Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “bloggers”

Tickled With A Really Fun Bard Site


Yes, I’m still talking about the Bard. I’m gearing up to initiate a Shakespeare club at school and I’m getting inspiration from different sites. One of them is Mya Gosling’s Good Tickle Brain, which is an absolutely delightful blog about all things Shakespeare. Most of her work is done in one of those simple, yet hilarious cartoon styles, which, even after given this step-by-step instruction, I still can’t manage. She makes it look so easy. If you love Shakespeare, enjoy a good laugh, like to keep up on the Bard, I suggest checking out Mya and her marvelous Shakespeare stuff:

Blog Spotlight: October Round Up


I usually try to spotlight a blog I’ve come to appreciate, yet this month I’ve jotted down so many posts I thought it best to spotlight them all:

Mytwosentences.com keeps me both amused and inspired with the nifty talent for combing a photo with two sentences. A novel in a handful of words that would make Hemingway sit up and take notice.

Daniel Katz provides insightful, informative educational opinion and newsbits.

As a Book Booster, I am always prone to stop by and learn more about literature, which is what Interesting Literature serves up: tasty bits of literary trivia.

Lately I’ve been wobbling in my commitment to blogging and that’s why I especially appreciated Robert’s comments about his five years of observations as a blogger. Check his post on 101Books.

I also appreciate photos and SFarnell, provides some stunners.

One of my newest followings is CoachDaddyBlog. His avatar (or is it his metaphorical symbol?) is a Stormtrooper. His quick wit and observations are worthy of a visit.

If you don’t know these bloggers and their wares, I hope you stop by and check them out. What blogs are in your Reader bin that brighten your day?

And Now For Something Different in Playing Tag…


SFarnell tagged me and I’m both perplexed and delighted about it. I know that reading is right up there with feeding the mind and soul, yet I hadn’t quite made the connection that books can be considered food. The idea of this book tag is match a book to a pastry delicacy. That’s the delighted part. The perplexed part is that I am not much of a pastry foodie and only know a couple of the menu selections. Well, let’s just give it a whirl, anyway, shall we?

Here are the delicacies I do not know, so it’s hard to relate a book to something I’ve not actually tasted and so I will offer a possibility with no extra description (I would appreciate enlightenment of what these pastry treats are all about!):

Vol-au-vent: Name a book that you thought would be amazing but fell flat
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Pain au chocolat: Name a book that you thought would be one thing but turned out to be something else
I perked up at chocolat, but I am unsure how anything with chocolate in it can be anything else but tasty

Profiterole: Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention.
Quite clueless on this one, though I will offer the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde. They are hysterical.

Croquembouche: Name a book or series that’s extremely complex.
Pleading clueless once again as to the pastry–maybe C.S. Lewis’ Perelanda series? Lots of allegory going on.

Napoleon: Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.
Oh my, I need to get out more. Napoleon had a pastry named after him? Umm, I did find the movie version of The African Queen to be much more satisfying in its conclusion. Plus I’m a Bogey and Katie Hepburn fan.

Empanada: Name a book that was bittersweet.
Finally one I’ve heard of, but mine wasn’t bittersweet. I would nominate just about any Dickens novel for this.

Kolompeh: Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your home country.
I can’t even pronounce it! How about Anne of Green Gables–love just about anything that’s British in setting.

Pate a Choux: Name one food from a book or series that you would like to try.
Nope, not trying anything that sounds like pate (I know what it’s made out of–thank you very much).

These I know! and can easily match them up to books.

Croissant: Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) loves.

53367The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I didn’t discover this series until high school and I simply devoured it. Having become a devoted fan of the books, I was thrilled when a new adaptation came out (not the old BBC puppety try, thank you) I loved the first movie, and was sad when they stopped at only the third installment. Lewis presents such a grounded, yet fantasyic tale of magic and allegory. I can’t wait to introduce the books to my grandkiddo. This series seems to be part of most everyone’s childhood.

Macaroon: Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it at the end.

264

Henry James is not my favorite author, due to his long descriptions and the over-the-top drama that the heroines face. Truthfully, I only read the novel because it was on the AP Literature list and I had inherited 90 copies of them from the former teacher, so I wanted to see if I would offer it in class. I shall not. Was it worth it? I stuck with it only because I hoped she would show some gumption and stand up for herself. No spoilers. You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Now I will tag the following five bloggers whom I believe will have fun with this venture into delicacies and reading:

Jilanne Hoffmann

Vanessa-Jane Chapman

Britt Skrabanek

Letizia: 

Sarah Loudin Thomas

Now, I’m not sure what happens from here…read, eat, tag?

No obligations to partake, yet, if you happen to be able to describe these pastry wonderfuls to me, I would be both enlightened and appreciative.

Yay! An Award!!


BR_Award

I like awards. I especially like them when they are unexpected. Nicole over at I Am Booked unexpectedly gifted me with this lovely award and I shall now pass it forward by A) discussing how I started CricketMuse plus a bit of advice on blogging and B)nominating 15 other blogs.

