I started this blog back on November 4, 2011, announcing that that I was jumping into the proverbial sea of blogs and invited everyone to splash around with me. I told you the water was fine, and I hope that 286 days later that you agree. Tuesday was my 100th post. I made a schedule and stuck to it (with the single exception of Thursday July 13th) posting initially twice a week and then upping that to thrice a week. I have to admit there have been days when I was not sure what was going to be hanging beneath the “Andy’s Words and Pictures” banner. But somehow (with a special thanks to Steve Meitz for helping me keep my head above water much of the time with a fairly consistent flow of topic ideas) the words showed up on the screen.
Some posts are better than others. They can’t all be winners. There have been times when I thought I had a strong post only to be disappointed with a low number of hits and other times when I was surprised by a large response to what I thought was not quite up to par. My most active single day was 597 hits. That was a bit of an aberration. I got a huge portion of those views from reddit.com followers (this was before the moderators tagged me as a spammer—evidently you’re not supposed to regularly link back to your own blog). Today I enjoy a comfortable average of about 40 hits a day and my all time tally is closing in on 11,000 views. I am grateful to those of you who have subscribed to my blog and consistently check in and make comments.
The other thing that astounds me is the internationality of my audience. Since February 25, 2012, WordPress has been letting me know what countries the hits are coming from. The US, UK and Canada top the list which is expected for an English language blog, but India, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Brazil and the Philippines round out the top 10 countries. Hits have been tallied from 104 different countries, 90 of those more than once and half the countries have visited 10 or more times. There have been hits by viewers from places like Kenya, Macedonia, Myanmar, Seychelles, and Brunei Darussalem. It sounds like a line up at an Olympic event.
With 100 posts under my belt I thought I would take this opportunity to revisit some of my more popular posts. I hope you will enjoy reading something that you may have missed or rereading something for a second time.
A little Song and Dance
…Including actual lyrics from a published piece of music can be a head ache that you might want to avoid. Simply giving credit to the songwriter or performer is no where near sufficient. You are opening yourself up to litigation (and the music industry is indeed litigious) if you don’t take the proper steps to obtain official permission to use even one or two lines from a copyrighted recording… [read entire post]
By the Seat of My Pants
There are (at least) two types of writers. There are those who plan everything out ahead of time and there are those who just dive in and start writing. Neither is wrong, they are just different approaches. I am one of those who goes at it by the seat of their pants, lovingly refered to as a “Pantser.” [read entire post]
DIY Book Design Series
I’ve stuck my foot in the self-publishing door by making two books available as eBooks. I decided to go the Kindle and Nook route and after a bit of trial and error, I was able to cleanly format and upload MOBI files at Amazon.com and ePUB files at B&N.com. I have even received my first two royalty checks. After a while it became clear that there was no reason to exclude the whole analog sector of the book buying market—those who still turn actual pages. So I am embarking on the next phase of my self-publishing journey: Print on Demand also know as POD. There are any number of POD publishers out there but that’s a whole other post for later. There is a lot of work to be done before I even think about nailing down a printer… [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]
22 Rules to Write By
…The post consists of 22 tweets from Emma Coats, storyboard artist for Pixar Animation that actually Jen Yamato had assembled all in one place (actually, Yamato stole it from Pixar who stole it from Coats first and put it on their blogThe Pixar Touch back in May). Emma seems to know a thing or two about telling stories and these tips can be applied to really any form of storytelling: short story, novella, full length novel, multi-volumed series, or a screenplay. Print these suggestions out. Post them on your wall. Hang them from your rear view mirror. Tattoo them on the inside of your left arm. This is good advice. Some of the best I’ve seen… [read entire post]
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is an over used cliche and in the world of eBooks it is a piece of advice that most are ignoring anyway. Your book cover might be the only chance you get to catch the attention of the browsing public as they scroll through hundreds of thumbnail images. It is like a tiny billboard screaming for attention from a sea of other tiny, competing billboards. Title and genre decidedly play a part in narrowing down one’s choice of a book, but don’t discount the impact that cover art plays in the sale of a book… [read entire post]
…That particular consistency of book design is an effort to brand the author and their work. It makes all the sense in the world to have a similar design for a series of books, but branding the work of authors has been going on for a long time. Hit the stacks at your local book store and you will see what I mean. Pick out a favorite author of yours who has a large back catalog of books that have been published and are likely on a second or third printing. Now pull out all of his or her titles that are there on the shelf. Works by one author that are unrelated and not intended to be read as a series will likely have a similar look and feel, nonetheless. This is branding at work… [read entire post]
Take five to make five
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve become addicted to a style of flash fiction called Five Sentence Fiction (FSF). Lillie McFerrin posts a new one word prompt on her blog each week and you are invited to write a five sentence story using the prompt as direction. I post my effort every Tuesday and I invite you to join the fun next time around. It is surprising how much can be conveyed through a handful of sentences. I have read very powerful vignettes delivered in well under 200 words… [read entire post]
The Creation of Art and the Art of Creation
I’m a creator. I draw, paint, assemble, design, write, and compose. For me, the act of creation is similar regardless of the medium or discipline. I begin with an idea, which in turn leads me in unexpected and surprising directions. The art pieces that I make are assemblages of wood, found objects, and paint. Sometimes I will do a quick sketch to get an idea of some basic shapes but rarely do they resemble the initial concept once they’re ready to hang on the wall. In fact, the ones that stick the closest to the original sketch are generally the most disappointing pieces. It’s the evolution, the effect of chance that play a part in the more successful pieces… [read entire post]
Thanks again for your support and helping me make it to 100. Let’s see what the next 100 hold. Now if I could only come up with an idea for next week…