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).
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.
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?
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?
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?
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. . . .
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sheila, at Book Journey, leads the It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? meme.
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…
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.
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.
McMahon offers a moving if bittersweet portrait of childhood. When a person dressed up in a rabbit costume abducts a little girl out of her car, the lone witness, Rhonda, is too stunned to act. As the small rural town mobilizes a search for the missing child, Rhonda, reeling with guilt, is reminded of another girl who went missing—her closest friend from childhood, Lizzy. Joyful memories of their youth spent putting on plays and exploring the woods alternate with darker moments: losing the love of her life, Lizzy’s brother, Peter, and the year an increasingly disheveled and moody Lizzy stopped talking to her or anyone else. Past and present merge as Rhonda closes in on the costumed abductor and also on the dark family secrets that tore their perfect childhood apart. McMahon spends a good deal of time setting the stage; however, once the pieces of the intricate plot are in place, readers will be hooked on both the mystery element and the coming-of-age aspects of this atmospheric novel….
From Summer Island to On Mystic Lake to Distant Shores, best-selling author Hannah seems to walk on water. Here, as Elizabeth packs up the beach house after her father’s death, she comes to realize that her own marriage is all washed up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
It isn’t quite love at first sight when Celia, Sally, Bree and April meet as first-year hall mates at Smith College in the late 1990s. Sally, whose mother has just died, is too steeped in grief to think about making new friends, and April’s radical politics rub against Celia and Bree’s more conventional leanings. But as the girls try out their first days of independence together, the group forms an intense bond that grows stronger throughout their college years and is put to the test after graduation. Even as the young women try to support each other through the trials of their early twenties, various milestones—Sally’s engagement, Bree’s anomalous girlfriend, April’s activist career—only seem to breed disagreement….
“This superlative romantic thriller from bestseller Brown (Smoke Screen) features a particularly memorable villain, sociopath Creighton Wheeler, who’s obsessed with re-enacting scenes from films like Strangers on a Train and Frenzy…. Multiple smash cuts (abrupt scene shifts) lead to a wonderfully frenzied finish.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Brown delivers more than a few thrills and surprises in this taut, satisfying page-turner.” — Booklist
Jules Strauss is a Princeton senior with a full scholarship, acquaintances instead of friends, and a family she’s ashamed to invite to Parents’ Weekend. With the income she’ll receive from donating her “pedigree” eggs, she believes she can save her father from addiction.
Annie Barrow married her high school sweetheart and became the mother to two boys. After years of staying at home and struggling to support four people on her husband’s salary, she thinks she’s found a way to recover a sense of purpose and bring in some extra cash.
India Bishop, thirty-eight (really forty-three), has changed everything about herself: her name, her face, her past. In New York City, she falls for a wealthy older man, Marcus Croft, and decides a baby will ensure a happy ending. When her attempts at pregnancy fail, she turns to technology, and Annie and Jules, to help make her dreams come true.
But each of their plans is thrown into disarray when Marcus’ daughter Bettina, intent on protecting her father, becomes convinced that his new wife is not what she seems…
With startling tenderness and laugh-out-loud humor, Jennifer Weiner once again takes readers into the heart of women’s lives in an unforgettable, timely tale that interweaves themes of class and entitlement, surrogacy and donorship, the rights of a parent and the measure of motherhood.
Monday is that time during the week when we talk about the books we’ve received in Mailbox Monday, hosted this month by A Sea of Books; and we also share our thoughts about what we’ve read this past week and what’s coming up next on It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Journey.
My mailbox yielded one review book and two books I had preordered from Amazon.
A Jimmy Choo Sandal. A Manolo Blahnik mule; a Sergio Rossi slide, a Prada sliver-heeled boot. As magic as Cinderella’s glass slipper. Even when they don’t fit, they can determine your life—or end it. Emily knows these things because she owns a discount shoe store on the colorful Upper West Side of Manhattan—Emily’s Place a neighborhood hangout for shoe lovers, where customers could find a sympathetic ear, a hot cup of coffee and the perfect shoe. Unfortunately, someone has decided that a sexy stiletto-heeled shoe is an excellent murder weapon. A member of the Emily’s Place “family”—the staff of women who run the store and love the shoes in it—is murdered with a red Jimmy Choo high-heeled shoe—sharp as an ice pick, the spiked heel is embedded in her head. Emily is still reeling from the shock of her friend’s murder when a bag is shoved through her mail slot containing the mate to the shoe that was the murder weapon. Emily realizes that her store and everyone connected to it is a target and that a psycho killer is stalking them all. In fact the killer seems to particularly want Emily to suffer. She insists on working with the detective assigned to the case, Paul Murphy to find the killer—and she will do whatever it takes. It’s personal.
