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Blog Recognition: Thanks a Bunch!

My sister blogger, Aiming Flamingo, has nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. Thank you so much Aiming Flamingo! Readers and followers are essential elements of the conversation that happens in the blogosphere. I very much appreciate your support.

blogger-recognition-award

I’ve been blogging for several years, had a website, and created a web zine. It was driving me crazy trying to keep up with four blogs, a website and the zine. I decided a little over a year ago to put everything under “one roof,” hence the title of my blog, One Roof Publishing.

I cover a lot of territory in the blog, writing Q&A posts about events and people, posting inspirational essays, writing about health and wellness, and anything else I can think of, including occasional short fiction. I welcome Followers and am always looking for new essay and article ideas. If you would like to guest post on my site, send your query to fsharon@msn.com.

I am a writer through and through. I have indie published several books and am close to publishing a new novel. I also do writing for hire through my business, Write Stuff Writing Services.

I’m not much for handing out advice, but that’s part of the process of passing the Blogger Recognition Award around. So here goes: My two pieces of advice for new bloggers – your best shot at getting readers is to know who you want your readers to be (target marketing), and posting regularly.

Below are the sites I’m recognizing. It is indeed an eclectic mix that shares one thing in common and only one: these are all folks who have a passion for something. I find that admirable and inspiring. Passion puts the pizzazz in life.

1eclecticwriter
Dr. K. L. Register, The Ninth Life
Edge of Humanity Magazine
Momentary Lapse of Sanity
Windy Lynn Harris
Success Inspirers World
Gabriella Clark
Kate  Barnwell Poetry
Haddon Musings
Kathleen Rodgers
saneteachers
Sarah Flores Blog
Be Inspired!
Charles French
Author Kristen Lamb

 

Now it’s your turn. The rules are simple.
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to his or her blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated and provide the link to the post you created

I hope you can make the time to join in the support and recognition of other bloggers.

The right words…

Write Stuff Logo

You have your passion and I have mine. Allow me to put my passion for writing to work for your business or organization.

Write Stuff: (The short list of writing services)

  • Blog development and content
  • Website content
  • Ad development and design
  • Facebook post management
  • Posters
  • Rack Cards
  • Brochures
  • Press Releases / Public Relations
  • Flyers (content and design)
  • Newsletters development and design (digital Mail Chimp or for print)
  • And more…

Call for a free consultation • 505-617-0839

Five reasons to hire Write Stuff

Outstanding content on your website or blog is critical. Strong copy in advertising, e-mails and other communication is the difference between getting your message across and blending in with the crowd.

Focus your energy
You have a particular passion and talent. Whatever that is, that is what you want to do. That’s how you make your money. That’s how you want to spend your time, not writing copy for e-mails, blogs, ads, flyers, newsletters and other business communications. By hiring Write Stuff you can concentrate on the things you do fabulously.

Develop ideas

Your time is valuable. Your business relies on you. When you hire Write Stuff you stop worrying about getting your message across to your customers in a creative and consistent way and concentrate on taking care of them.

The job done right

When you have a problem with your car you take it to a reliable, professional mechanic. Car repair isn’t your thing, nor do you want it to be. You trust the mechanic to do the work that needs to be done. Turning your written communication needs over to Write Stuff assures the work will be done correctly, creatively and on time.

Target and tailor your message

You know who your customers are. How do you reach them? That’s where Write Stuff can help you by identifying strategies for reaching the people with money to spend for the products or services you offer. Target marketing isn’t a catch phrase, it’s a must for the savvy entrepreneur.

Best foot forward

Written communication is a reflection of your professionalism. The best selling point for your business is how you are perceived based on several factors, among them how you appear in print. Whether you are sending out a press release or posting a sign on your door correct spelling and grammar say a lot about your respect for your customers and attention to detail.

For information contact 505-617-0839 / e-mail fsharon@msn.com

One Roof Publishing Digest

I’m changing my website look with the idea of making it more user friendly. Not sure I succeeded. I liked the old theme that popped up with a nice display of ten recent posts with a photo. The new theme may do that, but if so, I haven’t figured it out yet. Please let me know what you think by commenting at the end of this post or by e-mailing me at fsharon@msn.com. It is a work in progress, so more changes are coming.

Following is a digest of links to recent posts you may have missed. I hope you will take time to check these out, like, comment and share.

