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Big News for Uni-Verse-City!!!

I am almost jumping up and down in anticipation to host Marilyn Brant, award-winning women’s fiction author of “According to Jane” (2009), “Friday Mornings at Nine” (2010) and her newest release: “A Summer in Europe” (2011) here at Uni-Verse-City on 9 January 2012. She will be talking about her new book and her experiences in Brussels, Belgium as part of her blog tour for the book. In the meantime, check out her other destination posts here and she’s also on Twitter. So don’t forget to stop by this blog tomorrow! I’m already a few chapters into “A Summer in Europe” and I’m loving the story already.

As I’ve stated my ROW80 goals for 2o12 (here), one of the key things I want to keep up is this blog. I am currently trying to blog once a week about Travel, once on Writing and once on either books of lifestyle. I’m still trying to think of a new weekly topic, so far I’ve come up with:

1) Movie reviews – this is a topic I really enjoy, but it could also be a tad time consuming because I had to (a) watch the movie (b) form an opinion and write the review (c) do some research on the movie and provide the summary.

2) Travel posts about my hometown (Edmonton) – again these are time consuming and my goal is to choose a topic that I can blog about quickly instead of putting in the 2-4 hours I spend on my average travel posts.

So at least I’ve been brainstorming ideas. If you like one or both of these ideas, let me know or if you have another weekly blog idea, I’m all ears.

Also in regards to blogging, I would like to Call for more Guest Posts. I had quite a few last year including fellow ROWers, Marcia Richards, Gene Lemp, Jenny Hansen, Jolyce Barnett, and Alberta Ross. I would like to start a Genre blog post series where writers from a specific genre such as horror, romance, women’s fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, etc. write about what makes a book fall into the genre, some of the stereotypes of the genre and/or tips to make sure you fulfill the criteria of the genre and whatever else you want to write about. So if there are any takers, please email me at annotationseditorial@gmail.com and let me know which genre you’d like to blog about.

As for the writing front, I was a major slacker in the first week, which is not the best way to start. I have excuses, even though they are pretty good ones: Day 1 of ROW80 was my last day at home visiting my family when I hadn’t seen them for a year, then Day 2 was all traveling, Day 3 was total jet lag, Day 4 was get unpacked, clean and buy food and jet lag, Day 5 was laziness and jet lag, Day 6… I wrote 1,000 words.  So 1,000 words in the first week isn’t so hot, but now that I’m back in the groove of things, I should do better next week, perhaps hitting my preferred 5,000 mark. But I would be happy with 3,000.

As for ROW80 sponsor duties I did a major fail in missing the first day check in since it was my last day in Canada, but I’m hoping you all will forgive me this one time. I was good on Wednesday, I visited and commented on the blogs I was supposed to. I don’t know if I’m giving away a ROW80 sponsor secret but, I thought it was interesting to know that sponsors are not required to visit ALL ROW80 check ins. It would be a big time committment and so sponsors are assigned a certain number of blogs to visit and they are different ROWers each time. Sooooo if I haven’t commented on your check in and you’d like me to visit it, just tweet me the link and say “Hey ROW80 Sponsor can you come check out my progress!!” or whatever you feel appropriate and I will duly go read and comment because I want to be supportive to all.

Finally, on the social media front, I have tried to weed through my blog subscriptions on Google Reader….that didn’t go so well. I like all of the blogs I’m subscribed to, yet its an impossible number to read. I just couldn’t hit unsubscribe. I’m wondering if there is a way to group the subscriptions in Google Reader so that I could make sure I follow certain blogs daily and maybe the others weekly? Must research this or go through the list again and purge even though I don’t wanna!

I promise next Sunday’s check in will be shorter, but I had a lot to report this time and also wanted to ask for your guys’s help too.

Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for Marilyn Brant’s guest post!

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28 thoughts on “Special Guest Announcement and Call for Guest Posts #row80

  1. Hi!
    Thank you for the post on my blog 😀

    How come you moved so far from Canada? At least you’re getting stuck back in now though, that’s the main thing. ROW80’s all about having a life too <3

    And I love the comic you posted there. There has to be some truth to that in some cases… xP


    1. Yeah, I definitely like ROW80 for the still having a life bit, but I’ve also been a bit too lax on myself as of late so this round is the time to take it up a notch! I love writerly cartoons. 🙂 Stacy Green usually has some good ones on her blog too.

  2. Nicole, there are folders you can set up on Google Reader. You can do “weekly” or “Monday.” Holler if you need help!

    I like your long post, so no apologies about that, or your jet lag, okay? 🙂

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. I figured that folder thing out last night. It worked wonders and now if I need to weed out some blogs, I know exactly which folder to cleanse. 🙂

    1. The jet lag coming back was so weird, instead of being tired at bed time in Canada, I’m tired when I normally would have woken up there. Weird, but hopefully going back to work this week will help me get back into routine.

  3. Awesome news on the guest post with Marilyn 🙂 I’ll be sure to check it out tomorrow!
    I would offer to guest for you but I don’t feel confident enough in discussing writing genre qualities to do it justice :/
    Good luck with getting back into the swing of things now the jet lag is subsiding – and don’t worry about long posts, I’m a devil for them myself! lol

  4. Welcome home, Nicole! I think 1000 words, considering how your week went, is a very respectable number!
    I would be happy to guest post for you. I write historical fiction (women’s and romance) so I would gear the post in that direction, if you like.
    Suggestions for ‘easy day’ posts: 1. just photos 2. just videos about any topic (music, art, history, anything!) 3. Inspirational or other quotes that would be entertaining or useful 4. announcement of a short fiction challenge using one word you choose or a topic
    Hope that helps…keep brainstorming!

