HOW MY BLOGGING JOURNEY BEGAN….

On April 21, 2008, I created my very first blog.  It was on Blogger, and I called it Laurel-Rain Snow’s Creations.  I later changed its title to Story Corner.

When I started moving over to Word Press, creating blogs here, I still hung onto that first blog.  But eventually, I deleted it, having moved some of the content over to this blog and others.  This blog was my first on Word Press, launched on June 22, 2009.  Several name changes followed over the years (Explorations, Reflections, & Meditations), as I merged a few of my Blogger sites (after I had gone a little crazy creating so many).

Check out the story of my blogging journey here.

Rainy Days & Mondays was my last blog to come to Word Press, and while I didn’t move all the content when I recreated it here on December 3, 2014, I did bring over most of my reviews.

Because I have had so many blogs (now I have six), and because they have gone through so many incarnations, I seldom celebrate the blogoversaries.

But occasionally I do like to mention how my journey began.

Here are the blogoversaries of my current sites:

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An Interior Journey –  June 22, 2009

Potpourri – July 11, 2009

Curl up and Read – October 22, 2009

Snow Sparks – May 10, 2010

Serendipity – August 4, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays  – August 16, 2009 on Blogger

                                              December 3, 2014 on Word Press

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What do you remember (and celebrate) about your blogging journey? 

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BEING TRUE: MY WINDING ROAD IN THIS JOURNEY

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Oh, what a winding road it has been, in this blogging journey!

If anyone would have told me five years ago that I would have discovered a new “addiction” or “obsession,” if you will, I would have laughed.  I thought that I had plenty of those, with my various collections, including my book collections.

My first blog was created in 2008, and it was on Blogger.  I entitled that one Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow, and my intention was to use the blog as a way of connecting with readers, for marketing purposes.  This was a plan developed with my publishing consultant. (That blog is now Story Corner).

But not much happened that first year.  It was in 2009, when I accidentally connected with other bloggers, that I learned of a much bigger picture.  A community.  A network of other bloggers.

Then I sort of went nuts, creating several other blogs, some of which I have since deleted and merged with others.  I still have too many, for most people’s tastes.

But this site was my first on Word Press.  Initially, I called it Explorations…then I merged others with it, and it went through still another name change.  Finally I settled on An Interior Journey...and that works for me.

When I decided to put a Bloglovin’ button on this site (and a few others), I realized that blog name changes can have complex consequences.  I’ve been “claiming” my various  blogs, and then officially changing the names.  Whoa!  What was I thinking  back when I thought it was as simple as changing it on the blog?

On this particular site, I have regularly changed the headers and backgrounds…and even the tag line of the blog.  With my newest tag line changes came a new blog button…and a header with the button in the center.

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Looking back over what I’ve written, I am tempted to chuck this whole post.  It was obviously written by someone addicted/obsessed with various aspects of blogging.  But no….my hard and fast rule for myself is being “true.”  So this is who I am, on this, my Interior Journey. 

I hope to connect with some of you along the way.  What has your blogging journey been like?

MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: WHAT ARE YOU READING? — AUGUST 12

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

Today I’m linking up at Monday Reading, hosted by Book Journey.

To check out my Sunday Updates/Mailbox Monday, click the link.  I had a great week, enjoying my reading and a little blogging.

 

THIS WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Intros/Teasers:  The Interestings

Hump Day Sparks:  Waiting on Thankless in Death

Book Beginnings & The Friday 56:  Ladies’ Night

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Life Throws a Curve

Sunday Potpourri:  Reading, Purging, & Mimosas

(Review) Amy Falls Down, by Jincy Willett

(Review) Necessary Lies, by Diane Chamberlain

(Review) The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer

(Review)  Ladies’ Night, by Mary Kay Andrews

 

WHAT’S UP NEXT? (CLICK TITLES/COVERS FOR MORE INFO):

We Are Water, by Wally Lamb (Amazon Vine Review)

 

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MaddAdam, by Margaret Atwood (Amazon Vine Review)

 

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The Obituary Writer (e-book), by Ann Hood

 

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What does your upcoming (and past) week look like?  Come on by and let’s chat.

 

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THOUGHTS FROM THE INTERIOR OF MY BLOGGING JOURNEY — JAN. 16

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Sometimes our blogging journey takes us to intriguing places.  And when one has a penchant for blog makeovers (yes, I’m guilty of that!), one must acknowledge that it sometimes surprises us.

Like when, out of curiosity, I explored the new themes available and found this one!  I had seen it already over at Should Be Reading, where Miz B also likes to change things up.  I’m always curious about what she will show us next.

