Back in Business — April 19, 2018

Back in Business

Hi folks. Sorry about the long silence. Life and all that. But after some technical failures and some reshuffling, we are back in business. There probably still won’t be much content from me here but I will put more out than I have been. I hope.

Retaking My Social Media — April 5, 2013

Retaking My Social Media

I’m taking back my social media as of today. This blog will still talk about writing, but I reserve the right to blog about whatever I like. I was going to put a caveat on that, but I don’t think I will.

You see, I’m not published yet. I don’t have an agent. I don’t need a blog to be all about writerly stuff. I should be able to blog about the nerdy things that appeal to me. So you might start seeing nerdy theorizing or rambling on here from time to time. I’ll definitely start talking about books more. (I full intend to start reading on pre-writing levels again one of these days. Soon as I get over my aversion to library books.)

So, start expecting to see stuff from me that doesn’t directly (if at all) relate to writing. This blog is titled Chronicles of a Novice Writer. I set out for this blog to be about my writing journey. That includes all the non-writing stuff that inspires me, takes my time when I go on writing hiatus, and about the stuff that does inspire my writing. Because, as is the case with Heirs of the Seven Realms, that non-writing stuff can shape the current and future course of my writing.

The Value of a Blog — March 20, 2013

The Value of a Blog

Lately, I’ve really been reconsidering whether to continue with this blog. Obviously, I haven’t posted in a while here and that’s been for a variety of reasons.

First among those is that I really feel like I don’t have anything valuable to say. This partly stems from my last blog post, the open letter on bullying. After I wrote that and kept it up, it started to feel like that was the most important thing I ever have said or ever could say again. And I just spent it on a small blog that gets a handful of page views. Sure, I could probably do more to promote the blog, but is it necessary?

Secondly, I find myself lately not reading blogs. I have blogs in my blog roll and people post. But very often, I scan the titles of their newest posts and then click mark as read in my reader. They don’t get opened and they certainly don’t get clicked-through if the author has enabled reader shortening.

Third, since I took a long break from writing I haven’t been as motivated to keep up on social media as I used to. Even when I’m drafting, social media never feels like a priority.

Honestly, the last three (almost four) years of blogging are starting to feel like they’ve been a bit of a waste. Not a colossal waste. Not a total waste. But a bit of a waste.

So if I’m quiet around here for a while longer, just know I’m still lurking and such. But I’m quiet because I’m not certain this is the most valuable spot for my voice to be.

Reciprocity and Scaling Back — February 16, 2012

Reciprocity and Scaling Back

This June will mark 3 years since I began blogging regularly.  It’s been a great ride.  Without this blog I would not be where I am today in my writing.  Nor would I have the friends I have.

But, I have to be honest with myself.  I pinned myself into a hole with making this solely about writing and related topics.  And, I’ve been sitting here watching my follower count and comments count falling steadily.

I look at these blogs and see people who have 80 comments in less than 5 minutes within posting.  They have hundreds and even thousands of followers.  Their blogs are wildly popular, the A-list blogs, the ones whose authors every blogger wants to be.

I’ve never been that person, that wildly popular person, the one everyone wanted to be.  Nor was I the one who always wanted to be that person.  Sure there were times, there still are, when I did or do.  It hurts.  You put your heart and soul into each post, trying to come up with topics and posts people will find interesting and relevant, that they’ll relate to.

And then you get 1 comment.  Or none.  It starts to feel as though no amount of commenting on other blogs will drive traffic to yours.  You question the worth and value of it all.  You wonder whether anyone would notice if you just vanished from the internet.  You even try to vanish but you can’t.

Is this right?  Absolutely.  Everything in blogging is reciprocal.  Is it the way it should be?  I don’t believe so.  It’s a process, getting to that point where you’re comfortable in your own skin, where no matter how many or few comments or hits you get, you’re okay.  That it doesn’t impact your feelings of self-worth, feelings that what you have to say is valuable and worth the pixels.

I’m blogging here.  I probably will continue to do so.  But recently I discovered Tumblr.  I love Tumblr.  I don’t feel like there’s the pressure for reciprocity there.  If someone likes or reblogs one of your posts, great.  But there’s no expectation for the back and forth.  Maybe I’m wrong in that and I’ll see it the longer I’m there.  But for now, there is so much less pressure.  I don’t have to think about whether the posts will speak to someone, whether it will spark something in someone, etcetera.

I love Tumblr.  I ❤ it.  I don't so much feel that way about Blogger and this blog.  So I'm not sure what's going to happen with this blog.

Priorities, Writerly and Not — September 25, 2011

Priorities, Writerly and Not

I’ve been re-evaluating my priorities lately.  And I found I’ve been spending too much time online.  Far, far too much time.  The internet is distracting and so is real life.

I’d rather have more real life distraction than internet distraction.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to make some changes around here.

First off, I’m no longer posting at my other two blogs.  (The photography and food ones.)  I have removed the links to them from my profile and my sidebar.  (I also hid them in my blogger dashboard.)

Secondly, I will now only be posting here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Tuesdays will be progress updates (they keep me accountable) and Thursdays will be writing-related topics.

In relation to this, I’m limiting my time reading blogs to half an hour in the mornings.  If I don’t get to yours one day you might see a comment from me pop up at random later in the week.

