COFFEE CHAT: BOOKS, BLOGGIESTA, & NETFLIX

Welcome to another Coffee Chat, featuring our bookish and not so bookish thoughts, hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.

It has been a quick (and not that productive) week.  I have been doing some Bloggiesta tasks, since it is coming on February 3-4.  Typically I started early.  My focus this time will be this very blog, although I’ve been making some changes on some of my other blogs. 

  • My Sign-Up Post is HERE.
  • I have finished reading and reviewing one book, Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown (click for review).  The 585 pages were more than my usual, but the story kept me engaged and there was nothing tedious about the book.
  • I’m halfway finished with Fire & Fury...and The Great Alone is moving along and keeping me engaged.  I am spending most of my time on the latter book, as it is a NetGalley review book.
  • On Sunday, I ran some errands…and then stopped for this delicious Tomato Basil Bisque soup with a Strawberry Margarita.  I was reading Seeing Red while I ate.

 

  • I’ve added two new books to Pippa this week (so far).  One  was a book that came out in 2015, but I couldn’t resist downloading it when I saw one of the characters on Season 4 of Grace & Frankie reading it…and I also remembered that it was on my list!  Fates & Furies, by Lauren Groff, is a dazzling examination of a marriage, and also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation. 

  • Then I downloaded The Wife, by Alafair Burke…a book I’ve been eyeing for quite a while.

  • When I go to Facebook these days, I steer away from the angry commenters…and focus instead on friends’ photos, like this adorable one of my step-great-granddaughters who are now four:  Bella and Lilly…

  • Or how about my great-niece America with her kitty.  She is nine:

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  • Then I scrolled over to my granddaughter Fiona’s page, and enjoyed seeing the new look in her room:

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Already I am feeling more upbeat, with changes on my blogs; lovely books, some already read and some newly purchased; and lovely photos of family.  How is your week unfolding?

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A COFFEE MORNING ON SUNDAY: BLOGGIESTA, READING, & CHANGES…

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Good morning!  It is Sunday, and time for another Coffee Morning…in which we chat about life’s treasures, our goals, and what is happening in the week ahead.

Since next weekend is a mini-bloggiesta, I am busily creating new blog headers for the site I plan to focus on…Serendipity.

I have created eight possible headers, with five favorites.  I will be nailing one of them down…soon.

While I was busily creating them, I had another look at my pictures folders, and how untidy the whole thing has been.  Images all over the place, not organized at all.

So I spent some time rearranging everything yesterday.  I deleted the ones I’m not using anymore, and named each cover by the book title…so now they are arranged alphabetically.  Why didn’t I think of it sooner?  LOL.

I also sent some older files to my Dropbox…so they are no longer taking up space here.

A New Year is definitely the time to be organizing things.

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Meanwhile, my reading for this week is off to a good start.  I’m loving The Woman in Cabin 10, and beginning to see where this mysterious story will take us.

 

 

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After I had already posted my Weekly Updates...I got these two books in my mailbox.

 

 

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Becoming Queen Victoria, by Kate Williams

The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher

 

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Enjoy your coffee, and let’s have a Sunday Chat.  What does your day look like?

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MY INTERIOR WORLD: CELEBRATING MY BLOGGING JOURNEY

Coffee, Mimosa, & reading - 2

Good morning!  Well, actually it’s afternoon here, but I’ve been doing “morning” things…capturing “interior moments,” like the one above.

Coffee, a mimosa, and reading.  Plus…the cute Madeline Hatter doll on my pub table.

Some of you may know that I’ve been dealing with a few side effects from a new medication.  Headaches, etc.  Well, I think they may have disappeared…or I’m getting used to them.  So I took the opportunity to enjoy a mimosa with my coffee today.  And I’m reading The Girl in the Red Coat:

 

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Next week, I am looking forward to Bloggiesta.  Yes, the week-long event that comes in the Spring season.

My first time participating was back in 2009 or 2010…I’d have to look it up.  But I alternate between my various blogs…and now that I only have SIX…well, it’s easier.

