I was half-asleep, I decided to write this post today, and I plan to upload the video blog on Monday (I’ll be reading chapter two of Magic’s Stealing).

Based on my results thus far, I’m considering trying to do the video blogs earlier in the week. That way I could set up the video during the weekend, then schedule it to release on whichever day works best.

The biggest challenge of scheduling blog posts is discipline. If I plan for a Monday update, I’ve got to remember to make the video early in the weekend, that way I have time to upload it. For each blog–at least ones  where I do a reading–I need to practice the reading, do the reading, edit the reading, and then piece together the reading and the “blog” portion of the video.

So that’s the quick update for today. 🙂


Filed under Writing

Liebster Award

Liebster AwardI was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by writer Eve Messenger. Basically, the Liebster Award is a blogging meme that allows bloggers to recognize other blogs they enjoy, similar to the Blogger Recognition Award.

Now, I’m terrible at blog-tagging. Part of this is because I feel really awkward “tagging” people chain-letter style, and the other part is that a lot of the blogs I follow don’t actively participate in blog tagging.

However, when I made my post about the Blogger Recognition Award, I realized a large part of the award was letting other people know you appreciate what they do. So I posted a few of my favorite blogs/resources, but I didn’t tag them directly. Instead, I emailed them privately with a link to the blog post and an explanation of why I had nominated them. Four of the seven people I contacted responded enthusiastically, and while they didn’t tag anyone themselves, they seemed happy to know they were appreciated.


So, on to the Liebster Award!


According to the Liebster Award rules, I must now:

  • Answer a list of questions
  • Nominate other bloggers. (I’m going to amend this slightly…)
  • Pose eleven  questions of my own.


The Questions Asked of Me

1. How important do you think it is to network with other writers?

Depends on your goals. If you want to improve your writing, networking can be a great way to find resources and get advice. If you want to learn marketing, networking with other writers can help you learn what worked for them and what didn’t. If you want to socialize with people who are familiar with the trials you’re going through, then networking can be helpful.

Just don’t forget to spend time writing, too.

2. Do you ever read books more than once? Which ones?

Sometimes. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman is one trilogy I specifically remember re-reading, along with Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling, and Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce.

3. What’s the scariest or most challenging thing for you about writing?

Not being sure if other people are going to like what I write, and thus whether the dream of being able to make a living off this is possible.

4. What is the most amazing thing about writing?

Seeing your worlds come to life. And those moments when you’re re-reading your work and get lost in it without realizing you’re reading your writing. That’s awesome.

5. Where is your favorite place to write?

Wherever I can successfully get into the scene without being distracted. That being said, there’s a coffee shop downtown that I did a lot of writing at for a while, and that was enjoyable. I love the smell of coffee… I just don’t like the taste.

6. When’s your best time of day to write? Why?

Whenever I can. (Though I seem to get on a writing streak in the evening or early morning, depending on the day). But really, that depends on whether my day job is in season or not. If it’s in season, then I’m going to be trying to find writing time when I’m at home (and not working on book covers), or during the weekends.

7. What are three of your favorite words?

Um… I’m not actually sure. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. Though when I read the word “semaphore” in Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, I looked it up on Dictionary.com, then really wanted to use that word in something. I’m proud to say that “semaphore” made it into the final draft of Magic’s Stealing.

8. What’s one thing that would tell you you’ve “made it” as a writer?

When I’m able to make a living off my writing (or off the combined books and games sold through Infinitas Publishing with my husband), then I’ll know I’ve “made it.” That, and seeing people enjoy the stories we’ve worked on.

9. In terms of writing or reading, what’s the best thing anyone could say to you right now?

That they really enjoyed a specific scene in a story I’ve worked on… (I love talking about my story plotting, so getting to talk about the specifics is exciting). On the other hand, simply being told that they believe I’ll be able to reach my writing goals is also helpful.

10. Do you have any rituals, superstitions, or preferences related to writing or editing?

I sometimes listen to particular songs or types of songs to get a specific scene in mind.

11. In the face of all the rejection that comes with being a writer, what advice would you give to someone to help them stay on a path toward achieving their dreams?