I’ll take time in the evenings as I have it to respond to comments on my blog.  I will be doing this via e-mail as I have all comments e-mailed to me.  If you don’t have an e-mail attached to your comment account, that means I might not be able to return a comment until Sundays when I’m off from writing and most other things, so I would actually have a little bit of spare time to kill in coming to my blog and commenting.

I’m hoping that this will help me put writing back into the number 2 spot on my priority list.  (Real life, including religion, being #1.)

Announcing… — April 19, 2010


The launch of a new blog.  Many of you asked to see some of the images I’ve captured over the course of my photography class.  I’ve done some experimenting over the weekend and my scanner is actually doing a decent job of bringing in my prints.  So, I decided to start a photography blog.  It’s linked in the sidebar, but I’ll go ahead and include the link here.

Stephanie McGee Photography

As of right now, the schedule for the blog is going to be a Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting.  One picture per post.  Maybe multiple images per post, but it just depends.  I do hope to be able to rent dark room time over the summer so I’ll get to keep shooting and having fun.  (And maintain content for the blog.)

I do hope you all enjoy this blog.

Grand Prize Drawing Winners! — December 11, 2009

Grand Prize Drawing Winners!

It is time now for the grand prize drawing.

Congratulations to Stephanie Thornton and Windy A!

Here’s a rundown of what you’ve won, just as a reminder.  E-mail me an e-mail addy where I can send your prizes.  Also be sure to let me know the topic you want me to write about for the poem and which WiP you would like a peek at.

Thank you everyone for participating this week!

Grand prize: (2 awarded)
A $15 gift certificate to Amazon
A poem of their choosing
A peek at any one of my projects listed below


Oracles Promise (YA fantasy)- in progress
Lodestar (Paranormal)- in progress
A Rose by Any Other Name (romance)- First draft done
Jack and Caitlin (short story)- in progress
…Futile (poetry)- in progress
Musings (poetry)- in progress
Migrations (poetry)- in progress
Milestone (poetry)- in progress
Painted Silence (poetry)- in progress

It’s time to party! — December 7, 2009

It’s time to party!

Woohoo!  Party time!

So, it’s weird to think that this blog’s been around for a whole year.  I really only started blogging regularly once I was out of school and basically had nothing else to do all day.  But, the official start date of this blog is October 30, 2009.

Check out the very first Chronicles post.

Or don’t.  It’s not very pretty.  Kind of makes me cringe.  I was still trying to find a direction for this blog at that point.  And no one even knew it existed back then.  *wipes tear*

OK, moving on.  Time to celebrate!  (Conga line starts in the corner.  But look out for the macarena dancers.)

Which brings us to our first contest!  Remember, today’s prize is a set of pristine-condition Alexandre Dumas books.  (Check out all the prizes here.)  You’ll get a copy of The Man in the Iron Mask and an unabridged copy of The Count of Monte Cristo.

Here’s what you have to do.

Write me the best thing you can around the phrase “Golly gee dingoes.”

Got that?  Done laughing?  Keyboard dry?

Winner earns it on merit.  What are my criteria?

The winner will be the one I deem most worthy of the warning, “Swallow all liquids.”  In other words, whichever one makes me laugh so hard I’d spew whatever I was drinking if I didn’t swallow first.

Yeah, great image.  Now you’re all fleeing for cover.

Anyways.  I’ll announce the winner in tomorrow morning’s post.  And a reminder that all comments this week garner an entry in our random drawing for the two grand prizes on Friday.

*Update: Max 1-2K words on today’s entry.  You can post it here in the comments or e-mail it to me.

Birthday Bash Prizes! — December 6, 2009

Birthday Bash Prizes!

OK, so I’ve been plotting and scheming and here are the prizes you can win this week.  (Most of them, at least.):


The Man in the Iron Mask
The Count of Monte Cristo (unabridged)


A collection of up to three poems of your choosing.  You choose the topic, I’ll write the poems.




A custom banner image, via Photoshop, using any images you want.  For use in blog title or on a website.  Your choice.  (jpeg images will be the result of this prize)


Our grand prize day!  Two lucky winners will receive:

A $15 gift certificate to Amazon
A poem of their choosing
A peek at any one of my projects listed below


Oracles Promise (YA fantasy)- in progress
Lodestar (Paranormal)- in progress
A Rose by Any Other Name (romance)- First draft done
Jack and Caitlin (short story)- in progress
…Futile (poetry)- in progress
Musings (poetry)- in progress
Migrations (poetry)- in progress
Milestone (poetry)- in progress
Painted Silence (poetry)- in progress

Each day will have its own contest for winning that day’s prizes.  Friday’s contest will consist of a random drawing.  However, each and every comment for the whole week enters you into that drawing.  (Including Friday’s.)  I’ll cut off entries at 4 p.m. MST on Friday.  At which point I’ll draw two names and announce the winners.

This week should be fun!

Belated Birthday Bash — December 5, 2009

Belated Birthday Bash

With cake!

I realized today that I’ve missed my one year blog birthday.  What many of you don’t know is that this blog began on October 30, 2008.
So, yeah, I’m a little behind.

But whatever.

To celebrate, I’m doing a whole week of contests.  Complete with prizes!

I’m still deciding on the prizes, but there will be book giveaways, gift certificates, and some other special goodies.

Two grand prizes will be given away at the end of the week.

So, tweet, retweet, facebook, blog, etc. and you could totally win!

More details to come tomorrow.  The celebration begins on Monday!