Q&A with Ron Querry

Ron QuerryRon Querry should be an actor in a Western movie. He has the craggy good looks, air of romanticism and steely-eyed stare of a cowboy hero. He would scoff at such a description, but his tongue-in-cheek memoir tells a different story. Creative license aside, I See By My Get-Up reveals a man much inclined to finish what he starts, and one who learns by observation, intuition and application. Despite growing up in an age of disillusionment and questioning everything, Querry kept on course when it came to education and earned his Ph.D. in American Studies in 1975. He spent a few years as a professor at the University of Oklahoma, and taught at Highlands, Lake Erie College for Women, and conducted seminars on Native American Literature in Italy. Read more…

Q&A with Andrea Gottschalk

WelcomeBeing in business is a challenge and an opportunity all wrapped up in one great adventure. When you’re good at it, you share your expertise with others who are dipping a toe into the entrepreneurial waters. With more than thirty years of experience under her belt, Andrea Gottschalk of Unikat Fine Jewelry has grown her business and reached out to help others. She believes in working in concert with other business people and making the most of networking opportunities. She has an abundance of talent as a jewelry designer and creates a customer-friendly shopping experience as a business owner. Her insightful responses to the Q&A reveals a woman who enjoys what she does, and who remains grounded in the essentials of business ownership: making wise market decisions and operating within your means. Read more…

Q&A with Nancy Colalillo

nancyNancy Colalillo is one of my favorite people, fearless in the face of just about everything. Her entrepreneurial spirit brought an exciting book store to Las Vegas several years ago. After she sold that successful enterprise, she went out on a limb and opened Paper Trail, a card and gift shop. This venture has been so well received, she has now moved to a bigger space – 166 Bridge Street – and expanded her card and gift product lines. There are darling baby items, a card for every occasion, gift books, gift wrap, lots of gift ideas and plenty of new merchandise. This locally owned and operated business is a jewel of a shop. Read more…

Q&A with Michael Ulibarri

Christmas GoodiesThe Ulibarri family’s route to its new shop at 161 Bridge Street has been circuitous and – as is often the case with small businesses – not without challenges. What it has continued to have is faithful customers who love the candy they make. The store came out of a family who personifies “family first” when it comes to making decisions. Read more…

 

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One Roof Publishing is a free site. I have elected to not monetize it with annoying pop up ads. I use this site as a link to my work as a writer. If you enjoy One Roof Publishing and would like to see it continue, I will appreciate you buying my books, available online. Click on a book image to the right or go to Books on this site to order one (or all  🙂 of my titles. Your purchase will be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Too Much Turkey

TurkeyMy first memory of Thanksgiving was the year I ate turkey three times, once at my aunt’s, (which was okay, she wasn’t much of a cook so I didn’t overeat), once at my grandmother’s, (which was unfortunate because she was a fantastic cook and I ate too much), and finally at home where I looked at my mother’s perfect meal and almost threw up. I was five and had, as my dad said, “A hole in my toe,” meaning I ate like a horse despite being thin as a minute and small for my age.

It came about because Mom was trying to make everybody happy. She didn’t want to hurt my aunt’s feelings by not going to her house for Thanksgiving, and what woman in her right mind wants to tick off her mother-in-law? Dad, bless him, figured it would be all right, because after all, can you get too much turkey on Thanksgiving?

My aunt (Mom’s sister), liked to have Thanksgiving early so we ate at her house about one o’clock. Grandma had mid afternoon Thanksgiving meals so at about three o’clock we were tucking into a feast of turkey and all the trimmings: dressing, cranberry sauce, three kinds of vegetables including yummy sweet potatoes with mounds of marshmallows on top, two kinds of jello salad, pies and cakes up the wazoo and fruit salad with real whipped cream. It was heaven.

And then we got home and had to do it all over again. I mean, really, I didn’t want to hurt Mom’s feelings by not eating her meal, prepared with loving hands. So despite messages my brain was sending to my stomach that I’d had enough, I dug in with gusto.

It turns out you can have too much turkey on Thanksgiving.

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This essay is a reprint from an e-zine I published once upon a time. Happy Thanksgiving

 

 

Change is challenging

I posted this about two years ago and – with a few updates – I think it is worth repeating. Although WordPress has been more of a challenge than I anticipated, I’m glad I switched. An important lesson I’ve learned is that you can go to You Tube and get clear instructions on how to do most anything.

 

BloggingFive thoughts about moving to WordPress

When I decided to move to WordPress two years ago, it was with trepidation. It was a bit of an adventure and a huge learning curve… or so I thought. I had tried multiple times to get everything under one roof, meaning everything under one website/blog/writing and author platform. I had suspected for some time that WordPress was the way to go, but quite honestly I couldn’t figure out how to make it happen. In fact, I created a whole new language around building a WordPress website, and it involved behavior I was not proud to admit. Not much gets my goat, but trying to figure out WordPress was at the top of the list. What made it even more painful is that everyone else seemed perfectly capable of figuring WordPress out. I’m not brilliant, but the thing is, WordPress doesn’t take brilliance; it takes patience, a characteristic I have in short supply.

