Friday, March 21, 2014

Redesigned my Blog - Thoughts? Plus, a Self Lovin' Bloghop!

Well, guys, I redesigned my blog!

I thought it was a bit *too* much blue before (I know, I didn't think it was possible either). I still wanted to keep blue as the main color but I wanted a cleaner look to the blog. I also really, really wanted to make the blog feel more homey, inviting, and warm (which is why I tried using brown wherever possible), but it's hard to pull off with blue being the main color. Sigh. So I don't think I succeeded in that. I just want my blog to be a fun, at-home place to be. Also, the top header is blurry because I used a really crappy method to make it. Shout out to Lisa who so amazingly tried to make it look better! I'm still tinkering with it so maybe it'll get better. I also added some more pages to the above bar, such as My Books and Contests, and I really like those :)

Tell me what you think of the redesign!


The fantastic Tara Watson has created a Self Lovin' Bloghop which I took part in!

Here's the description of the bloghop pulled from her blog post.

The Self Lovin' Bloghop

"Being a writer is hard, and often lonely. And it's far too easy to go through the last scene/chapter we wrote and spy everything that's wrong with it--and then some. There've been plenty of times I've looked something over and thought it was lower than garbage, like that part of my hard drive should be wiped free of its slimy ooze. Even after sharing it with my closest writerly friend who point out it's great stuff and they wouldn't suggest changing much, if anything, I often still can't see what they see.

"But you know what? I believe writers are driven to it for a reason. There's just something inside us that makes it natural for us to write. You may be a hack with grammar but silence crowded parties with your storytelling abilities. Maybe your characters come out looking like Flat Stanley but you can write an epic saga without a single grammar mistake or typo. Perhaps show vs. tell eludes you after years of slapping out words, but your plotting skills are the bomb. Your description is bland but your tension makes even the computer sweat as it waits for you to get to the end of the scene.

"You know the best part? All of the formers can be fixed and made better with time and writing. (Just keep writing, just keep writing...) so you're already half way there! Never give up!

"So please share with us what you're good at. There's something--I know there's something--no matter how small you think it is."

I think that I'm good at capturing emotions and having the reader experience strong emotions as well. I think, in all my history of getting critiques, the best (or at least in the top three) comment I got was, "You're really good at emotions," or something like that. It was a simple comment and all the way from my first horrendous manuscript, but I still remember it. Generating emotion in the reader is so important to me because I'm emotionally affected by my novels. I want readers to be affected as well. And hearing that I can do this seriously makes me so, so, so happy.

Also, I think I've grown in my prose! My first manuscript was horrible. I mean, horrible. The prose was disgusting. But I think it was partially because I hadn't found the genre my writing style was suited to, and partially because I just didn't write enough. I think my prose and writing have gotten much better and I'm really proud of that.

*pats self on back*

There! I self loved :) It's actually harder than you think! But I think it's truly important to do this once in a while - concentrate on your strengths. Tara, your bloghop is crucial for so many writers. Too often we get bogged down in what we can't do. We feel ashamed or arrogant for being proud of what areas we excel in. We don't tell people about it. We shout out our weaknesses but keep our strengths to ourselves. It's just what writers are supposed to do. Concentrating on your weaknesses is important. But, for sanity's sake, don't ignore your strengths.

Thank you so much Tara for doing this! I know I'm going to sleep smiling, now, because of it.

What are your thoughts on my blog's redesign? Do you feel self loving is important? (And how about this first day of spring. Here, near Chicago, it snowed. Yes, it snowed. And four hours later it was sunny and spring-like. The next day, it's sixty degrees. WHAT.)


  1. I'm so glad you're smiling. And thank you for joining in! I hadn't planned it, but after seeing the responses I'm going to do a follow-up post on this hop sometime next week. It was rather eye-opening.

    Emotion is no easy feat in writing, and oh-so important, so that is an extremely good asset!

    I think the blog looks fantastic. More streamlined, cleaner.

  2. I LOVE your new design---It looks very professional! And I agree, you have to reinforce your believe in your own worth from time to time. That's very important!

  3. Definitely love the new design!! Well done :)
    Emotion is what the story is all about - so you're well on your way!!

  4. I like the design. I don't know if homey comes to mind, but it's fun and crisp- like a fresh, sunny morning!

    I think writing emotion is a huge plus. I sometimes have trouble with that. It's not an easy thing to learn, so that pat on the back should be a solid one...just don't hurt yourself :)

  5. Getting strong emotions down on the page, and doing it well, is SO hard. It definitely is an amazing talent to have! And I like to new blog look. Very clean and inviting :)

  6. I think we have to get to the point where we get our validation internally, but that isn't something that's easy! Once you're published, the rejection comes in the form of revisions, bad reviews, and rejections on subsequent we have to find that belief in ourselves to keep going.

  7. This will be short and sweet. Sorry.

    Love the new look!

  8. I like it. I had to re-do my blog a few years ago for the same reason. Simple is best.

  9. It WAS a great idea - Tara is a wise writer! And I agree, it was harder than I thought to do :) I love your self-love post, though. So honest and positive, and a lot of hard work shining through.

  10. Awesome self-lovin'! And I like your new blog design :-)