From the acclaimed author of Still Missing comes a psychological thriller about one woman’s search into her past and the deadly truth she uncovers.
All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara did not have an ideal home life. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and to find closure.
But some questions are better left unanswered.
After months of research, Sara locates her birth mother—only to be met with horror and rejection. Then she discovers the devastating truth: Her mother was the only victim ever to escape a killer who has been hunting women every summer for decades. But Sara soon realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her father is him finding out about her.
What if murder is in your blood?
Never Knowing is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand herself, her origins, and her family. That is, if she can survive. . . .
In her luminous new novel, Barbara Delinsky explores every woman’s desire to abandon the endless obligations of work and marriage—and the idea that the most passionate romance can be found with the person you know best.
Emily Aulenbach is thirty, a lawyer married to a lawyer, working in Manhattan. An idealist, she had once dreamed of representing victims of corporate abuse, but she spends her days in a cubicle talking on the phone with victims of tainted bottled water—and she is on the bottler’s side.
And it isn’t only work. It’s her sister, her friends, even her husband, Tim, with whom she doesn’t connect the way she used to. She doesn’t connect to much in her life, period, with the exception of three things—her computer, her BlackBerry, and her watch.
Acting on impulse, Emily leaves work early one day, goes home, packs her bag, and takes off. Groping toward the future, uncharacteristically following her gut rather than her mind, she heads north toward a New Hampshire town tucked between mountains. She knows this town. During her college years, she spent a watershed summer here. Painful as it is to return, she knows that if she is to right her life, she has to start here.
WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Here’s what went on last week….
On the Blogs:
I posted sample chapters of my published books on my group blog, Dames of Dialogue, including this one this past week from Miles to Go here.
Hope McNeill has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for years, but this is the first time she’s been able to bring along her pug, Max. (Officially at least. Previously she’s had to smuggle him in inside her tote bag.)
The occasion: a special “Pug Night” party in honor of a deep-pocketed donor. Max and his friends are having a ball stalking the hors d’oeuvres and getting rambunctious, and making Hope wonder if this is also the last time she gets to bring Max to the museum.
But when a prized painting goes missing, the Met needs Hope’s–and Max’s–help. In her quest for the culprit, Hope searches for answers with an enigmatic detective, a larger-than-life society heiress, a lady with a shih tzu in a stroller, and her arguably intuitive canine. With luck, she’ll find some inspiration on her trips to Pug Hill before the investigation starts going downhill…
Now doesn’t that pique your curiosity?
WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Last week, I blogged everyday about various things, mostly memes. But as part of my ROW 80 Writing Challenge, I did a post about my WIP at Snow Chronicles.
My Reading Week-Read & Reviewed – Click Titles for Reviews:
One question, a split-second decision, and Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter?
Former stay-at-home wife and mother, Beverly Mael, turns her life upside down in Out of Balance, a hilarious new novel about bank shenanigans and underground cyber societies.
Caught between her husband, the ultimate prankster, and her boss, the charmingly seductive President and CEO of Vine Valley Bank, Beverly struggles to keep her husband’s secret and help her boss’s blind ambition without losing her marriage or her job. Floundering through dictation during the day and falling asleep in her dinner at night, Beverly needs to get away from it all. But a surprise date turns sour when Beverly discovers her unemployed husband has developed a computer program that can change the world-for better or worse. To complicate matters, the bank’s president keeps lavishing praise on Beverly, giving her the attention she desperately craves from home. Armed only with a gift for numbers and a steadfast faith in God, Beverly must stop her husband’s pact with the cyber underworld and uncover the truth about World Bank’s false profit before it’s too late.
So that’s it for this week…I cut back a bit on what I’ve planned for the week, knowing I can always add something from Sparky, my Kindle. So what’s on tap for the rest of you???