~ 9 years of blogging turned into books ~Recently, Karen at This Old House 2, asked about blogging and is it dying due to other social media? I've been blogging since 2005, had my share of ups and downs, good comments and not so good comments and still enjoy the process. Some years ago, I blogged about leaving blog land; Kathy, Cedar Pond, encouraged me to continue and I'm glad I took her advice. Dave always enjoyed the blog documentation of our farm and lives; now that he's dead, it means all that more to me.
"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" so says Jack Lewis. In November 2011 Dave died suddenly of a heart attack and this quote brought, and brings, me much solace.
My blog into soft cover books were done by Blog 2 Print and contain front and back photos varying from valley views to photos of the house to, in 2011, a photo of Dave and I while we were in the Azores, islands about 1,000 miles off the Portugal coast. Book prices begin at around $15 and, depending upon what one wants, can go upwards of $100.00. Each of my books cost around $95 to $125 and, yes, that's expensive but I chose to go without other things so I could do this one thing. I will never regret that decision! If you visit their website, they'll give you a 15% coupon which helps. They also have some sort of Rewards program which I'm too stupid to understand -wry smile-.
My comment on Karen's post: "...about the only blogging "rules" I follow are "Keep it nice". If others want to follow a bunch of rules, fine by me but don't try to impose them on me; to each their own. I started blogging in the dark ages of 2005; an acquaintance was blogging and she said it was fun. Along the way, I blogged that I was thinking of stopping and a reader sent me a kind note imploring me to continue, so I have. I'm grateful to her for helping me make that decision; when Dave was alive, he loved reading my blog and took an enormous amount of pleasure in how our days/farm were being documented. Since his death, it's been an enormous source of comfort to me. As you know, I've often written Dave "blog letters" where I poured out my grief stricken heart and worked through the emotional pain and turmoil. I've had my blog made into soft cover books and they too have been a source of comfort. I also blog to sharpen my photography and writing skills and watermark my photos because they are MINE. Like others, I've had them stolen and watermarking them makes it a tad more difficult for the thief. I'm proud of my work, why wouldn't I want to take credit for it?
Finally, I've met a lot of lovely people in "blog land" and have visited some of them in person. I've stayed with Mags and her family in Ireland, Timi and her family traveled by train from their village in Hungary to the city of Budapest and we spent two lovely days together; Jane and Lance opened their home and we shared a delicious luncheon in Budapest.
Blogging has brought a huge world to a more manageable level and has given me untold joys. Christian sisters, whom I'll never met this side of the veil, pray for me and I for them. When Dave suddenly died, people around the world tucked me into prayer and those prayers, heard by a sovereign God, sustained me.
It's like anything else in life. It can be used for good or evil; I choose good and my life has expanded in ways I could never have dreamt. Is blogging dead or dying? Perhaps but for those with eyes to read and hearts to share blogging will never die."
This photo of Thistle Cove Farm was taken 2 or 3 miles, as the crow flies, away from the farm. Every now and again, I'll take a drive throughout the valley, camera in hand, and amuse myself by taking photos; a lot of those photos end up on the blog, in the books and on the book covers. Also, all my books have the tag line "The View From My Window, My Cup Overflows" on the front spine. There are two years left to print and one change I made with the 2011 book was to have the year printed on the cover. How much easier it is to find what I'm looking for when the date is on the cover, or spine, of the book!
I've mentioned, too many times, how I'm gathering the information gleaned after Dave's death, into a book. It's a far lengthier process than I'd first imagined due, in part, to the fact I'm still uncovering things that need processing and finishing. Just recently, I found several items that Dave never finished for his mother's estate and she died in 2008! Additionally, I found several items for Dave's estate and, for both estates, my lawyer has to petition the court to re-open the files and have me appointed Executor so both estates can be finished. AAAHHHGGGG doesn't begin to cover my emotional status!
Added to that particular mix is the fact I have absolutely no clue how to publish a book. I don't have an agent...do I need an agent?...I don't have a publisher...do I self-publish, e-publish, publish a hardback or a spiral note book type that can be placed on the table and, along with a 3-ring notebook be fully utilized particular to each person or family's needs? If you have any ideas or comments or help...whatsoever...please chirp.
Finally (you say...finally! -smile-), Leigh, has written 5 Acres & A Dream The Book - The Challenges of Establishing a Self-Sufficient Homestead. I've looked through the table of contents and it's packed full of useful information. Somewhere in Southern Appalachia (hey, we could be neighbors!) Leigh and her family live on a 5 acre homestead where they live an agrarian lifestyle. We share many similar interests both in the home and on the land and, to date, she's sold more than 1,100 books since first published in December. If I were starting out, her's would be the book I would buy, read and heed.
Why do you blog? Please comment here and then write a post on why you blog and, if you have your blog printed, let me know it worked for you.
Blessings ~ the myriad women and men whom I've met in blog land and in reality ~ my blog into books ~