Tag Archives: Blog

Restructuring My Blog

Those of you who follow me regularly may have noticed that I haven’t been posting at my regular rate lately. Normally, I post twice a week, once on Monday and once on Thursday. However, for the past month or so, I’ve only posted on Mondays and let Thursday go to the wayside. This was largely because of burnout. I just couldn’t muster the strength to post as much as I should have these last few weeks. But fear not! I am returning to the Monday and Thursday schedule. However, I’m restructuring the general schedule of the blog.

 

Previously, I was publishing whatever I felt like at whatever time I felt like. Now, I’m going to give the blog a bit more structure. A Toast to Dragons is a fantasy blog dedicated to primarily fantasy literature. With that in mind, I will post reviews, be they of books, movies, or short stories, on Mondays of every week. For Thursdays, I’m going to do a little experiment. As a fantasy writer and RPG gamer—player and GM—I’m interested in world building. Over the past few years, I have developed a gaming system and a gaming world to go with it. This is also the world where most of my stories are set. So, for the foreseeable future, I’m going to begin uploading details and specifications of the world I have developed and am developing. It will be intended to be used as an instructive example for the art of world-building. In the drop-down menu above, I’m going to collect every blog I write on the topic in a single page (or group of pages) of links for easy access.

 

The world in question is, of course, the world of Athron, home to the city of Drisdak and the vampire Lucian val Drasmyr. In terms of flora and fauna it is a world much like our own. However, there are a plethora of profound differences, not least of which is the presence of magic and formidable monsters of myth and legend. So, enter this world at your own risk with sword at your side and shield at hand. And prepare to be tested! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

 

For the record, all material on this blog is copyrighted. I don’t mind if you use it for entertainment purposes. That is, if you want to run a D&D campaign in Athron, I won’t be offended; just don’t slap a price tag on it and start selling it as your own work. In other words, commercial use of the material on this blog by third parties is strictly prohibited.

Blogging: Is There Such a Thing as Posting Too Often?

I run a blog (this one, of course) and try to post to it at least twice a week, sometimes three times. There are a number of blogs that post far more often. Some five times a week; others, even several times a day. My purpose for blogging is to gain exposure for my writing. My blog, itself, is not supposed to be my career, but a complement to it. Other bloggers make their living off their blog. I’ve heard, and I kind of assume, that posting only once a week or less is not really worthwhile. Even posting twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, seems to be severely limiting. But, as I write fantasy literature, I’ve only got so much time to work on my blog. Twice a week (with an occasional extra) will have to do. Clearly, there is a minimum number you should post if running a blog, but is there a maximum?

Perhaps it is my technological naïvetee, but I seem to have problems keeping up with some of the more numerous blog posters. I own a smart phone, and for a while, I was following certain blogs and having the messages sent to my phone. Because they were posting so often, my inbox was being flooded with updates for each and every post. I finally broke down and set up filters that sent the blog posts to their own individual folder, so at least the primary inbox would remain clear of everything but the most essential e-mails.

I guess the answer to my question depends upon each individual consumer. For me, I like a more sparse number of postings: two or three times a week. It’s easier to keep up with and it’s easier to work into my schedule. Because keeping up on blogs, is almost as essential to my writing career as my own actual blogging. At one point, I didn’t bother following some blogs, or unfollowed others, because they just posted too much. I’ve had to rethink that strategy. I guess it was naïve for me to think that if I was going to follow a blog, I would be able to read every entry that blogger made. That seems more genuine, at least. But there are innumerable bloggers whose stats indicate they are following hundreds or even thousands of other bloggers. It’s almost like reverse spam. I do see the reason it happens, and understand why—and I will probably begin even doing it myself—but it still feels disingenuous.

Under such conditions, where people are seeking to maximize followers and maximize the blogs they follow, it seems that the best strategy is to maximize the number of posts you make. Each post has a chance of picking up more followers for your blog. But I think there is a certain innocence lost. I must wonder what happened to the blog-followers who just kept up with one or two blogs that interested them. Have they become a vanishing breed? If so, is that a good thing, or not? I honestly don’t know.

What do you think?

Another Nomination for the Very Inspiring Blog Award.

As a continuation of my post the other day, since I messed up with yesterday’s blog tour link, I’m going to nominate The Masquerade Crew for the Very Inspiring Blog award. Theoretically, they should nominate 15 other blogs in turn, but to me, that seems kind of excessive. This is only the 2nd for me on this go around. Anyway, three cheers to The Masquerade Crew (http://masqueradecrew.blogspot.com/)

Very Inspiring Blog Awards

I have been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blog Award by S. M. Colletti at the Wizard’s Tower. (Thank you very much!).

I don’t think I can quite handle nominating 15 other blogs (that seems like such a large number), so I’m going to try to nominate 14 other blogs for the Very Inspiring Blog award. I hope the rule of nominating 15 others is not too steadfast but I simply don’t follow that many blogs on a regular basis. So, in no particular order I give you;

1. http://iiteeeestudents.wordpress.com/

An insightful blogger.