The Blog Start
The conference presenter said “You have to establish a platform if you intend on getting noticed as a writer.” I took that bit of insight to heart and bounced around ideas for a blog. It had to be something I had an interest in, could sustain, and it needed to be catchy. Well, I am passionate about books, reading, writing, and teaching. So finding sustainable subjects wasn’t too much of a stretch. And in terms of catchy–that was the tough part, because I know getting the title right is an important part of blogdom, as well as grabbing reader attention. It’s competitive out there. After some different ideas, I decided upon Cricket Muse because Cricket is a nickname (chirpy little critters with a song that is either annoying or pleasant depending on your point of view) and Muse, which is what I do a lot–ruminate, didn’t sound quite as lyrical. I’ve been blogging about three years and I haven’t run out of ideas yet. In fact, I have a page full of post possibilities I constantly add to.

The Advice
As for advice, I offer two tidbits: consistency and scheduling. Bloggers come and bloggers go. I follow lots of blogs, yet few keep a consistent posting pace. I believe the most popular blogs keep a fairly visible presence. I suggest posting at least once a week, more if possible, to keep interest level up. This brings me to scheduling. I have devised a schedule of topics for different days of the month. I have a running theme of “Why We Say” which explores all those odd sayings that work themselves into our speech, as well as a Poem(s) of the Month page. I also try to spotlight a writer, a blogger, or a book. This equals about six posts a month or about every five days I’ve got something going. This diversity of topics also appeals to a variety of readers, so I am constantly attracting new viewers. If readers like what they see, and get a sense for what is offered, they will, it’s hoped, keep coming back, and perhaps become a follower. And I suggest follow up visits. It’s not only polite, but it’s also fun to go out and visit new-to-you blogs, and exchange howdies with those you already know.

The Nominations
The following blogs have a commonality in being Book Boosters. I am indeed a reader, and I have a definite soft spot for others who unabashedly promote books to their readers. I hope you check out their blogs. And once again, a big thanks to Nicole!

  1. Paperback Princess
  2. Interesting Literature
  3. BitsnBooks
  4. Books on the Tube
  5. Literary Distractions
  6. The Literary Classics
  7. The Nerdy Book Club
  8. One Minute Book Reviews
  9. Reading with Rhythm
  10. 746 Books
  11. Picture This Book
  12. 100 Books Every Child Should Read Before Growing Up
  13. Book to the Future
  14. Friendly Bookworm
  15. Blogs-of-a-Bookaholic

Not on the list? It was tough to choose, since I follow so many different blogs, I decided to keep it to the theme of Book Boosters, and I know there are more bibliophiles on my list. So, if you aren’t in the line up–you are in my thoughts, just not on my list (for now).

Happy blogging!

Blue Skies,
Cricket

Blog Spotlight: Paperback Princess


The Paperback Princess

I read a lot of books

 

I appreciate unabashed Book Boosters. This is one reason I took to following Paperback Princess. She sometimes laments her inability to resist buying books. A recent post of hers highlights that this is indeed a concern she will have to attend to due to bookshelf space. Too many books is not the same thing as having too many shoes. Books never go out of style. Well, maybe Valley of the Dolls, but everyone has their own preferences for reading material.

Dear Princess–adding books to your bulging shelves is an admirable dilemma. It’s enviable. Making room in your life for knowledge, adventure, new friends and old friends is delightful in my perspective. You will never be lonely!

PP also provides wondrous book suggestions and reviews. Plus, she is a conversant commenter, which a blogger always appreciates. I’m taking liberties and borrowing a part of her fabulous TBR <a title="list" href="https:// Read more…

Blog Spotlight: Jilanne Hoffman


Jilanne would have received my recent pick of nominating a blogger for One Lovely Blog, yet she has one already. In fact, she has a bunch of awards–well deserved, I might add.
Upon visiting her site you have to stop a moment and decide what to visit first. Her book reviews? Her writing challenges? Her impressive bio? I especially like her Picture Book Friday entries because there will always be a place on my reading list for picture books. She is definitely a book promoter–not just picture books. A definite Kindred Spirit for Book Boosters out there.

Jilanne also provides readers with unique stories (check out her O ring entry). You will not be bored, that’s for sure, with so many options to select. And that’s what makes her site so diversely interesting.

I also get a kick out of her friendly mutual pokes and swipes with Mike Allegra. In fact, I think that’s how I connected with her, through his site. You really do meet up with the nicest people on WordPress.
So I hope you check out Jilianne’s blog and enjoy your visit, I know you’ll find something of interest there.