Keep working to improve your craft (writing or otherwise) and look into all the options. Don’t restrict yourself to one path. Figure out specifically what you want, and learn what it takes to make that work. Don’t try going into your dreams blindly, because there are a lot of pitfalls that can sneak up on you if you aren’t careful.


My Nominations

I nominate you.

That’s right. I’m going to shake things up a bit.

Since the point of the Liebster Award is to discover new bloggers, and since I’ve recently done a similar exercise via the Blogger Recognition Award, I’m going to open up my side of the blog-tag to anyone who wants to make a post in the next week. I’m going to pose 11 questions, and if you want to participate, answer these questions on your blog, then post a link to your post in the comments below. Next week, time permitting, I’ll collect any shared links, then list them on a new blog post.

You are welcome to continue the trend if you wish, but you don’t have to. 🙂


The Questions I’m Asking You

  1. What do you like to write, and what are you working on now?
  2. What does writing mean for you?
  3. If you could visit any place in a story you’ve written, what place would you visit? (Juicy details, please!)
  4. If you had the chance to meet your characters, would you? Who would you want to meet?
  5. What is your favorite book?
  6. If you had to recommend a specific resource (blog, book, website, etc) to another author that you found really helpful, what would you recommend?
  7. Do you have any preferred forms of social media you like to use? Why?
  8. Why do you blog?
  9. What is your favorite quote?
  10. What’s your favorite game?
  11. If you could have a special power, what would it be?


I look forward to seeing what you have to say. 🙂


Filed under Writing

Thoughts on Writing – A Short Post

Well, I was going to have a longer post up today, but I forgot to write it yesterday and today was even busier than I expected. So, instead, I’m going to make a quick note on the benefits of scheduling early.

When you have a blog (especially one that allows you to schedule posts, as WordPress does), you may find it handy to write your posts at the time you have the initial idea, then set them to release on a later date. This is what Isaac and I plan to do when we release The Multiverse Chronicles, and what I often do for regular posts (except today). This is a great way to ensure that your posts have a reasonable consistency of release, a great way to schedule guest posts without worrying that you’ll forget to post them on the right day, and a great way to relieve the stress involved with trying to get a post done by 8:00 Monday night. *Ahem.*

You can also schedule tweets, if you use Twitter. I’ve used Tweetdeck, which is also a great tool for managing hashtags and watching a conversation unfold. (A necessity if you work during the day of #Pitmad, which has new rules for next time).

With that said, I hope those are helpful insights.

In other news, Rebekkah Ford did a book feature of Magic’s Stealing on her blog. Click here to find another excerpt from the book (an excerpt which isn’t available in the preview on Smashwords!), and check out the other books she features while you’re at it. 😀

Now I’m off to write a much longer post. Have you found any handy tricks to managing a blog?


Filed under Writing

Blogger Recognition Award

Today I’m doing something a bit different. Kellie Doherty nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. I’m glad you liked my blog enough to consider me. The Blogger Recognition Award is basically a way to let other bloggers know you appreciate their blog. I’ll admit that I am terrible at blog-tagging. However, I figured I’d go through at least part of the process. 🙂


blogger award

Rules for The Blogger Recognition Award

  1. Select fifteen other blogs you want to give the award to
  2. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you
  3. Write a post to show your award
  4. Give a brief story of how your blog started
  5. Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers
  6. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  7. Attach the award to the post (right-click and save, then upload)
  8. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them
  9. Provide a link to the award post you created


How My Blog Got Started

I started this blog in college as a requirement for a portrait photography class. We had to choose the best images from our class assignments and post them on the blog for our classmates to look at and critique. I still have those posts available, if you want to see my early attempts at portrait photography. Just go to the left column of my blog, look for the category bar, and select Portrait Photography ’09.

I later used this blog for subsequent photography classes. After college I began posting book covers I’d worked on, once a week, when available. Eventually I started putting a bit of behind-the-scenes information with each post as a way to pass along information to people who were interested in book cover design. Didn’t get much traffic, but every once in a while someone would comment or favorite a post.