2. http://biblioklept.org/

A blog that always seem to have a wide eclectic collection of thoughts, excerpts, drawings, and other things related to the world of literature.

3. http://everyuselessthing.wordpress.com/

A blog full of witty commentary about life and other not-so serious subjects.

4. http://booksnobbery.wordpress.com/

A quirky, personable lady who cracks me up every time I read her.

5. http://thatfantasyblog.com/

A blog about Fantasy and other interesting things.

6. http://jelowder.wordpress.com/

The blog of the author of the book “The War of Whispers,” which I think is a really cool title; but it is a book I have yet to read.

7. http://eleventhstack.wordpress.com/

A menagerie of interesting things from book reviews to random lists of literary type things.

8. http://www.infinitecurio.com/

A book about literature and the wonders of the written word.

9. http://ileandrayoung.com/

A writer of fantasy, comedy, and vamp-fiction. Be warned, though, she also pens some more adult content than is suitable for the very young.

10. http:/bfgb.wordpress.com/

A collection of book reviews.

11.http:/madeofbooks.wordpress.com/

A blog about literature and books.

12. http://sheamacleod.wordpress.com/

Everything’s better with Dragons. What else need be said?

13. http://sophieetallis.wordpress.com/

An author’s blog about writing.

14. http://lindseyclarke.wordpress.com/

Paranormal thriller writer, reluctant poet and nice but dim blogger.

Three Things Not To Do When You Are Running A Blog

Thinking of starting a blog? You are chock full of ideas and chomping at the bit to get things done? Good for you. I know how you feel. However, there are a few things you should consider before you get started. And in the interest of enlightening the public mind, I figured I would share some of the things I’ve learned from my blogging experiences. This is actually the third blog I’ve run, and it is, by far, the most successful, not that I’m swimming in cash because of it, or even have hordes upon hordes of followers because of it, but I have learned a few things along my journey and I have kept at this one longer than any of the others. So, without further ado (or is it adieu?), I present my list of three things NOT to do when running a blog.

 

1) Write An On-Line Novel: I see these things scattered throughout the Internet. Young writers burgeoning with ideas and enthusiasm want to get people hooked on their writing and begin a story that will span blog-entry after blog-entry. I never read these things. And I know why. Because I tried it once on my MySpace account several years back. I just started writing. I told a pretty long story over dozens and dozens of entries. I had a few followers, but not many. The thing is, it gets harder and harder to get new followers the longer and longer the story is, because each new follower must be intrigued enough with your writing and story to go all the way back to the beginning of the story and start there. I know when I’m reading things on-line, if there is much more than 1000 words on a post, I’m likely to lose interest. The idea of going back to Chapter One of a fifteen chapter story doesn’t appeal to me at all. Maybe it’s just me, and other people like that kind of stuff, but I was never very successful at it and I think the above is the reason why. So, unless you have god-like writing skills, I would advise against this approach.

 

2) Fail To Pace Yourself: This is one of the things I found out early on: pacing is everything when it comes to blogging. Anyone can start out and write one blog a day, seven days a week, for two weeks in a row. It’s week three that’s the problem. Then, week four. And so on. It will take some experimenting to find exactly the amount of writing you are comfortable with (in my case, it took several failed blogs) but once you do so, you can put your blog almost on auto-pilot. At the barest minimum, you should have a new post at least once a week. Anything less, and it probably won’t be followed.

 

3) Write Blog Posts As They Are Due: To be fair, some blogs, like political blogs, require this approach. You have to keep abreast of events as they occur in real time. No one wants to read your thoughts on the vice-presidential debate two months after it occurred. But some blogs, and mine happens to be one of them, benefit from a certain degree of timelessness. Novels can pretty much be reviewed at any time (well, this is mostly true: the early bird will get a few extra hits, but the late bird can still feed). Silly, random posts on what it would be like to be a Vampire Dragon J can be written at any time. If you recognize this, and you see the opportunities in your blog for posts like this, you can plan ahead and write out posts several weeks in advance. In my case, I have a cushion of about three or four weeks of blog posts pre-written that merely must be uploaded to my site. This saves me a lot of stress and energy. I highly recommend doing something similar, if you can.

 

Anyway, those are a few thoughts on blogging. I have more, but I want to keep this post manageable.

Announcement: Facebook and Blogfest

I have two announcements that I should have announced earlier in the week, but kept forgetting about. It wasn’t entirely my fault, but I could have been more proactive. So, here they are:

Facebook Fan Page Established: Yes, I’ve finally gotten around to it. I’ve started a fan page for my book, Drasmyr, on Facebook. You can find it at: http://www.facebook.com/Drasmyr. The fan page will contain cool things related to the book; specifically, I’ll be periodically listing excerpts, a cool quote or two, and even the occasional vampire poll. I’m still learning the ropes on the Facebook Fan Page, so it may take a while before things start going smoothly, but I’m a quick learner.

