Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Have you heard of The Code? You probably have, although maybe not in those terms. It's what I call the blogging guidelines about followers, comments, content, etc. As newbies most of us muddle through, observing the veterans and gaining hands-on experience. While The Code may vary a tad by individual, locale, and genre, these unspoken rules of etiquette have universal threads. Here are my top items:
Followers - When someone follows you, you follow back. Do you do this? I do, unless I cannot locate their blog, the topic is something I can't embrace, or is written in another language (even with the translate feature it can be tricky).
Comments - When someone comments, you reply, either within the comments or via email later. What's your policy? Some argue that people don't come back to see the reply you make. While this may be true most of the time, I've had visitors return and comment on my reply. I also think that when someone visits and jumps into the discussion, they can see that you read and value comments enough to leave a reply. I liken the conversation generated over a post to sitting around talking to friends. It's one way to help us get to know each other and see what's happening out there.
Time is another factor, and writers often find commenting "one more thing to do". I agree, it is, but I like to show my gratitude and interact with visitors this way. I appreciate the bloggers who shoot me a quick email of thanks when I comment on their blogs too.
Personality - Be a good reflection of you. A blog, unless it is strictly for business use, reflects the writer's style. It offers a glimpse into our world and unique perspective. Concerning writing style, I was once told to "Relax and be yourself. It develops over time." Good advice. It applies to blogs too, don't you think?
There are exceptions to The Code, of course, such for those who lack time due to pending projects, family situations and emergencies, seasons of life, and commenting issues and whatnot. While we shouldn't let unrealistic expectations or requirements dictate our signature style, there are elements that can help make our blogs shine.
Do you have a code? What would you add to the list? How does your blog reflect your personality?
Karen Lange is the author of Homeschool Co-ops 101. She and her family were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her three children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for adults and homeschooled teens.
Connect on Karen’s Blog: http://karenelange.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Tracy’s story is available on Amazon Kindle, Kobo and Barnes & Noble Nook.
Here is the Amazon Kindle link for the story: http://www.amazon.com/Neighbors-Volume-New-The-Neighborhood-ebook/dp/B00IK6799Q/ref=pd_sim_sbs_kstore_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=11C7DR4V3BKHRHJ3BQM3
Tracy Krauss’ Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Tracy-Krauss/e/B003J3QU7W/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
All my stories, including “Charlie’s Money” have a little salty dialogue in them but not intended excessively profane. You will find the occasional use of S.O.B and bas…. Those words, purposely chosen for the dramatic effect, tell the story, in a way that someone might actually talk in that era.
Here is an excerpt from page 34 of Charlie’s Money. Keep in mind that this is in a saloon in the 1873 old west. “A man, at the far right hand table, had jumped to his feet and yelled out, “You cheated! You’re a rotten bas….!”
The man who felt cheated voiced his opinion in a forceful manner, perhaps in hopes of restitution. He got the point across and everyone’s attention with a minimum of foul language.
Calling someone a cheat is an insult in itself. Calling them a rotten bas…. adds emphasis to the situation. There was no need for further inflammatory remarks. Fighting words, you say. Well sure and what followed was a saloon shootout.
I think most of us would react in a like manner, if we felt blatantly slighted before witnesses.
I see no need to use foul language in the extreme (taking the Lord’s name in vain) to get a reader’s attention. I refuse to do it.
I treat sex and romance the same way. The Ladies of the evening or soiled doves, which frequented the saloons, are referred to as painted ladies and at times whores. That was common language used at the time by both men and women. Offering a suggestion of things going on between a soiled dove and a potential customer is one thing, however, I feel actual bedroom antics is taboo. Excerpt page 33. “The third one was sitting on a big smiling cowboy’s lap idly fingering his hair while he ran his hand up and down her leg.”
I think everyone gets the idea. I see no need to go further.
The bottom line is that, at least from my part, I enjoy writing about the old west and do work at it to keep it clean.
The Amazon Kindle link for “Charlie’s Money” is: http://amzn.to/1kf7EA7
Jerry Guin’s latest release is “Crossroads Fast Gun”! The Amazon Kindle link for that is: http://amzn.to/1oJgXIG
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
The story is available on Amazon Kindle, Kobo and Barnes and Noble Nook.
Here is the Amazon Kindle link: http://www.amazon.com/The-San-Francisco-Wedding-Planner-ebook/dp/B00IAXK2X4/ref=pd_sim_sbs_kstore_5?ie=UTF8&refRID=110K0AF1TERVDNXYRZM6