The scary thing is that I have built a website from the ground up on another server/host platform, and while it wasn’t easy, I could figure it out. Not so with WordPress, until I listened to an archived tutorial on Writers Digest by Jane Friedman. She made it so simple I’m embarrassed I didn’t work it out on my own. So here are some thoughts if you’re considering making a change to WordPress

It is simple… unless you make it hard

WordPress uses unique terminology. So if you don’t know a widget from a doodad, don’t worry. In case you’re wondering, a widget defines a tool to add functionality to your website/blog, a doodad is just another name for a thingamajig, which WordPress isn’t using anyway. What I did was try to use the hunt and peck method (that had worked for me on another site) to “force” a template to do my bidding. The templates have constraints, and you can waste a lot of time on a quest that leads nowhere. WordPress is designed in such a way you can grow your website’s complexity and functionality as you gain experience. It is an open source platform used by a broad spectrum of individuals. You can use it for free or upgrade to a premium package for under $100. Follow the instructions and look for help in the forums if you’re struggling. And you can find help for free on YouTube, or go to this tutorial at Writer’s Digest. Jane Friedman’s presentation is on point and worth the $16.99 I paid for it. After three (or is it four?) years of banging my head against my stubborn preconceived notions I finally have my website/blog all under one “roof” and I couldn’t be happier.

Free is good; premium is better

I started with the free site. While it has appeal, I knew from the outset of my unnecessarily long journey that I wanted a .com address that was my own. I did not want it to include the “WordPress” site as part of the name. Being professional starts with appearing professional in all your communication and a critical component of that is your website. johndoe.com looks better and more professional than johndoe/wordpress.com, don’t you think? However, if what you can afford right now is “free” go for it until you get your online equilibrium.

A house with many rooms

Before I got where I am today with my website/blog, I was managing (poorly) four blogs that I posted on rarely if at all, and a website I maintained sporadically. I’m a one-shop stop writer, and I couldn’t for the life of me manage my time around my web presence and still get writing done on my latest novel. I completed most of the books I’ve written before my test of wills with WordPress started – however long ago that was. I published my latest book “Finding Family” in July 2014. During the time I was working on it – and for nearly a year before that – I didn’t touch WordPress. Copywriting, alumni magazine development for a small university, hosting a couple of radio shows, and community volunteerism kept me busy. But my web presence was hanging fire, going nowhere. When I did update the site, which is separate from the blogs, I had to post teaser paragraphs on the main site with links to the blog site. It was like having a five-room house with a different roof on each one. Drove me nuts. With this site I can do it all without undue angst… I hope. Bottom line, WordPress is my one roof. It’s up to me to make it work.

Experience not necessary

I have come to believe that if I had never experienced another design platform, getting set up with WordPress would have been easier. I brought a lot of notions about web design to the table. Start at square one and follow the instructions. It’s easy peasy.

Is it a website or a blog?

Don’t stress about this. A rose by any other name, etc., etc. Your web presence is important enough for you to spend time making it professional and accessible. WordPress provides the tools. It’s up to you to put them to work. I consider www.oneroofpublish.com to be a website with a valuable blog component. The truth is, blogging is as only as good as the attention you are willing to give it. Call it what you want, but feed it often and with worthwhile content.

Winter Trees

Winter Trees

Winter trees have bones,
some strong and straight
others curved and flexible,
some quite ethereal and spiderwebish
resilient in most every kind of weather.
Leafless, naked without their greenery
yet majestic and grounding
inspiring hope for tomorrow,
a tomorrow filled with promise.
Spring is on the way day by day.
Soon winter trees will be clothed again
ready for the dance of awakening.

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Photo of a winter day, Feb. 2, 2016 (c) Sharon Vander Meer

Something Different

If  you’ve never been to my site before you won’t see anything different, other than the fact I haven’t done much since my marathon poetry writing self-challenge in which I wrote a poem a day from Dec. 1 – 25. I’ve written a couple of other blogs since January 1, but that’s it.

notebooksIf, however, you are a follower you will note a new look. The “new look” may be new again tomorrow, I can’t say for sure. I’m in flux right now, wanting to write but being frustrated by what to write and who my audience is, or who I think it is. Unfortunately I’m not sure I’ve figured that out yet.

And then I remembered. According to one of those cockamamie tests on the internet, my word for 2016 is Innovative.

With that it mind I decided to think outside the box. Unfortunately someone hid “the box” and I can’t find it anywhere. So here is what I’ve come up with, which applies to any blogger out there who wants to have readership:

  1. Write.

Okay, that’s it. Every day sit in the spot you feel most creative and write. Even when it’s bad writing you’re flexing your brain and developing ideas you can make something of down the road.

I have two almost finished novels. They’re just sitting there waiting. I’m the roadblock to these books being completed. Whether I’m blogging or writing poetry or short stories, or working on a novel, the first step is to write.

In an interview with Noah Charney, Jodi Picoult, whose last seven books have all hit number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, talked about her approach to writing.

“I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it — when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it. You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Discipline leads to success, maybe not Jodi Picoult success, but success at some level. If nothing else there is satisfaction in knowing you tried and knowing you did your best. I’m preaching to me, now, because right at this moment I need a kick in the pants and nobody can give me that other than me or better than me.

Tune in tomorrow for more on my innovative approach to writing and blogging.