2013 Blogging Year-in-Review

Happy New Year!  🙂

Yes, I know New Year’s was a while ago.  As far as I’m concerned, all of January is New Year’s.  I call it New Year’s Month, because that’s about how long it takes me to recover from the holidays, undecorate my house, get my family’s New Year’s cards out, and get back into the swing of things at school.

Happy New Year’s Month!  🙂

WordPress kindly sends out annual reports to their bloggers every December 31st with stats for the blog’s year-in-review, and I like to share a few of those things with you, delightful readers.  (Here’s a peek at last year’s; this year’s will be different.)

Sappho’s Torque is being read in 75 countries now.  That’s pretty cool.

Here are my most popular posts of 2013.  The thing I find most interesting about this short list is that it encompasses really well the directions my blog took in 2013.

*  Government Shutdown Haiku Contest:  I love to sponsor haiku contests — in fact, look for another one coming soon!

*  Why Our Society is Failing as a Collection of Human Beings:  Sometimes things happen out there in the world that drive me to my computer to sound off about them in public.  I try to keep this to a minimum, but sometimes the issue and my breaking point must not be ignored.

*  May Rêveuses in Bloom:  For thirteen months I conducted the Rêveurs Revelation Fashion Project in celebration of Erin Morgenstern’s novel The Night Circus — an excellent book and one which affected me deeply — and, although I’m not still doing it here on the blog, I’m delighted and astounded to have been told just a week ago that some of those who were participating in it around the country while it was a feature here on this blog still do so just for fun.  So amazing!

*  100 Days of School:  Sometimes I share stories about my family, and this post about my son’s kindergarten homework remains one of the most giggle-inducing and cheer-you-up posts ever.

*  Fashion Friday 8/9/13:  Another blog project I had going on for a while was my Fashion Friday series, which was a wonderful way to merge one of my hobbies (fashion, especially the quirky kind) with an opportunity to host guest bloggers.  I’m not still doing this weekly, but I am still taking queries for Fashion Friday guest posts and even working on a couple myself.  This particular post (from 8/9/13) was written by Sarah Warburton about the Tardis socks she knitted.

Life here is busy.  I have many writing projects on the proverbial stove, and some are nearly done cooking.  I continue to strive for work-life balance — something I’m not entirely convinced even exists — and have resolved this year not to make any big resolutions, but rather to make one smart decision at a time.  Sometimes this even works out.

Thank you all, so much, for being here.  I wouldn’t bother blogging without an audience, and I’m glad you’re here, because despite my initial reservations about getting into this practice, I’ve been enjoying it immensely.

Cheers.  🙂

 

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Haiku Contest Closure and Some Changes ’round Here

So now that the US government is back open for business, the Government Shutdown Haiku Contest is officially closed.  We had so many great entries!  Thank you to everyone who participated.  And in the comments this contest elicited from across my various social media, the general consensus from many, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof, could be summed up in this non-competing poem:

“Crisis averted
in the eleventh hour.”
Nice work, pudknockers.

Later this weekend, I’ll be posting all the entries for the contest and giving you, the readers, an opportunity to vote on your favorites.  Majority wins in this poll, and the winner will receive a copy of TimeSlice.  Look for more details and the actual voting in my next blog post.

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You might have noticed there was no Fashion Friday post yesterday.  I thought about doing one on lariats, which are a fun and versatile jewelry accessory, but I couldn’t get a decent picture of the one I’d made.  I thought about doing one on the trauma of haircuts — yes, really — but it felt too indulgent even for me.  I thought about featuring a hat, but the cool weather we had at the start of the week dissipated again.  In short, nothing was really coming together in time for yesterday’s scheduled post.  So I let it go.  Maybe I’ll revisit those ideas again later.

In my realm, Fashion Friday is a “blog project,” something (much like the Rêveurs Revelation Fashion Project) that I find entertaining and fun and which gets me posting on a regular basis even when I don’t have something more literary to share.  And periodically I evaluate how those blog projects are doing.  The inciting incident for Fashion Friday was that I wanted to bring hats back into fashion, and then it just expanded into other accessories.  It’s been a way for me to indulge a hobby of mine while also, sometimes, writing about more meaningful things (such as body image or beauty or self-confidence), and it’s been a fun way to get other writers involved in my site as guest contributors.

Now that autumn is here and hats are back on the horizon, we will see more of those, because I do still want to see them make a bigger comeback even in places where it doesn’t get snowy and cold for several months out of the year.  And I’m still very much open to having guest bloggers contribute to this series.  I will still, from time to time, write pieces about those issues I mentioned.  But I’m not going to go nuts trying to post something every week for the sake of posting something every week.  It’s not that there’s anything wrong with weekly posts — that is, ultimately, my goal in general — but these other things are just taking up more of my time than I have right now.

