Tag Archives: Amazon

WordPress Insights, or helloooooooo out there…


It’s a weird idea to write a blog. I started this one when blogs were relatively new, and I used to have a separate MS blog (“Musings of a MadSow”) back when blogger was a thing…The latter was a place where I could whine about various things about my Multiple Sclerosis – I’d been newly diagnosed and much seemed unjust and strange at the time. (It still does, mind you – I’m just quieter about it).

This one started as an exploratory thing, writing practice, a place for me to dump my thoughts and see how they floated. I’ve done crazy things with it, like try to write a profile of all those countries you see as you scroll down the lists when you sign up for things…(for ex: https://wordpress.com/post/dorothyanneb.com/1931) – that was interesting – for me anyway – and I still have ever so many countries to investigate. Sadly, many of them will be gone as tidal waters rise. Quite terrifying to see how many places will simply be drowned in the next few years. But I digress…

I’ve written about travels and parenting and dating and living alone, about the pandemic and Christmas and politics. In short, it’s been all over the place, grounded only in my mad brain and its various wobbles.

So it’s been interesting to look at the WordPress analytics and see where I’ve touched people, what seems to interest them, how they responded. It’s worth a look to see what tags grabbed attention, what links made people look.

Oddly, one of the most popular terms that sent people to my site was “heffalumps and woozles”! Who’d have guessed that? In any case I am now going to include a reference to h and w in every blog post just to drive traffic…

Scariest animation ever. Hmm. Reminds me of a certain elephant-themed political party…

I also found out how much I’ve earned from the ads that pop up on the site. I get a minuscule amount per click through and I have made an astounding $1.90!! Almost as good as my Kindle Unlimited income which seems also to be an astonishingly small amount (buy Recycled Virgin here and enjoy contributing to my coffee fund as well?)(You’d also be encouraging me to finish the others in the series which at present are languishing…)

Of course, none of this money is paid out until it reached some astonishing number like $100, a total I doubt I will achieve in my lifetime. One can dream of post-mortem success, but really, who will that help? If there is an afterlife, it must be crammed with artists ranting about how they lived in poverty and look, NOW people pay for their work! It must be tremendously annoying. I imagine Van Gogh is particularly incensed.

Not that I am living in poverty, I hasten to add. If you have extra money, please DO share it with people really living in poverty.

In. any case, I thank WordPress for its lovely analytics and its interesting if somewhat depressing statistics.

Do you blog? What were your most often searched for terms? Do people read your blog? Or is it all for you?

So impressed…


I had the very good fortune to meet Judy Penz Sheluk some years ago at the fabled  (and sadly, deceased) Bloody Words Mystery Writers Conference. We’ve kept in touch since and I always like to hear from her, but lately she has zoomed on, winning all sorts of awards for her second novel, and I just had to mention her here both to say congrats and bask in reflected glory. You see, we once had a discussion over Tim’s oatmeal and she taught me about that, too. (It is surprisingly good.) I’ve learned a lot from Judy.

She’s a powerhouse. Just sitting by her sets your energy to a high vibrate – she is kind and encouraging, but she just goes. It’s like driving on a highway next to a Porsche. You feel the slipstream and you want to go faster, too.

An example is her website: (click on the image)websiteheader3

It’s stunning (as are her awards). In addition to writing two excellent novels and countless short stories, she’s got marketing down, big time (as the evil T would say). I watch from the sidelines, feeling the breeze and appreciating the energy. She is a professional writer. Me, an amateur. I rather suspect it will be ever thus. For one thing, she gets things done. For another, she gets a ton of things done. Me, I dabble. (ergo my Masters degree and no PhD – focus is difficult, and I hate paperwork.)

It’s well worth spending some time on Judy’s website, even now during Nanowrimo. For one thing, you will see how a professional website should be set up. But beyond that, the site is packed full of reviews and interviews with other authors, information on the publishing journey, links to writing associations and groups, even information on antiques.

It’s utterly splendid and can give you hope when you are in deep into your November writing and realize you are hopelessly lost and you will never be good at writing and life sucks and all that – then look at Judy’s website and realize that her first novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose. was published only this year and she has another one out already , Skeletons in the Attic, and who knows where she is headed next!

The website is a motherlode of information. Everything from how to name your characters to how the whole publishing thing works. It’s written in an easy, “you can do it” tone, and I find it cheering to see all the new release reviews.

Of course, I’m still toiling away at my books and stories, being more of a Ford Focus (go fast occasionally, slow right down unexpectedly) kind of writer. I’m glad I get to see Judy whipping past on the left.  I know she’s working hard, doing all the things she should. It is wildly impressive. Check out her site. You’ll be impressed, too.

Better still, read her books. I don’t usually read cozy mysteries as I prefer my mysteries darker and colder, but Judy’s are turny and twisty enough I can’t see what’s happening until the end. I like that. Plus now I want to own an old house and an antique shop and live in a small town. I want to hang out with her characters and slap the bad ones. I can’t wait for novel number THREE!

For now, THREE cheers to you, Judy, for your well-deserved successes. I hope you don’t mind if I look on and maybe learn a few tips!

