Month: April 2014

Blogging 201: Day 14 – Events

Before I start on the final assignment, I should like to point out that Day 12 is here and Day 13 didn’t get a look in as it was about advertising, and I’m not in a position to pay for that kind of thing. So … Day 14:

Create a recurring blogging event on your site, and/or make plans to attend a blogging conference.

Now, I’ve taken part in a few blogging challenges in my time, and am currently a member of Foodie Penpals, so there’s nothing new there for me. I have often thought of running some kind of event – either literary or genealogical in nature – and then I realised that I’ve done this before.

I was a member of deviantArt for many years, which was great fun for a while but then wasn’t so much any more, but whilst I was there and it was fun I ran something called The 12 x 12 Challenge (at least one person reading this should be chuckling to himself right now) so perhaps that can be picked up and dusted off at some point this year.

I also love the idea of having some kind of Wiltshire Bloggers Conference. But I’ll need to have a think about that. A quick Google has shown that there are no events like that in any of the directories I’ve seen, and it’d take a bit of organising and marketing but possibly do-able …


Just continuing my use of Futurama-based meme type things


In a creative slump? Take a walk.

I’d certainly agree that this works for me whenever I’m in a particularly tricky situation when I’m writing.

What do you think?

World News - Breaking International News Headlines and Leaks

Walking “Walkers had more thoughts, but they also had a higher density of creative thoughts than sitters,” said one researcher. Above, hikers in the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve near Lancaster. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / April 23, 2014)

Want to get creative? Get up and go for a walk.

People generate more creative ideas when they walk than when they sit, according to a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition.

“Everyone always says going on a walk gives you new ideas, but nobody had ever proved it before,” said Marily Oppezzo, a psychology professor at Santa Clara University and the lead author of the study.

To test for creativity, Oppezzo asked volunteers (mostly college students) to come up with alternative uses for a common item like a tire or a tweezer. Creative suggestions for a button, for example, might include tiny…

View original post 467 more words

What Do You Want From Me?



Blogging 201: Day Eleven – Buddy Up

I like the idea of this assignment (I can’t exactly say “today’s assignment”!), although it freaks me out a bit … relinquishing control and all that!

Find a blogging buddy. If appropriate, plan to publish guest posts on one another’s blogs.

Therefore you won’t be surprised when I say that initially I was a bit ARGH! about this. After all, I don’t have an overarching focus for this blog, but flit between But then I realised that I had already been featuring contributors on a blog of mine!

Over on my cookery/food blog Kingdom of Appetency (sadly neglected, yes) I have several (five is several, right?) recipes posted in the Guest Post category – and I absolutely loved doing it!

But what about others? Do I get to sound like some kind of desperado? Well, yes, quite frankly …

I’ve been lucky enough to come across Cady’s blog, The Travel Lady In Her Shoes, and there’s possibly going to be a link up in the future – once we decide on which topic it’ll be!

Alex at the stunning Root To Tip will also be dropping by in the near future to talk visitations and medieval pedigrees.

Jamie at Confessions of a Writer and I were talking earlier and came upon a rather nifty idea of a post for me to write and have him host there … I’m not going to give anything away because its a bit of a corker! (That, and the fact that I have no idea when I’m going to find the time in the next week in order to actually write it!)

At the end of the day, I’ll always consider a contributed post by somebody if it suits within my focus of, er, food, gardening, genealogy or creative writing … or anything at all!

Get in touch if you think you have something interesting to say!!

Gateway Ancestors

Alex’s Root to Tip post that I shared a few days ago (what do you mean you missed it? The original is here…) has had me thinking about gateway ancestors.

A ‘gateway ancestor’ is one that links your family to one that is ennobled in some way – landed gentry, some level of aristocracy or – gasp – royalty itself. One perks of finding one of these links (or so you may think) is that these families will have been investigated and documented and pedigree’d many times in the past thus saving you effort and money. Obviously another perk is the added … cachet of having a ‘royal connection’. You can see how this fits in with Alex’s article on mistakes caused by ‘wishful thinking’ – if you had a choice would you prefer to be descended from Boleyn the fish gutter of Stockport or that other Boleyn family of some repute?

Continue reading

Blogging 201: Day 10 – Support Your Community

One thing I love about the Blogging U challenges is their focus on looking outward instead of inward, on being part of a community of bloggers. In all honesty, I find this a bit challenging, so I’m glad I have them kicking me up the butt!

