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VBT: It Ain’t Easy Being Bloggy

VBT: It Ain't Easy Being Bloggy

      Welcome to Week Sixteen of the Tasha Turner Coaching/MasterKoda VBT!
      Somehow, we made it. We survived a whole summer of guest blogs and drama, the terror of putting myself & my work out into the interwebs, and a fairly rigorous writing & posting schedule. There were times I wasn’t sure I could pull it all together, but I did, and with the exception of last week when my original guest had to drop-out and we didn’t get a replacement until the end of the week, it all went pretty darn smoothly.
      So, to wrap this all up, I’ve put together my thoughts and conclusions about the experience. Read on!

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      Sixteen weeks ago, I was completely naive as to what a blog tour entailed. I was really just beginning this blogging adventure, for although I had had a personal blog back in the early aughts that did not require keeping to a regular schedule, building an audience, marketing, or trying to come up with interesting topics. I just ranted, raved, discussed my life and well… it was easy.
      Blogging with a professional bent is hard.
      Blogging as a writer just starting out on her publishing journey, knowing that whatever you write will end up on the pages of another writer’s website, I freely admit that I was intimidated. Several of the wonderful folk who hosted my humble words over the course of the TTC/MK Virtual Blog Tour are fairly successful in this new publishing world. I vascillated over topics, I bit my nails to the quick (after working so hard to stop biting them this year!), I wrote and re-wrote pieces. I honestly did not know what I had to say that would benefit anyone else. I’m no expert, you know?
      Fortunately, the people involved with the tour were (mostly) helpful and understanding, encouraging and polite with criticisms. I ended up having a great deal of fun reading a bunch of blogs I might not have discovered, feeling awfully proud of myself for being hosted by other writers, and learned a lot about how to market/publicize my book and my blog (and how not to, also).
      But the single most important thing I will take away from this blog tour — okay, other than some friendships and a deep respect for all the work Tasha Turner and her staff had to do to keep us all inline — is that professional blogging is hard work.

  • You have to be dedicated so much so that even when you least feel like sitting down and composing something interesting, you actually do so.
  • You have to have patience with marketing, because there’s a fine line between promoting it and spamming it.
  • You have to participate in the blogosphere if you wish to garner more views/likes/comments. This can be time consuming, but its so necessary.
  • You have to draft and maintain a schedule, of some sort, to be successful. Creating on the fly is fine, but sporadic posting can be death to a blog.

      Joining up with the TTC/MK VBT was a huge step for me. Before the year of the Tangerine Tango began, I rarely allowed anyone to read my work. I had burned in the past by some very hurtful critiques (not constructive, not diplomatic, just spiteful and cruel) and had built up some high walls around myself. Even once I made the decision to start working toward publication for really reals, it wasn’t that scary to post here on PP.net because my readership was about 5 people a week.
      But on some of these other blogs, the viewership was WAY higher. Thousands of people saw my words. My opnions. Excerpts from my novel. And that was terrifying, but I am proud to say that I survived. My book will be better for the feedback I’ve received, my blog will improve from the lessons gleaned during this tour, and next time I sign up for something like this I will go in with my eyes wide open and experience under my belt.
      In the end, I can say that although it ain’t being bloggy (haha) it is all worth the effort. Knowing that a few extra people were touched by something I wrote puts a smile on my face. I am honored and humbled to have been a participant in the TTC/MK VBT 2012. And if Tasha Turner does continue to run these crazy events, I hope I can register again and have another go. If you’re a writer with a blog and you have the opportunity to join up with the next one – I say do it! You’ll come out a stronger writer, blogger and person.
Love & Rainbows,
P.P.
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      Thanks to the amazing Penelope Price for returning to PP.net! *ahem* What? I am totally amazing. If you haven’t figured that out yet, well, keep reading. I’ll astound you one of these days, I promise!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

[Editor's Note: The give-away is still active (until Sept 15th, 2012 @ 11:59pm) over HERE!]

VBT: A Single Grey Shadow

VBT: A Single Grey Shadow

      Welcome back, peeps! Welcome to Week Seven of the Tasha Turner Coaching/MasterKoda VBT!
      This week’s scheduled guest is the self-proclaimed “wolf addict” – Dominique Goodall! Dominique is the author behind the forthcoming “Echoes of Winter” (have you seen her cover art, by the by? GORGEOUS!) which itself is a part of the “Seasons of the Wolf” series. She’s one heckuva writer and today she is sharing the inspiration behind her novel as well as a lovely poem. Without further ado, let’s give a big round of virtual applause to Dominique! *cheers*

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Paw-Prints & Memories

By Dominique Goodall

      The thing that kicked off Echoes of Winter and the sequels are not at all connected to the books. It was a TV show I only watched because I was fascinated by wolves. It was showing the way that pups develop in the womb of the female dog, and while they were showing it they also showed the most accepted theory behind how wolves became dogs.
      When they were talking about how three female Eastern European wolves were believed to be the reason for humans and wolves to live side by side, I could almost picture a different story. Yes, wolves came in and became dogs…but what would happen AFTER the truce? What would happen after humans were no longer able to look after the creatures that had helped to keep them alive?

