Tag Archives: blogging

Welcome to the New and Improved Me

Welcome first-time visitors and  returning minions to my new and vastly improved blog! If this is your first time visiting, let me direct you to the lovely domain name that is now 100% owned by me.  I’ve been operating my blog for the past two years under the free domain name owned by WordPress, but I figured now is the best time to finally commit to a brand that I could build for the rest of my career.

CYMERA_20140427_174638 Here we are at The Spotted Writer.  It took me all night and every facet of my personality until I found the right brand for myself. I’m sure some are asking why I picked spotted as my adjective, and the quick answer is to check out my About page. The long answer is that I’ve found the past year of writing has been unconsciously inspired by my adorable Bengal cat, Nyla, who frequently appears in my posts.

Even though I haven’t yet placed my chubby, leopard-spotted furbaby into one of my stories, she is what drives me to make my mark on the world as she has made on me.  She’s pampered, capricious, extroverted, and exactly like me.

In the past few months I’ve struggled to write more than 100 words a day and sometimes none at all. Since I’ve taken the year off from school to finish my manuscript, it’s more important than ever to write as much as possible. Not good, I tell you. And sadly, my blog has suffered as well.

The makeover, the new domain, the new brand—all of this is my re-commitment to writing. Sure, I could simply make the commitment to myself  without paying for a year’s worth of domain name or the time it took to come up with a new name. I could just improve my willpower by shutting off the internet and write, dammit! Yet, the process and the money spent gives me higher stakes to uphold, which seems to be what my weak self-discipline needs.

So, here I am. No longer a novice and not yet a virtuoso. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on making a brand, committing to your writing, and what you think of my new look!

Don’t forget to check out this amazing video of my partner in crime—Nyla back when we first got her. The video was filmed by my boyfriend,  Steve, who is lucky enough to catch all of this cutness in one video!

Bengal Kitten Playing

Happy reading and writing!






Filed under Introduction

Goodbye 2013, Thanks For All The Fish!

I use Grammarly to detect plagiarism because kidnapping words is against my religion.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.  I have had a wonderful year in review that you can check out in the link above. I will admit it took me ages to figure out how to post it because I passed over the link to have WordPress embed this to my post, and was fruitlessly trying to learn how to embed a web page with plug-in onto my page with zero experience.  Moral of the story=Read all of the webpage before trying to learn how to write code.

Getting back to the topic, 2013 was great for me. I finished my final residency of grad school; finally nailed down a solid outline for my manuscript; and got into my first car accident (which led to my first car loan). Among other smaller accomplishments I am very lucky to have a great family, friends, and wonderful opportunities coming my way. Speaking of new opportunities, my previous blog post Banning Books: Guest Author Denise Drespling Answers, marked the first sponsored post on my blog. It’s been under two years since I began Storyteller in the Digital Age, and what tangible result did I have to show for my hours of enjoyable writing? (Actually over 900 followers total and 2,000 hits in the last year) Well, nothing to supplement my growing makeup addiction or inevitably employee the services of a copywriter in the future—until now!


Bengal Photo Bomb!

Bengal Photo Bomb!

I have secured the attention of one fabulous company with the best proofreading and plagiarism software to help us lowly scribes to perfect our craft. Grammarly approached me to join their Grammarly Blogging Partner, which sponsors a blogger who features books or writing in their posts. And by sponsor I mean rewarding clever, original text advertisements for a $10 Amazon gift card. It is a genius and fun way of involving up and coming blogger (I wish!) with their favorite websites because who better than your best writer friend can tell you where all the great online resources are.

I’ll let you in on a little secret—Grammarly works! My last post I ran through the plagiarism checker and I found out how many sentences that had already been written. I was re-hashing out something another person had already written even if it came from my own head. Even if you think it’s original, it may not be and you’ll find it both frustrating and liberating to find out what has already been written. It allows you to refine what you thought were good sentences into fantastic ones. And it makes you feel better knowing thousands of websites have been searched and your words are authentically my own.

With the turn to 2014, I plan to support Grammarly as much as possible because they can do a lot of justice to ambitious writers, who like me may need a little extra once over before publish. I strongly suggest you go over to Grammarly using any of the links in the post right now and browse. I used all of the free trial to check through my blogging and fiction writing just for fun.

Happy Reading/Writing my lovely fans! And enjoy this awesome video of my Bengal in the snow.


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Filed under Breaking News

Publishing Woes:Blogging Edition

Good Morning my lovely bloggers and bloggettes!

Recently, a discussion has emerged in my prompt group about posting in blogs. See, we set up this group in our MFA program to continue writing prompts in the same fashion our mentors gave us in workshop. It’s a fun and easy way to keep our creativity constantly moving. Yet, my dreams for this group must be kept private from the information I just discovered. In our attempt to build a portfolio inches thick with possible stories and contest submission, I forgot one thing. How would submitting them in a public blog (to get readers involved and our names out there) affect our ability to publish?

While I hadn’t thought immediately about publishing these fun prompts that we were doing, I did intend to put my work in my own blog and even create one for the writing group. Regrettably, I must rethink that decision and even remove the posts on my blog that I’ve already posted because they’ve been holding me back from publishing my works.

Some contests advise that they will only accept unpublished work, and that includes any public publishing on the internet. Here is one example of the few exceptions that showcases how I view publishing:

For the purpose of this Competition, previously published material includes the publication or distribution of the entry, in part or whole, in paper or electronic format or in any other medium, including self-published works. This does not include a chapter excerpt on an author’s website, subject to the conditions that: (i) the excerpt is the only text that exists for public viewing; (ii) the excerpt is not for sale to the public, and (iii) the number of words in the excerpt does not exceed 10% of the total number of words in the work as a whole.