Blog spotlight:Letizia


Letizia’s banner image invites readers to open a book and fall in love with reading

 

Book Boosters are those who place reading right up there with breathing. Yup, for some, reading and breathing is pretty essential  Letizia is definitely  a Book Booster because she reads , reads, reads. Pop onto her “About Me” page and this is what you’ll find:

I read in cafes, in my garden, in buses, in airplanes, at the kitchen table, at work, in parks, in bed, in the tub, in the doctor’s waiting room, in hotel lobbies, in trains, in restaurants, waiting for the electrician, during a snowstorm, and when I can’t sleep. I still haven’t mastered the art of walking and reading without looking up from my book, but I hope to one day.

university professor, translator, editor, workshop coordinator (and lover of all dogs!)

languages: French, English, Italian, some Portuguese

 

Her posts are thoughtful and thought-provoking. Take for instance her post on last sentences. In a playful interactive manner she encourages her readers to grab their fave novel and look up the last sentence and reflect upon it. I pulled out my beloved To Kill a Mockingbird, the 1960 issue with the nondescript green tree branch on brown background cover (talk about don’t judge a book by its cover). Letizia’s little exercise reminded me why I adore Harper Lee’s novel and why it is so enduring. This is why I follow her. And I hope you will too.

As a blogger, I always appreciate responses to my own posts, and Letizia faithfully adds her comments.  We all appreciate comments, don’t we?

Thanks, Letizia for your Book Boostering, comments, and worthwhile posting.

 

 

Blog Spotlight: Mike Allegra


How can you not want to read a blog with this as its banner?

Mike Allegra

This is Mike Allegra, aka HeyLookAWriterFellow. Think of Steve Martin and Billy Crystal as children’s book writers. A little scary but Mike promises he keeps it clean. In fact he insists on it, even though he has been known to trot out some potty jokes now and then.  Besides writing an absolutely this-is-really-funny stuff blog, he is a very talented writer, doodler, and all around good guy. He loves to show off his cute kid, who I need to figure out how to bribe so he’ll pull my entry out of the next doodle hat round.

I don’t even know how I found Mike’s blog. I think we started frequenting the same blogs with our commentary and I popped in. Mike and I now banter until I get him to cry “uncle, already.” Yes, Mike, I am keeping score. But I should stay on his good side because I am really hoping to get a cow on a pogo stick doodle out of him one of these days. And, no–this is not a butter up attempt. There have been at least three blog spotlights prior to Mike (I’m going by who trades the most comments with me or who I’ve known the longest in the blogosphere).

So, if you are looking to connect with a talented published children’s author, or like witty writing, or hope to win a doodle (there is a batch of us petitioning for him to run his doodle drawings at least once a month) you need to pop in and visit Mike, who is more than just another writer fellow.

Blog Spotlight: Valerie R Lawson


One of the reasons I began blogging was to build my platform–you know, the mantra that Kevin Costner inadvertenly began in Field of Dreams: “build it and they will come.”

While I have yet to promote my books (ahem, I have to get manuscripts published first) I have met other writers who focus on young adults and middlers. Valerie is one of the first Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator writers I found here at WordPress.  I will have to say this about Valerie: she is enthusiastic about both SCBWI and writing!

In her own words, or words I found at the bottom of an interview about her:

Valerie Lawson is a young adult contemporary author who dabbles in middle grade mysteries and practices the art of cursing while driving. She has been known on occasion to wield sarcasm like a +5 Holy Avenger. In her previous life, she believes she was a Mayan goddess as evidenced by her love of chocolate and Javier Bardem. (She recognizes that Javier is Spanish, but she doesn’t care.) She lives in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, with her husband and two children who suffer through her delusions of grandeur and bouts of madness with grace. You can read more about her writing journey on her blog at Barbies on Fire or follow her on Twitter.

I have yet to make it to the annual Los Angeles SCBWI Conference. I vicariously attended the event through Valerie’s vivid play-by-play descriptions of the workshops and functions.  She promotes her own OK SCBWI conference and tosses out contests and opportunities to further one’s craft. When she is absent from the blogging spectrum for a while I know it’s because she is immersed in her own writing projects–which is a good thing.

So, thanks, Valerie, for being the cheerleader you are when it comes to getting out there and doing something with our writing.

Blog Spotlight: Book to the Future


My latest spotlight is on another blogger whom I’ve exchanged commentaries since the beginning of my blogging foray.

In his own words:

Everyone calls me Ste J.
I am an obsessive book creature, in fact I spend more time between the (book) covers (I read in bed as well though) than I do with ‘real’ people.
Which means I probably spend more time with you guys than anyone else. Feel privileged.

Ste J is a bona fide bibliophiliac. He loves books. That’s a bonafide fact. Proof: he once read 100 books in 362 days, just to see if he could do it.  His blog is neatly organized into genre and with a mere click, a person can investigate reviews and titles. His tastes are eclectic, his insights meaningful, and his replies clever.

For a sampling of his classics page, click here.

Lately, his posts have wandered a bit off the original track of being primarily bookish in content and he writes on whim. I can relate.  I too have strayed from my original intent of providing astute book reviews that would dazzle and benefit bookdom and have taken to writing as serendipity taps the muse.

So, I hope you will check out Book to the Future and meet the intrepid Ste J, where as his banner states “more book than a mad ‘orse.”

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