Then, earlier this year, I went to ConQuest and they talked about blogging, and some of the authors suggested writing about things that already interest us. Me? I love studying the writing craft and publishing, and my husband encouraged me to try blogging about those things. So I gave it a try, and that’s how my blog got to where it is today. 🙂


Advice To New Bloggers

If you want to start a blog, write about things that interest you. Make long posts, short posts, whatever you want. Try to post consistently, whether once a week, once a day, or once a month. Don’t try to force yourself to post constantly if you don’t want to… you want your natural enthusiasm to show through. Find a blog system that works for you. I really like WordPress, but you might like Blogger, or your own self-hosted blog. Consider different methods of blogging. You can write your own posts or invite guest authors. Post pictures. Do a podcast.  If you want to attract new readers, be sure to include ‘tags’ in your post if the site you use allows for them. Blog about what you enjoy, and know that sometimes the posts you least expect to get attention will be the ones others notice.


My Nominations For Great Writerly Resources

I feel awkward actively tagging another blog (since I don’t want to make them feel obligated to do the same), so instead of tagging other blogs, I’m sharing some of my favorite resources.

Fiction University – This is Janice Hardy’s blog, and it is an incredible resource with some of the easiest to understand writing advice that I have found. I almost always recommend this site if someone is asking for writing advice. She also has a great book, Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structures, which I have thus-far read three times already during the process of working on various stories. Highly recommended.

Absolute Write – This is a forum, not a blogging site. However, there is a plethora of information and resources to be found here, and a lot of great advice to be had if you ask the right questions. Just be sure to read and follow their forum rules.

Terrible Minds – This is Chuck Wendig’s blog. Be warned, cursing runs rampant. But past all that (and sometimes demonstrated through all that), you’ll find honest writing advice and opinions, and a lot of food for thought.

Miss Snark’s First Victim – This is a blog with a lot of critique opportunities that can help you get feedback. I figured out that I had a potential strength in scene description thanks to one of her Drop the Needle critiques.

Brenda Drake – I actually don’t read her blog as much as I follow her twitter account, however, she has a lot of information on #PitMad which is a great way to see if your logline is working to catch the attention of agents. A number of writers have found agents through #PitMad.

Dan Koboldt – I tend to read his blog posts after noticing his links on Twitter, rather than going directly to his site, but he has great insights into the various aspects of making fiction realistic, from scientific explanations and fighting techniques, to medical research.

Thrill Writing – Like the name suggests, this blog has a lot of insights into giving thrillers realistic action and detail. Again, I usually read these blog posts via links on Twitter.

There are many more sites and blogs that I visit (especially through links on Twitter), but these are some that I visit the most frequently. Maybe you’ll find them to be useful, too. And hopefully you’ll forgive me for not doing the actual tagging part (though if I mentioned you on this post and you want to continue the trend, go right ahead). 🙂

EDIT: After further consideration, I realized that part of the point of this award is to actively let other people know that their work is appreciated. With that in mind, I went ahead and privately emailed the people to thank them for their work, with an explanation of why I was contacting them. I also let them know that I didn’t expect them to continue the tagging trend unless they wanted to.


Filed under Writing

Blog Design Update and Self-Promotion

Updated the blog’s header so it fits my photo illustration business better. I’m worried it might be a little dark, so let me know how it appears in your browser, especially if there’s any readability issues. Anyways, any thoughts on the change?

Meanwhile, I’m working on trying to promote my business. I’m starting to contact various small publishers and presses to see if anyone could use my services, but I suspect that could take a lot more e-mails and time. Of course, I’m trying to keep my Flickr, DeviantArt, and Facebook accounts up to date, though most of it is the same as what you see on the blog.

One method of promotion I’m trying to use is making the gallery folders of my DeviantArt account serve as miniature portfolios. One actually does contain all the spreads found in my print portfolio.

Book Cover Examples: http://sbibb.deviantart.com/gallery/33403924

Portfolio: http://sbibb.deviantart.com/gallery/36792724

Meantime, I’m trying to think of other ways to help promote my work. Have any of you found success in certain types of promotion?

Yesterday I read an article on authors and the swag they use to promote thier books. If you’re at all interested in promotion or self-promotion, it’s worth a read: http://limecello.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/on-author-promo-swag/

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Filed under Book Covers, Business Ventures, Photo Illustration, Writing