I feel like posting on my own blog shouldn’t exactly count because the purpose for posting on blogs comes in a variety of reasons. If publishing has also come from credible sources, shouldn’t that translate to how something is published online as well. Even electronic publishing has a specific format it must go through Pubit and other softwares to convert your text into an e-book. Some blogs have paid writers who PUBLISH stories and articles on the blog, but I’m not paying myself to post my ideas on here, so why should that limit the personal fiction I post as being published? Maybe my mind hasn’t adjusted to my possibilities in the self-publishing electronic world yet, but there should be a distinction in personal sharing and publishing online. Don’t know how, but there should because I don’t just want to sell good books. I want to share amazing stories with the world. Why should writers be punished with disqualification by contests and editors if all they are doing is sharing their work until it is ready to be published?

I might be a little off base here, but it just seems counter productive for a contest or editor to deny a wonderful piece that could potentially bring them business because the author tried it out on their person blog for a few months and may have received good reception, but I guess that is just the way of the world. I will have to stick to private writing groups and personal criticisms to get my feedback. Anyone else have issues with the publishing world today? Please share I would love to hear them and blog about them too!


Happy reading/writing!


Filed under Breaking News

Reader’s Appreciation Award: The Literary Tears are Flowing

Although The Other Watson has been one of my followers to always nominate me for an award, I am truly honored to be appreciated for reading. This is a monumental award for me because I love reading so much. He was one of the first blogs I followed when I created this blog, and has continued to captivate my attention months later (which is not easy to do in this attention deficit world).

His usual post will incite a bundle of questions regarding your own writing style and what books you love to read, in addition to proving you with endless suggestions for future reading. Now if you’re like me  (living in the U.S. and haven’t traveled much) finding friends across the globe is one of the perks of blogging, and The Other Watson is my first British/Aussi friend. The culture he places in his posts is subtle enough that you can learn from him the differences from here in the U.S. and it is delightful. He has a sweet way of discussing books and writing like they are his children, and he never gets boring. So, please check him out when you have the time. It is definitely worth the trip because he keeps me coming back for good posts and great conversations.

Now, onto business. He has nominated me for the Reader’s Appreciate Award, which I gladly accept and now move on to the requirements of the award. First, the picture…

Next, as designated by my nominator, I should tell you what I have been doing. In the last week or two, I have been preparing for my glorious study abroad trip to Dublin, Ireland. I have been working for weeks to compile list upon list of the things I will need on the trip. It seems one week away is too much for me to handle because the excitement is nearly bursting through me. As I prepare for my trip, I recently had my hair dyed. New aspect of life=new hair. I have always felt that a fresh hair cut and a new color are two great ways to start off a journey. So, here is the color:

New color for a great new adventure

Finally, I have been revising the beginning of my novel in preparation for the new semester. The story is set in London, and it features a young teen who is coping . She has just moved from Philadelphia to Lewisham, and comes across an unlikely friend in this scary, new place. Little did she know that the new friend would turn her into something she never thought existed. It’s difficult to tell what I’m writing since I have never been to London or even in a different country, so hopefully my trip to Ireland will help create an authentic trip for my character.

Onto the next part of the award I am giving the award to 6 of my best followers who always manage to find the time to read and comment on my newest posts. Although I appreciate every single reader for that each day of the week 🙂

Mywithershins -who gives me reassurance and constant feedback on my posts and ideas.

John -who combats every comment with insightful information I didn’t know to add to my post.

katkasia -who never fails to add fun, relevant comments to my page.

Maeve Murray -my writing sister and fellow student in Carlow’s MFA program. She is a mutual reader of my page as I am of hers. 🙂

Rustic Recluse -who is a new follower with kind, detailed comments to my most recent posts. Check out his page!

And of course, The other Watson -who gives me awards and dozens of comments responding to the silly questions at the end of every post.

Check out these mentioned pages because they have the quality and energy worth taking a few minutes to read. Speaking of reading, what is everyone else reading at the moment?


Filed under Breaking News

Ever Had This Problem?

I’m going to be incredibly, brutally honest here. Blogging every day or multiple times a day is HARD! Almost as difficult as writing fiction or poetry, blogging keeps you constantly thinking of what to put for your next post. On top of that you have to keep in mind if other people will want to read it or if anyone besides you enjoy the subject of your blog in general.

So, I have found a little blogging humor. It eases my mind whenever I can’t think of something to write and for one time only gives me a subject to write a post on.


You think your life is bad when you can’t blog. Take a look at this guy:


Don't stress it. Really, don't stress it!

If you look like this each time you blog, maybe this isn’t the hobby for you. Sometimes, that fear of what to write is unavoidable. Writer’s block is probably the toughest thing in the world to get past because there are many factors that contribute to that creative block. Lack of privacy (thinking time), stress, work, emergencies, and sometimes just thinking too hard can make a writer stop working as well as before. Most times, a break is all that you need. Maybe take a nap, do some gardening, or work on something completely opposite. Then, the aha moment can appear in the most unlikely of places. There is no sure fire way to get rid of writer’s block, but there is a start for you. If you can’t think of what to write, don’t freak out. Because you freaking out over the little things may biologically be blocking your creative juices from reaching the grey matter in your head.

Relax. Drink a cup of tea. Read some of a good book and eventually the inspiration will come back to you, I promise.

I hope you had a good laugh at this blogger’s expense because sometimes you need a laugh to get through the hard times. Good luck blogging/writing!










Filed under Idea of the Day