I would like to explain how this came to fruition. Hubby and I were having a discussion about the old days, (for the young’ens reading this..a little history lesson) but before the dark age. When Sundays were special and had traditions and rituals. Sunday mornings Church, come home to a big gravy (sauce) cooking on the stove, a big Sunday dinner, then either off to visit relatives/friends or wait for relatives/friends to drop by. We would spend the afternoon sitting around the table, talking, catching up, having coffee, pizza, calzones, etc etc, dessert. And now, how sad, all those traditions are gone. And then I got to thinking, why not have something similar here on my blog. This past year, I have met so many amazing and wonderful people (some I now call friends) through blogging, and how I am in awe of what they do and accomplish. How much respect I have for them, for their honesty, integrity, credibility and so enjoy when a bit of their personality shines through. So every Sunday, here at my place, the coffee will be on, the dessert is on the table and friends will be stopping by. And I will be rolling out the red carpet for my Sunday Shining Star Blogger guest.
I was told when I first found this community of book blogging that “book bloggers were the nicest bloggers there are” and I have never forgotten those words. And over the past year, I have truly met the nicest people. I also believe, even though we live behind a screen, a bit of our personality shines through. That is one of the reasons I am having so much fun with this weekly event, and hoping you are too, because we are getting to know those “nicest bloggers” around and about bloggyland a little bit better.
It’s that time again when we all get together, have some coffee, tea, soda, eat some dessert, gab, catch up with what’s going on with every one’s lives and get to know each other a little bit better. Since starting this event with Lori aka Dollycas’s Thoughts, her husband calls this “our hen party”…well Lori and I have since told Jeff this is the “the Hot Chick’s Get Together!!!” Men!!! What do they know!! Today’s guest (and hot chick), I am sure is another blogger that most of you know. So it will be a treat, I know it will be for me because there are so many things that I want to learn more about her, and I hope you feel the same way. Today’s SUNDAY’S SHINING STAR is LAUREL-RAIN from CREATIONS BY LAUREL-RAIN SNOW
*When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in April 2008, at the suggestion of my publisher, who thought it would be one of several ways to market my books: developing an online presence in addition to my website. I had only the one blog, Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow, for another year. Then I started a second one called Reflections, which I later combined with another site (now called An Interior Journey).
About this same time, I joined another social network called Book Blogs, and met other bloggers. At this point, I realized that the blogging community was huge, and that connecting with them through various “memes” and by visiting and commenting on others’ posts felt, for the first time, as if I had connected with others.
The name of my first blog derived from my own pen name, and was also a slight derivation of my website name, Laurel-Rain Snow Creations.
Long story short: joining Book Blogs helped me connect with another blogger, Sheila, whose site was on Word Press. In experimenting with that platform, I went a little crazy-obsessive with the blogs, and at one point, had TWENTY. Since then, I’ve deleted some and merged several to total fourteen. Still a lot, I know, but better. LOL
*How and what made you decide on the name of your blog?
In the question above, I explained my blog name choice for the first one. Subsequent blogs were named after whatever I happened to be spotlighting, like Potpourri for all those quirky tidbits; Explorations, for the process of learning and developing in the blogging world (now An Interior Journey); Curl up and Read, for my journey through my TBR stacks; Snow Connections & Impressions, named for my personal connections in the world and in the blogosphere, and my impressions about my life in general.
To chart my journey through the development and naming of my various and sundry blogs, including how and when I merged, etc., check out My Blogging Journey.
*What would you say is the main content of your blog?
Several of my blogs are primarily “book-related,” like Curl up and Read, Rainy Days and Mondays, An Interior Journey, Going out on a Limb….Then there are the writing blogs, like Creative Moments, and the five blogs dedicated to each of my five published novels: Miles to Go, Chasing Stardust (Stardust Dreams), Embrace the Whirlwind, An Accidental Life (Accidental Moments), and Web of Tyranny Chronicles.
*If books, what genres do you mostly read?
My book choices are eclectic, but I prefer contemporary fiction, literary fiction, mysteries, and occasional historical fiction. I also read a lot of memoirs, especially those written by writers. Some celebrity memoirs find their way onto my shelves, too.
*How often do you post?
I post something on one or more of my blogs every day. Sometimes I post “memes,” while at other times, it’s a book review or my thoughts about family or life stuff.
*What are some of the things that you love about blogging?
I really enjoy connecting with other bloggers, through visiting their sites and participating in the various events that they join.
I also love playing around with the themes, the backgrounds, the headers…and I’ve been known to change titles, too, like my recent moniker change from Explorations, Reflections, and Meditations to An Interior Journey. Now the former title is the tagline of the newly named blog.
When I blog, and then receive a comment or two or more, I feel as though my writing (which is the main reason I started blogging…I love to write!) is not falling into a vacuum.
For the first year of blogging, before I started “connecting” with others, I truly did not think anyone was reading my posts. They probably weren’t!
Networking my blogs on Facebook was another way to connect. And another way to see other bloggers’ posts.
*Name 1-3 favorite items/postings that you have/do on your blog?
Memes, book reviews, movie reviews, rants and raves (LOL). I also love changing things up, with new headers, backgrounds, and themes. I especially love participating in the “memes” that bring in a lot of traffic, because then I can visit many potentially new (to me) sites.
*Any advice you would give to new bloggers?
As you visit other blogs and see things you like, don’t be afraid to ask “how-to” questions. I certainly did. And there are still things I might not know how to do, so learning is an ongoing process.
I also think it’s important to comment on others’ blogs, to connect with the blogger in some way.
*What draws you to follow someone’s blog?
The content and appearance of the site…if they read books that I have enjoyed or would like to read, or if the posts about life strike a chord with me.
*Do you have any “pet peeves” that other bloggers do?
One thing comes to mind: if the comments are one or two words, followed by their own link, I wonder if they’re at all interested in connecting. But then again, they might just be in a hurry. I try not to let myself be annoyed by other bloggers, because I am having so much fun “meeting” them.
*Would you please share 5-7 things about the person behind the screen so that we get to know the “real” you!!
I am retired, after more than three decades as a social worker specializing in child welfare cases;
Toward the end of my social work career, I started writing, combining personal and social work experiences into fictionalized works that now are published novels;
I am currently working on a couple of WIPs, and have participated in some writing challenges, like NaNoWriMo, etc.;
I have four grown children and seven grandchildren;
In my younger days, I was a bit of a radical, participating in sit-ins and other protests;
I attended consciousness-raising groups at the onset of “second wave feminism” in the early 1970s;
My life these days is all about reading, writing, blogging, and connecting with family and friends.
Thank you Laurel-Rain so very much for sharing with us today. I hope you had as much fun as we did. Ever since finding a “couple of your blogs”, I was amazed at how you not only could keep track of all of them but to keep them up to date. Also I was so impressed that you have written books that are in print, they are in my personal tbr bucket list pile and hope when I get caught up with my requested review pile that I will be able to sit, get comfy and and enjoy your books. It sounds like you have led an unlimited energetic life including a personal life (having 4 children, 7 grandchildren), professional life of being a social worker (the norm of a social worker is being overworked and most times, underpaid) and author and a social minded person participating in issues you believe in. To me, and I think others will agree, after you have shared your thoughts with us, that you truly are a SHINING STAR!!!!