Invest in your community by leaving five comments, adding (or updating) a blogroll, and introducing a comment policy.

Commenting – check.

I don’t feel as though I need a comment policy on any of my blogs so there we are.

I did add a blogroll of sorts to my garden blog, and also updated my blogroll here to with the addition of a couple more blogs as opposed to just links to sites I love!

The first is Confessions Of A Writer. I have to confess that I’ve known Jamie for many years now and am currently undertaking a writing challenge with him! But despite that he’s a wonderful writer and a credit to whatever community he takes part in.

The second is Root To Tip. Another confession: I have also known Alex for many years. This blog links to the research service that Alex and I provide, but the blog is Alex’s baby through and through and it shows how family history is not just names and dates and quantity.

The third I added was The Genealogy Girl – and I don’t know her! Amberly shares the ancestors she’s found on her genealogy journey and tips and tricks that she’s amassed during her 15 years of research.

I’m a bit behind with my Blogging 201, so Day 11 (i.e. today) will be coming later … probably!


To Err Is Human…

An excellent post by Alex at Root To Tip regarding owning up to mistakes in research and the pitfalls of ‘open source ancestors’.

Root To Tip

To Err Is Human…To Forgive Divine – Alexander Pope.

This week I got to thinking after a post over on thegenealogygirl’s blog asking what you wished you had known when you started researching your family tree. To me I didn’t necessarily wish I had known all the secrets of this great hobby/profession, because I enjoyed the process of learning all about it. From simple beginnings to gradually learning more and more and eventually making something of a career from it. However, in the early days I made mistakes, there were small errors and at times whole chunks of trees that had to be deleted and then started from scratch again, and I gave myself such a hard time about it. I felt so stupid, especially if I had found out something really interesting and had yabbered on to all and sundry about it, and then to find out that…

View original post 2,492 more words

Blogging 201: Day Nine – Make Your Home A Hub

The title of today’s assignment has reminded me of a song by Edie Brickell (she of the New Bohemians) entitled “She”. The only reason being the last few lyrics. “but a house is not a home / and a home is not a house / when there’s not enough room for you“. Which bears little or no resemblance to the actual details for today …

Create a page or section on your blog to display links to your online presence elsewhere, and make sure your other presences reflect the brand you’re developing on your blog.

I am all over this.

You want me?

You got me.

As for consistent brand presence … Not so much, I have to say. If and when my writing ‘career’ takes off then I’ll have a bit of a rejig regarding seld-promotion and whatnot. I’ve definitely learnt a few tricks from doing both this and Zero to Hero. But the two A Wiltshire Garden areas (WP and FB) are connected, and I’ll be working on those some more, I think, over the next few weeks/months. The others are more … personal. Stalking is allowed, but I’d rather you said hi and let me know you’re there.

And no, you’re not getting my personal Facebook.

Unless you ask.

From the awesome Maudit

From the awesome Maudit

Blogging 201: Day Eight – Social Schedule

I have to say, after yesterday, I ummed and ahhed about even writing up today’s assignment:

Create a 30-day plan for how you’ll grow your presence (and your blog) on the social network you selected yesterday. If applicable, create a profile on the network just for your blog.

The main reason for this is that my main blog (i.e. this one that hopefully somebody other than me is reading) publishes to various different platforms and I’ve never expressly considered the need for a distinct ‘brand’ presence for this blog on them. Which may beg the question of why sign up for a ‘course’ on branding, traffic and growth – but we’ll ignore that for the time being!!

However, I recently decided to split the gardening aspect of this blog out into another one – and so created A Wiltshire Garden. As its so new, I thought I’d hit it up with a specific Facebook Page and connect the two. Very early days yet, but I’d appreciate any visits and Likes on both! No pressure …!

As for a 30 day plan on how I’ll grow the presence of AWG on Facebook … I think it’ll mainly be through sharing other Facebook posts of a similar theme, joining some Groups and cross-posting. I’d be happy if the Facebook page got 25 Likes in 3o days, but we’ll see! Is that a plan? More like a vague idea than a plan, but there we are!

Blogging 201: Day Seven – Broadcast Your Brand


Pick one social network you’ll use to help grow your blog and connect it to your site in at least one way.

One? I publicize to 4 and am also widgeted (its a word…) to another. And all up in my sidebar.

So I’m just gonna leave this here instead.