      A poem was also spawned that day, which really said my emotions on the subject and in a way…is the opposite of Echoes of Winter.
      I called this Paw-prints and Memories.

A grey shadow passes by,
Leaving just a memory.
A paw print in the snow,
Something to be cherished.
He hunts, hunts for his pack,
Them enslaved,
His heart filled with longing.
He gives no voice to this.
He carries on his lonely search,
alone and weary by the day.
Leaving but paw-prints,
but memories on the mind.
Finally he finds them,
Bound to man’s will,
Sitting by his fire,
Unharmed and well.
Now he cries to them,
A sad voice in the dark.
His family answers with a growl,
They have turned from him.
Now alone, weary, and heart-sore,
He leaves them be,
Never to be heard again,
Only paw-prints and memories.
A single grey shadow.

      As you can see, this is literally related to the TV program – but again, it didn’t have the premise in my mind that Echoes of Winter did, and even now completed, does. Pups will be featuring heavily, the wolves in the pack will be focusing heavily on pups in book two, after all.
      What TV shows have impacted your life?
      How did they affect you?

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Dominique Goodall is the author of the soon to be released Echoes of Winter, book one in the “Seasons of the Wolf” series and a self-confessed wolf addict. She has currently been published in two anthologies by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing and is currently working on getting herself better known by sending in manuscripts for as many different anthologies as she possibly can.

As much as she loves to admit it, she never will be able to count her wolf stuff- there’s nothing left for her to be truly able to collect without her own home.

She can be found on Facebook, friended on Facebook, at her blog, or on Twitter.

You can also like “Echoes of Winter” here.
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      Big thanks to Dominique for sharing her inspiration and – BONUS! – a lovely poem with us. I echo her questions to you, reader – what influences your writing? What sparks the ideas that you write about? TV? Books? Life? Tell us in the comments below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

[Editor's Note: My Guest Post for the week will be linked here shortly.]

VBT: Don’t Be Like Yabba Dooba!

VBT: Don't Be Like Yabba Dooba!

      Aloha, friends! Welcome to Week Three of the Tasha Turner Coaching/MasterKoda VBT!
      This week’s scheduled guest is a fantastic, inspirational and frankly, totally bad-ass, writer whose book “Deaf Isn’t Dumb” is a memoir guaranteed to make you think twice about what it means to be different in a world that says one thing, but does another.
      Without further ado… Tara Chevrestt!

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Deaf Isn't Dumb, by Tara Chevrestt      For this post, I’m going to have myself a good rant…about bloggers. LOL. No, seriously. Before I became an author, I was a reviewer and a book blogger. When an author wanted to do an interview with me, I didn’t just throw a random questionnaire at them, but took the time to read their book and ask them questions based on it. I still do this.
      What majority of other bloggers do: throw a random questionnaire at me. And trust me, Mookie Dookie’s blog asks me the same questions as Yabba Dooba’s blog. I can just copy and paste my answers from one blog to the next. (And if anyone else asks me about my writing habits, I’m going to have a conniption.) When the time comes for me to post a link to the interview on Facebook, I wince. It’s no wonder people have quit reading my posts. It’s the same stuff over and over.
      I recently had an experience that made me just say, “No more blog interviews!” I gave my memoir, Deaf Isn’t Dumb, to a blogger in hopes they would ask me relevant questions. Take note of that title. Deaf Isn’t Dumb. I’m deaf.
      Guess what they asked me… Do you listen to music while you write?
      *head desk* You certainly read my book, didn’t you? LOL.
      And that ends my rant. Take care with your questionnaires. Authors like to feel that you are genuinely interested in them, and don’t “fake” reading books. But to answer the question I am sick to death of: No, I don’t listen to music while I write. Am I incapable? Not really. I can play music directly into my hearing aid, but trust me, it’s not easy; it takes all my concentration to hear and distinguish the few sounds (bass) that my eardrum can catch. Deaf isn’t dumb, but neither is Deaf jamming to tunes. LOL
      Find more about Deaf Isn’t Dumb here.
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Tara Chevrestt      Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.
      Tara also writes as Sonia Hightower. Sonia writes the racy stuff and argues that she was here first. She just wasn’t allowed to be unleashed until the last year.
      While Tara and Sonia continue to fight over the laptop and debate who writes the next book, you can find buy links, blurbs, and other fun bits on their website or their Facebook page.