What I love about this theme:  the wide space for a header; the misty look that seems so relaxing and restful; and the fact that the changeover happened without “deleting” my widgets.

Yes, sometimes I have to recreate the widgets in my sidebar(s) when I change over to a new theme.  And it’s annoying.  But this one left everything in place (except the header); but no worries.  I just uploaded my same header (a new one for the beginning of 2013).

I like showing images that symbolize or subtly portray my bookish journey.  A few months ago, I added my Coca Cola coffee cup with text that seems to epitomize what is going on here.

What do you consider when (or even if) you are making blog changes?  Do you have special needs that such a change must satisfy?

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MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — AUGUST 6

Good morning, and welcome to another Monday, in which we celebrate our reading, blogging, and life.  Mailbox Monday is hosted in August by 5 Minutes for Books; and Book Journey brings us another edition of What Are You Reading?

MAILBOX MONDAY

I received three books in the mail and I downloaded one for Sparky.

Two books were from Book Journey, along with gourmet chocolates and coffee.  Thanks, Sheila!

And another book was a purchase from Amazon.

1.  Arranged, by Catherine McKenzie (from Book Journey)

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, close friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share her life with, however, she just can’t seem to get it right. When her latest relationship implodes, and her best friend announces she’s engaged, Anne impulsively calls what she thinks is a dating service—only to discover that it’s actually an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. Anne initially rejects the idea, but the more she learns about the service, the more she thinks: Why not? After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world; maybe it could work for her.

A few months later, Anne is traveling to a Mexican resort, where, over the course of a weekend, she meets and then marries Jack. And initially, everything seems to be working out. . . .

The Meryl Streep Movie Club, by Mia March (Book Journey)

In the bestselling tradition of The Friday Night Knitting Club and The Jane Austen Book Club, three women find unexpected answers, happiness, and one another with Meryl Streep movies as their inspiration.

Two sisters and the cousin they grew up with after a tragedy are summoned home to their family matriarch’s inn on the coast of Maine for a shocking announcement. Suddenly, Isabel, June, and Kat are sharing the attic bedroom–and barely speaking. But when innkeeper Lolly asks them to join her and the guests in the parlor for weekly Movie Night–it’s Meryl Streep month–they find themselves sharing secrets, talking long into the night–and questioning everything they thought they knew about life, love, and one another.

Each woman sees her complicated life reflected through the magic of cinema: Isabel’s husband is having an affair, and an old pact may keep her from what she wants most . . . June has promised her seven-year-old son that she’ll somehow find his father, who he’s never known . . . and Kat is ambivalent about accepting her lifelong best friend’s marriage proposal. Through everything, Lolly has always been there for them, and now Isabel, June, Kat–and Meryl–must be there for her. Finding themselves. Finding each other. Finding a happy ending.

Jaden Bruxelle knows that life is precious. She sees it in her work as a hospice nurse, a job filled with compassion and humor even on the saddest days. And she sees it in Tate, the boy she has raised as her son ever since her sister gave him up at birth. Tate is seventeen, academically brilliant, funny, and loving. He’s also a talented basketball player despite having been born with an abnormally large head–something Jaden’s mother blames on a family curse. Jaden dismisses that as nonsense, just as she ignores the legends about witches and magic in the family.

Over the years, Jaden has focused all her energy on her job and on sheltering Tate from the world. Tate, for his part, just wants to be a regular kid. Through his blog, he’s slowly reaching out, finding his voice. He wants to try out for the Varsity basketball team. He wants his mom to focus on her own life for a change, maybe even date again.

Jaden knows she needs to let go–of Tate, of her fears and anger, and of the responsibilities she uses as a shield. And through a series of unexpected events and revelations, she’s about to learn how. Because as dear as life may be, its only real value comes when we are willing to live it fully, even if that means risking it all.

The Language of Sisters (e-book), by Amy Hatvany (download for Sparky)

Ten years ago, Nicole Hunter left her troubled home behind her, unable to cope with the demands of a life with her disabled sister, Jenny. Though her search for happiness—both in career and in love—has fallen short of her dreams, Nicole pretends that all is well. Then a shattering event turns her world upside down, and suddenly, she is back in her hometown, caring for her pregnant sister and trying to heal her embattled relationship with her mother.

Reunited with her family and forced to confront the guilt that haunts her, Nicole finally has the chance to be the sister she always wished she’d been. And when she is faced with the most difficult choice of her life, Nicole rediscovers the beauty of sisterhood—and receives a special gift that will change her life forever.