Long and Short Reviews Haunting Halloween Blogfest: “A Toast to Dragons” will be participating in a Halloween Blogfest at Long and Short Reviews (you may remember them; they reviewed my book, Drasmyr, here) this year. I wrote a short short story (under 1000 words) entitled “A Woman Scorned,” which will be posted on the LASR website on 11/1 at 10 a.m. (I will post a link that day). In the meantime, from 10/29/12 – 11/2/12 dozens of authors in all genres will be blogging at Long and Short Reviews!Every post will be offering a prize… all you have to do is leave a comment on the guest blog in question. One comment will be chosen at random at every blog to win — it might be you! So don your best costume and come party with us at the Halloween Blogfest. Note: For “A Woman Scorned,” the prize will be awarded to a commenter at the guest blog at the LASR site, NOT the normal biweekly blog at “A Toast to Dragons” which is due out the same day. For more information on the Blogfest go here: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/promo.htm.

The prize “A Toast to Dragons” is offering for one lucky commenter on “A Woman Scorned” is a set of metal miniatures; specifically, a pair of vampire counts and a pair of vampire slayers from the Classic Vampire Wars line by West Wind Productions Gothic Horror.

Landmark Reached: 100 plus Blog Followers

I should do a jig and a dance. Yesterday, I got my 100th follower for my blog. Actually, today it’s up to 101. Good things are a-happening! Woo hoo! Thanks to all of you who read my blog. It’s great fun writing it, and I’m glad you all enjoy it. Again, thank you!

Reminder: Book Review Blog Tour Approaching for Drasmyr

Drasmyr Blog Review Tour

Check out the Drasmyr Blog Review Tour.

Reminder: Goddess Fish Promotions will be sponsoring a blog tour for my book, “Drasmyr,” during the latter half of August. The tour will begin on August 20th and will last until August 31st. It will be a Book Review Only Tour, meaning that every visit will be a review of my book. Below is the blog tour schedule, as it stands now: currently 2 slots remain to be filled. Hopefully, we’ll get word on those shortly. I’ll be posting links to the blog host of the day as they occur. Also, make sure you check out the sponsor of the whole tour–Goddess Fish Promotions–it wouldn’t have been possible without them.

Also, I will be awarding one randomly chosen commenter on the tour (for those who comment on the tour sites—not atoasttodragons) with a small box of metal miniatures from the Vampire Wars Series. It consists of four metal miniatures of vampire counts and vampire slayers. They are excellent for collecting, or to use in gaming.

Blog Tour Schedule

 

Thanks. And hope to see you on the tour!

Reminder: Drasmyr Book Review Blog Tour

Drasmyr Blog Review Tour

Check out the Drasmyr Blog Review Tour.

Reminder: Goddess Fish Promotions will be sponsoring a blog tour for my book, “Drasmyr,” during the latter half of August. The tour will begin on August 20th and will last until August 31st. It will be a Book Review Only Tour, meaning that every visit will be a review of my book. Below is the blog tour schedule, as it stands now: currently 5 slots remain to be filled. Hopefully, we’ll get word on those shortly. I’ll be posting links to the blog host of the day as they occur. Also, make sure you check out the sponsor of the whole tour–Goddess Fish Promotions–it wouldn’t have been possible without them.

Also, I will be awarding one randomly chosen commenter on the tour (for those who comment on the tour sites—not atoasttodragons) with a small box of metal miniatures from the Vampire Wars Series. It consists of four metal miniatures of vampire counts and vampire slayers. They are excellent for collecting, or to use in gaming.

Blog Tour Schedule

 

Thanks. And hope to see you on the tour!

Upcoming Blog Tour

Drasmyr Blog Review Tour

Check out the Drasmyr Blog Review Tour.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Goddess Fish Promotions will be sponsoring a blog tour for my book, “Drasmyr,” during the latter half of August. The tour will begin on August 20th and will last until August 31st. It will be a Book Review Only Tour, meaning that every visit will be a review of my book. Below is the blog tour schedule, as it stands now: currently 3 out of 10 slots are filled. Hopefully, the rest will follow. I’ll be posting links to the blog host of the day as they occur. Also, make sure you check out the sponsor of the whole tour–Goddess Fish Promotions–it wouldn’t have been possible without them.

Also, I will be awarding one randomly chosen commenter on the tour (for those who comment on the tour sites—not atoasttodragons) with a small box of metal miniatures from the Vampire Wars Series. It consists of four metal miniatures of vampire counts and vampire slayers. They are excellent for collecting, or to use in gaming.

Blog Tour Schedule

August 21: Indie books at shardpubs blogspot
August 22: DanaSquare
August 24: White Sky Project

Thanks. And hope to see you on the tour!