    1. You are fantastic Marcia! I’d love for you to guest post, we can email to confirm. I will have to think about all your blog ideas because I like them all!!! 🙂 Thanks so much.

  5. Welcome home, and good job on getting 1,000 words written. That’s tough in a busy week. And I owe you a guest post on thrillers. I’m so sorry! The last couple of months have been crazy. I promise to start working on it:)

  6. Ha! I love the cartoon 🙂
    I am looking forward to your movie reviews. I’m a total movie/tv junkie!! And I’m sure you’ll make an awesome sponsor this round!!

  7. Omg! You gave away the sponsor secret *laughs*. Actually, I’m pretty sure that one is common knowledge and I know Kerry and I both were mentioning it last round so, um, all good. By the way, I also visit a few favorites from past rounds and try to visit any ROWer that comments on my update on top of my sponsor ones. Just good practice 🙂

    While you may not have hit off the new year with thousands of words I’d say you have ideas that will lead to thousands of words. Sometimes we have to take that moment to let things build, like waiting for bread to rise, before we can bake the loaf. Progress is always good no matter what it is.

    By the way, I’ll keep you in mind if I have any guest post ideas that are in line with what you are building here.

    Have a great week, Nicole.

    1. Thanks Gene. Yeah, I didn’t know the sponsor “secret” until I became one. I also tend to comment on the ROW80 repeaters (those who’ve participated in the last few rounds), and those who comment on my check-in post, in addition to the 6’s.

      I’m trying to keep it fresh, be on the ball, so maybe this will cause the bread to turn out better. 🙂

      Please do let me know if you wanna guest post. That’d be great.

  8. Nicole, thank you so much for sharing your enthusiasm for my visit! I’m jumping up and down here because I get to be your guest tomorrow ;). And I just have to say, writing 1,000 words during the incredibly busy week you had is pretty amazing! When I go on trips, I have a really hard time doing any actual writing… But visiting family/traveling is a “refilling the well” experience for your creativity, so it’s still a very productive time, even if only a few new pages get written.

    1. Thanks Marilyn! I also think of travel as writing fuel. It gives me so many more ideas and sometimes a rest makes you write more than you regularly would. See you tomorrow! 🙂

  9. You are definitely forgiven as you must make the most of family time! I was terrible with commenting in the week due to work commitments so I must try better at this. I hope you manage to get more words written this week and I am going to check out some of your old reviews (even the ones I have already read!) so I can learn what to do! Have a great week 🙂

    1. I gotta get better a commenting when i read posts because I read so many blogs, but tend not to comment. Bad habit.

      Before I started doing book reviews, I also looked at what other bloggers were doing. It helped get me going, but then after a while, I tended to write my own honest review based on the book rather than what a more professional book review should look like.

  10. #WIP500 is a challenge where you commit to writing 500 words a day on your WIP, hence…. #WIP500. I usually use #wordmongering to get it done since I write so goshdarn fast!

    I have been thinking of writing more about my travels because they are sort of in a niche all their own: visiting writerly places AND looking for local insider places so you aren’t visiting the same places all the other tourists visit!

    As always, I look forward to following your #ROW80 check ins and during #wordmongering and #wordsprint

  11. Great start, Nicole, even with being thrown off a little by the travel. You ended up getting some words in, which is great. I agree with the others that it is a build and balance at times. I kept missing a few of my ROW goals last round that now are second nature.

    Love the brainstorming you are doing for future blog focuses and I know it will be great. The genre day sounds like a blast.

  12. Eeeekee….can’t wait for tomorrow’s interview!
    Wow – that was a busy first week girl. I think you did great given all that travel and jet lag. Ugh. So are you happy to be back in Belgium? Missing the Canadian winter yet? LOL!
    I like both those topic ideas but you are right, it sounds like 3 time consuming posts each week. You are amazing at photography, you could also do a Photo Friday (or any day) where you just post one, inspiration photo (yours or someone else’s) and you could (but no need) to include how it inspires you – or just post the photo. You could do a vlog for your movie review – fun and different. Do a weekly post on food or restaurant of the week that you enjoyed or recipe you tried. Or what about something on music or youtube videos – funny or inspirational? Hmmm…tweet me if you want to brainstorm back and forth – sometimes bouncing ideas about your hobbies and interest with someone can help you narrow in on something. 🙂
    LOVE the guest post idea – fantastic! Looking forward to reading them…

  13. That’s one book I really look forward to read, to tell you the truth! 🙂 Also struggling with the amounts of blogs I read, but as you say… hard to let go!

  14. Oh no, our sponsor secrets are out! 😉 Thankfully, there are SO many participants that it really would be nearly impossible for any one sponsor to visit all of them. It seems like the ROW80 community grows and grows.

    I think that coming up with your blog’s focus is a challenge. I used to blog 3 times a week, and now I’m down to 2. But I’ve wondered about adding back that 3rd day. The problem I had is what you mention. If I do that, I need a topic that won’t take the hours-long process that the others do. Best wishes finding what works for you! As to reading blogs, I also have a hard time getting through the ones I’m subscribed to, and I know I’m missing some other great blogs that I could be reading! I’ve learned to scan and can figure out pretty quickly whether a post is something that (1) I want to read, (2) I want to comment on, (3) I want to retweet. Good luck with that, Nicole!

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