 

 

Wandrin’ Star


By now probably all of you have seen the ad by Amazon, with the tousle-haired man and his dog with the broken leg. It’s sweet but the song attached to it seems an odd choice (well, except that the dog wants to wander and can’t, poor wee thing). It’s catchy, though and sticks in the head. For those of you who wonder how the rest of it goes, here it is: (click on the first lines for a link to the Youtube of Lee Marvin singing it…)

I was born under a wandrin’ star
I was born under a wandrin’ star
Wheels are made for rolling, mules are made to pack
I’ve never seen a sight that didn’t look better looking back
I was born under a wandrin’ star

Mud can make you prisoner and the plains can bake you dry
Snow can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry
Home is made for coming from, for dreams of going to
Which with any luck will never come true
I was born under a wandrin’ star
I was born under a wandrin’ star

Do I know where hell is, hell is in hello
Heaven is goodbye forever, its time for me to go
I was born under a wandrin’ star
A wandrin’ wandrin’ star

When I get to heaven, tie me to a tree
For I’ll begin to roam and soon you’ll know where I will be
I was born under a wandrin’ star
A wandrin’ wandrin’ star
Read more: http://artists.letssingit.com/lee-marvin-lyrics-born-under-a-wandering-star-zfs6zf2#ixzz3y79V5jpL

I’m feeling that restlessness again. I don’t know whether it is winter or cabin fever or my lack of success with knitting broad-amyut I feel the need to stretch my legs. Somehow.

The other song that keeps running through my head is the Rose Vaughan Trio’s Restless as a River, a lovely tune with a haunting melody that sounds just like water over river rocks. And then there’s Rawlin’s Cross‘s Open Road, a song I listened to obsessively when I was contemplating divorce so many years ago…:

 If you want to you could stay, dream your life away
Counting the old memories you have stowed
But if you could be what you could be, you’d be just as good as free
I think it’s time you hit the open road

Chorus:
Open road, carry me
And take me where I can be free
Lead me where I’ve got to go
To the end of the open road

The future sits beside you, whisper in your ear
Telling you that now it’s time to go
But I don’t know how far you’ll get before sunset
I just know it’s time you hit the open road

Leave the past and let it wait, do not hesitate
Take your time and time will take your load
There’s nothing here for you but the memories and the blues
I think it’s time you hit the open road

I don’t know. Maybe it’s the Sagittarius in me, or maybe it’s from years of wandering as a military spouse, but for a while now I’ve felt the need to shift my location. I’m not sure where as yet. Will it be to Wolfville, small College town in the Annapolis Valley? Will it be elsewhere? Where?

I love it here. I love the people I’ve met and gotten to know. But there’s something… Perhaps, like Vianne Rocher in Chocolat, it’s the tricky north wind that calls me to travel, to experience something new. To force myself out of the comfort of routine, to encourage me to step bigger, to take chances, to expand my view. Or maybe to tighten my view, live somewhere smaller, somewhere where I can walk places, where there are birds other than pigeons to see.

Perhaps I can do this here. Perhaps I can’t. I only know there is something not sitting quite right here in my lovely cozy spacious apartment in the city, despite the friends around me. Like a pebble in my shoe, it pesters. I can push it to the side, ignore it for a while, but it’s still there…

not-all-who-wander

Speaking of e-publishing…


ImageWay back when I started in this biz, all the magazines kept saying to read read read in their area before you decided to write anything. So I read read read mysteries and thrillers and literary novels and short stories.

I still do that now, sometimes, it may be said, to the detriment of my own writing. But there are such glories in the ebook world that I could wallow endlessly for free and enjoy.

For those not quite yet in the know, you should check out the sites below. Free books or cheap ones are available for the cost of a review – I know they expect good ones, but I’ve tried to stay honest (without being too cruel) and they still send me books, so I think you can write pretty much how you feel.

What I love best about these places is that they give me access to authors and genres and stories that I might never have found otherwise. We tend, when buying books, to try for the sure thing, the ones we know will bring us good value. I used to pick my books by thickness, which meant I missed novellas and short stories – I read too fast to make it economical to buy these.

It makes it hard for new writers to get a toehold. Through these venues, even the starting out writer can get some feedback on their novel – you can release it and withdraw it and fix it if you want, based on comments, until you get the thing right – provided you’re the one doing the book. It’s a great way to get your book read, especially if you are with a smaller publisher or whatever.

Of course we all know Amazon books and their program.They work with CreateSpace to produce your book and select titles to highlight.

Library thing – get signed up for their early readers program as well as the members giveaways.

Smashwords – many authors release their works through here for free or low cost

NetGalley – become a member and they put these wonderful books in front of you and you can request them. I’ve only been denied once but I have a lot of reviews to write as all the books look so tasty I had to ask for them.

Goodreads – everyone should be on here.

Penguin – has now started circles of reviewers for different genres – you join the circle through google and apparently get to review books – it’s totally new so I’m not sure how it will work. I’m in the Penguin.ca mystery circle, for example.

Public libraries have ebooks, too, and if you are wanting people to read what you’ve written you might consider donating a copy of your ebook to them.

It’s all about being read, and supporting other authors by reading them. All wonderful.

And using a lot of time…but in a good way…now if only I could get myself organized to put something of mine on one of these places!