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WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Welcome to another great week to share thoughts on reading and blogging.  If you stop by the other blogs in our community, you might just find your next favorite read.

In spite of triple digit heat this week, or maybe partially because of it, I felt pretty productive.

On the Blogs This Week:

My July Reading Wrap-Up

Row 80 Check-In Post

Sweet Saturday Sample:  An Unexpected Connection (From Interior Designs)

Books Read/Reviewed-Click Titles for Reviews:

Gone Girl (e-book), by Gillian Flynn

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge, by Christine Nolfi

Zero Day (e-book), by David Baldacci

Those We Love Most, by Lee Woodruff

What’s Up Next? (Click titles/covers for more info)

Grace Grows, by Shelle Sumners (Review from Amazon Vine)

Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple (Review Book)

The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner

Safe Within (e-book), by Jean Reynolds Page

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And that’s it for my week.  What does your week look like?  I hope you’ll stop in and comment/link to your post.

MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — OCT. 17

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Every week, I say the same thing to myself:  I can’t believe it’s Monday again!

But in a good way.  Unlike the days when I went out of my home to work, Mondays are good.  I like the feeling of accomplishment, when reviewing what I’ve done in the past week.  And I love the clean slate of looking ahead to more exciting reads.

Mailbox Monday is hosted through October by Savvy Verse & Wit.

Sheila, at Book Journey, leads the It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? meme.

MAILBOX MONDAY:

I received NO BOOKS in the mail.  But I downloaded something for Sparky, my Kindle.

When She Woke, by Hillary Jordan, is a book I’ve been noticing, and considering my foray into more Margaret Atwood books, this continues that journey.

‘Hillary Jordan channels Nathaniel Hawthorne by way of Margaret Atwood in this fast-paced, dystopian thriller. Unputdownable’Valerie Martin, author of The Confessions of Edward Day‘Not only one of the best books of the year, but it’s everything the dystopian genre was made for . . . An instant classic for the 21st century’Publisher’s WeeklyPRAISE FOR HILLARY JORDAN:‘Hillary Jordan writes with the force of a Delta storm’Barbara Kingsolver‘Jordan’s tautly structured debut . . . confronts disturbing truths about America’s past with a directness and a freshness of approach that recalls Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.’The Times‘The winner of Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize for a novel ‘promoting social responsibility,’ Hillary Jordan is happily a writer who puts her duty to entertain first’ The Independent…

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WHAT ARE YOU READING?

It’s been a typical October week, with briskness in the air, a new reading corner for me that allows the breeze to drift over me, and a few great books.

Here’s what’s been happening on the blogs:

DANGEROUS CHOICES: AN EXCERPT

HUMP DAY POTPOURRI

FINDING MY MUSE

WEEKEND THOUGHTS FROM THE INTERIOR

INTERRUPTIONS & RECONNECTIONS – AN EXCERPT

Review:  The Summer Before the Dark, by Doris Lessing

Review:  Still Missing, by Beth Gutcheon

Review:  Tall Pine Polka, by Lorna Landvik

What’s Up Next?

1.  Weekend Warriors, by Fern Michaels

2.  Payback, by Fern Michaels

3.  Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination, by Helen Fielding

4.  Dumpster Dying, by Lesley A. Diehl

Still Reading:  Janeology, by Karen Harrington


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So that’s my week!  Hope you’ll come on over and share yours.

BRANDING — HOW DO WE DO IT? — 9/16

This week has been an exercise in community…and an exploration of the blog world and how we all come together to do what we do.

One of the things I’ve taken away from the discussion this week is the importance of creating and maintaining our unique voices; and the value of branding our blogs.

What does “branding” mean to you?

To me, that means creating a signature presence that uniquely defines our blog in the sea of blogs throughout the blogosphere.

As one example, Sheila, of Book Journey, has her Morning Meanderings posts that create the tone for her chats, reviews, and other events.

One of my problems is that I have ten blogs:  two on Blogger and eight on Word Press.

So how do I create a brand with this kind of thing going on?  Should I delete all but one?  Or should I choose a presence for each?

One of the first steps I’ve taken today is to choose a blog header that creates a presence here…and then try to stick to it.  At least for awhile.  Until readers come to recognize it for its familiarity and how it seemingly speaks for this blog, An Interior Journey.

From here, I’ll move on to some of the other sites.  Potpourri will be easy, I think, since it’s kind of quirky.  I do choose various Engelbreit headers that might define the quirkiness there.  And I write “potpourri” posts.

I hope you’ll stop by and share your thoughts about branding.  How you create it for your blog…and what works best for you.