I haven’t worked on this blog for the event in a while…probably because I’m always tweaking things here.  This blog was my first one on Word Press…and now that all of my blogs are here, I consider it the leader.  The mentor, for the others.  And I sync this blog over at Goodreads, so you can always find my posts there.

This time I’m working on Curl up and Read, my blog that’s all about tracking my TBR piles…and documenting my purchases, my reviews, and my reading.  I’ve created a folder of possible new headers…I love that part!  And a new blog button, of course.

Are any of you participating?  What, if anything, do you love about the event?  Do you enjoy tweaking or making over your blogs?

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Here is one possible header:

 

PicMonkey Collage-NEW HEADER FOR MARCH BLOGGIESTA

 

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MY INTERIOR WORLD: CHANGES?

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Yesterday found me at Dai Bai Dang in the neighborhood mall, eating and waiting for my chosen movie to start.  I love this place for pre-movie reading and eating, and the servers don’t mind that I take a two-hour lunch. 

I was reading The Opposite of Everyone, by Joshilyn Jackson, which I’ve since finished.  (Click for my review).

 

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I had this drink with my appetizer…it is called Blushing Geisha, and it was delicious.

 

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I saw the movie Carol, with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, among others…It was hard to picture Rooney as the girl in the Millennium saga movies.

 

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What can I say about the movie?  Very tastefully done…and I’m a big fan of both actors.

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Now I am contemplating the upcoming Bloggiesta, which will be carried out primarily on my Curl up and Read site (Click Bloggiesta link to sign up).  But other blogs may find themselves undergoing smaller makeovers.

Here I am, frittering away my morning on blogs, and have I had any kind of balance (my One Word?)  Well, that came yesterday, with my outing.  And the rest of today will be about movies, Netflix, etc.

And yes, I probably should get in some exercise.  Yuk!

How does one make changes when everything that is familiar seems to cry out for attention?  I do know that nothing changes quickly, at least not in my world.   So…baby steps.

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What does your interior world look like?  What are you trying to change, if anything?

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BLOGGIESTA FINISH LINE — A GREAT PARTY! — FEB. 4

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Here we are at the Finish Line.

I finished!  How did the rest of you do?  Since I kept my tasks to a minimum, it wasn’t that difficult.  Thanks to all the leaders who guided us through the various mini-challenges.

 

My primary tasks:

1.  Clean up those sidebars.  Declutter, move current stuff into the space, learn how to minimize!

2.  Visit a lot of blogs and grab some good ideas! I visited 20 blogs.

3.  Learn how to make those cute little social icons.

 

I’d love to see what the rest of you accomplished.  And let’s connect again at the next Bloggiesta event.

WRAP-UP POST: BLOGGIESTA — JAN. 23

I’ve finished my tasks!  I’m all set to go to the Finish Line…and here’s what I’ve accomplished.

Note the list below.  My most time-consuming, yet satisfying tasks involved reinventing my site, with a new name, a new look, and some additional pages.

I created an About page to reflect the mission and purpose of my blog.  I added a “My Review Ratings” page to delineate how I rate books (and the occasional movies) that I review.

When doing these things, the domino effect on my other blogs included changes in link names (to this site from all of my other blogs); plus, I added the ratings page to each of the others.

I participated in four mini-challenges, which were fun.

My total time spent over the three days:  Nine-and-a-half hours.

My List of Goals:

1.  Reexamine the idea behind this blog, and consider renaming it.

2.  Update About Page to reflect these changes.

3.  Experiment with new Word Press themes.

4.  Define review rating system and set up a page for this.

5.  Check all links and update sidebar images/links.

6.  Arrange for guest posts. (request sent; author responded)

8.  Create Image for New Page (Review Ratings)

9.  Participate in some mini-challenges.

10.  Change Title and Look of Blog on Facebook

11.  Update blog links on all sites and website.

12.  Create new blog button.

DAY 2 – BLOGGIESTA – MINI-CHALLENGE — JAN. 22

Good morning, and welcome to Day 2 of this edition of Bloggiesta!