The reason for this is actually a good thing:  I have a bunch of pots on the writing stove, as it were.  Look for news about a magic realism novelette coming out in the not-too-distant future.  I may also be re-releasing one of my books of poetry that’s gone out of print.  I’m continuing work on the fantasy series I’m in the middle of — the first novel of which is currently being shopped around and which is sitting on about half a dozen agents’ desks at the moment.  The book review assignments are piling up around me.  I’m also itching to start a new novel, a stand-alone, and the NaNoWriMo‘s siren song has already begun its perilous waft to my ears.

So yeah, there’s a lot going on.  But it’s good stuff, and as much as I love my hobby, I want to devote more time to the literary stuff.

I am intensely grateful for all the new readers who have joined the Sappho’s Torque community since the inception of Fashion Fridays.  All of you, please feel free to query me if you’d like to do a guest post!  I hope you continue to enjoy the other treats on the blog between future Fashion Friday posts.

I’m considering some other changes around here, too.  You might have noticed a few little tweaks to its appearance over the last couple of months.  (Maybe not, though, as they’ve been subtle.)  I’m looking to spruce things up even more in the near future.

Exciting developments are afoot in the world of Angélique.  Stay tuned.

And watch over the next couple of days for the Government Shutdown Haiku Contest voting opportunity.  Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Cheers.

Fashion Friday 9/13/13

This month, the 13th falls on a Friday, and so I’m intersecting Fashion Friday with the Rêveurs Revelation Fashion Project.

 

I love fascinators.  They’re cute and interesting, and featuring them this week allows me to continue my month-long pursuit of slightly-less-than-typical accessories.  I have a few fascinators myself, but nothing quite as fabulous and fancy as this one, here:

 

I found this picture here:  http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-14321164924962_2253_31651083
Note the correct colors for the 13th of the month. I found this picture here: http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-14321164924962_2253_31651083

 

You know what comes up when you do a Google search for images of fascinators?  Lots of picture of Kate Middleton.

 

Double win.  🙂

 

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If you’d like to be a contributor to our Fashion Friday series, click here for details on how to query.

 

 

 

Anniversary Rêveuse

So believe it or not, today is the one-year anniversary of the Rêveurs Revelation Fashion Project!  Fabulous, right?

First, I want to say how grateful I am to everyone who has participated in this along with me, either in pictures or on their blogs or just by doing it in their shy, subtle way, dressing the part with a whisper in my ear and a Mona Lisa smile each month.

Second, congratulations to the people who found out about this jaunt and then read The Night Circus and fell in love with it.  (You’re welcome.)

Third, thank you also to the people who have encouraged me to keep doing it.  I have been thinking about this project quite a bit lately, what with the anniversary of it approaching and all, and I’ve decided Continue reading “Anniversary Rêveuse”

June Rêveuse

Summertime, and the living is…all about editing.  Yup, it’s DEADLINE WEEK!  Again!  It seems like I have a lot of those…

 

Anyway, Happy RRFP Day.  (Not sure what that is?  Click here.)

 

It’s summer, so I’m pretty much in a ponytail, no make-up, and extremely casual clothes every day.  Today was a white t-shirt, a black skirt, black sandals, and these goofy red tassel earrings that have probably seen their last Rêveuse Day.  But I need caffeine to meet my deadline, so I’ve also got my new Jack Skellington mug!

 

me with my new JS mug

 

 

And why would you need a new one? you might be asking. Your old one was perfectly awesome in every way.

 

A fair question, and yes, you are correct.  But sadly, my old Jack Skellington mug met an untimely end when my Dear Husband was sweeping the floor in the kitchen and accidentally knocked it off the shelf.  (Don’t get me wrong — I love and appreciate that he was sweeping the floor.)

 

I scoured the Interwebz trying to find a replacement, but alas, that mug is no longer available anywhere.  So I got this one instead.  Not the same shape, but also very cool, and it has gray and black stripes on the inside, which is nice.  The best part, though?  This mug is approximately the size of my face!  It holds a wakeful 21 ounces!  That’s a delightful lot of chai tea, my friends.  So I’m going with it.
And as an extra little bonus for you Night Circus fans, I wanted to share this with you, which I recently came across via Erin Morgenstern’s Twitter feed.  (It’s a deleted scene from the book.  You are welcome.)

Until tomorrow…

May Rêveuses in Bloom

Here are today’s 13th-of-the-month pictures, taken (as always) on my phone, so you know the photo quality is awesome.  (It occurs to me that I should perhaps carry around my actual camera on the 13th of every month, but then I wouldn’t have the excuse of a pitiful device to blame for my inept photography skills.)

Enjoy! Continue reading “May Rêveuses in Bloom”