Today I’m participating in a few mini-challenges, as well as finishing up my goals established yesterday.

Over at Word Lily, I’ve discovered an intriguing challenge.  Ten Blogger Don’ts is a fascinating exploration of how to NOT make an impact, with the flip-side being, of course, what one can do to make things better.

One of the tasks for this mini-challenge was to read and study the Blogger Don’ts, and then rate yourself, one to five, with five being muy excellente.

Some of the “don’ts” are obvious to me, like don’t expect results overnight. Like anything else in life, building a readable, easily navigated blog that can be found by potential readers is going to take a long time.  I think we can see some positive results in the early months, as we click around the blogosphere and learn by example. Which takes us to another “don’t.”  Do not scrape another blogger’s content!

What I’ve learned from other bloggers’ examples is how to link to another blog in order to point to its relevance, excellence, whatever.  In this way, we can share what the other blogger has said, without “poaching.”  In this instance, we are properly crediting the other blogger.

Another good piece of advice:  do not try to become another blogger.  Just as in writing, we have to find our voice. Our own, unique, individual voice.

Updating our blog regularly can be a challenge if, like me, you have numerous blogs!  LOL.  I have worked hard to finally settle on a more manageable number.  Fourteen may not seem manageable to you, but that is an improvement over twenty; that’s how many I had at one point.

Every day on one or more of my blogs, I have something posted.

Then there are points about optimizing blogs for search engines; networking our blogs; and making our blogs readable and easy to navigate.

Okay, I need to work on that SEO part.  I think I understand it a little…keywords, etc.  But I need to study it more fully.  I have done well (I think) on the networking part, as I have networked my blogs on Facebook. Additionally, I participate in several memes and visit other bloggers.

After studying how others make their blogs easy to navigate, I think that I have improved.  Like everything else, though, this aspect is a work-in-progress.  Diligence is required, which is why we do this thing called blog housekeeping on a regular basis.

Fortunately, the final point of Do Not Throw Mud Around is common courtesy, and I think I’ve got this one handled.  Good advice, though!

Now that I’ve studied and considered each of these “don’ts”, I am ready to rate myself.  Okay, here goes:  3.5.

Mainly because there is always room for improvement.  Plus, I must study the SEO aspect more.  And, in order to become fully professional, I must continue to evaluate, assess, and reassess what I’m doing in order to improve.  To become as professional as those shining examples I see around me in this wonderful blogging community.

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Update of My Blogging Tasks:

1.  Reexamine the idea behind this blog, and consider renaming it.

2.  Update About Page to reflect these changes.

3.  Experiment with new Word Press themes.

4.  Define review rating system and set up a page for this.

5.  Check all links and update sidebar images/links.

6.  Arrange for guest posts. (request sent)

8.  Create Image for New Page (Review Ratings)

9.  Participate in some mini-challenges.

10.  Change Title and Look of Blog on Facebook

11.  Update blog links on all sites and website.

12.  Create new blog button.

BLOGGIESTA! START-UP POST – JAN. 21

Today was one of those hectic ones. My daughter and some friends went to Vegas for the weekend, so I had my grandson for a sleepover last night; then I took him to school this morning.

So I was all geared up to start tomorrow—silly me!—thinking the start date was on Saturday.  Well, better late than never is my motto.

Here are a few goals I’ve come up with – To be crossed off as I finish each task.

1.  Reexamine the idea behind this blog, and consider renaming it.

2.  Update About Page to reflect these changes.

3.  Experiment with new Word Press themes.

4.  Define review rating system and set up a page for this.

5.  Check all links and update sidebar images/links.

6.  Arrange for guest posts.

8.  Create Image for New Page (Review Ratings)

9.  Participate in some mini-challenges.

10.  Change Title and Look of Blog on Facebook

11.  Update blog links on all sites and website.

12.  Create new blog button.

I may decide to add a few things later…I’ll also keep track of the time spent throughout the weekend.

Let’s Party!!