Tuesday, August 20, 2013

NaNonFiWriMo. Wha...?

I was recently featured in an article by Amanda Socci on Write Nonfiction in November. The focus of the article was to provide a writing prompt to profile bloggers, said bloggers including myself, Sam Kemp-Jackson, J.D. Bailey, and Jamie Meteer.

I was thrilled to be featured, and to be included with this group of highly talented bloggers. Reading the article was a very "Who, ME???" moment, and although it came out nearly a week ago while I was on vacation, I still feel a bit elated.

But enough about my elation, let me take a minute to answer Amanda's interview questions...

Holy cow, Amanda, I feel so honored that you've chosen me for this!

All I have to say is create opportunities, be sexy, ....

Oh wait, that was Ashton Kutcher's speech.

Never mind.

How about if I just answer your questions?

1) With so much going on in your life with your children and farm, it is surprising that you have time to write! How do you manage to squeeze in writing time?

I guess I consider writing what I do for fun and down time, so the question is really how I manage to find time for the children and the farm, because the writing is what I WANT to be doing.

(2) You write at length about adoption and medical issues in a way that is informative yet heartfelt. Would you consider yourself an inspirational writer? Why or why not?

No, not really. If people find my writing inspirational, wonderful, but I don't set out to inspire with what I write. I just write the stuff of my life.

(3) How did you get started hosting blog hops? What have you learned along the way?

I started participating in blog hops a while back and found that they were a wonderful source of traffic for my blog. When one of the hop hosts announced she was looking for a new co-host, I threw my hat in. In addition to co-hosting that one, I also "guest-hosted" a few others from time to time. Although I have since bowed out of co-hosting, I enjoyed my time doing it, although it was certainly a commitment in time and effort.

(4) Your blog posts are more than ready to be republished into a series of nonfiction books. Your style is lovely, intimate, and always endearing. Do you think people would enjoy reading about the adventures of your farm, your children, and your many witty life observations in a printed book format?

I'm flattered that you think so, Amanda! That is something worth considering, although that would have to go on the back burner for a spell. Since going back to work, it's been pretty hard keeping up with the writing. Queries and submissions have ground to a halt for me for now, and even the blogging itself has slowed substantially. Still, thanks for that vote of confidence!

(5) What is the overall goal you have for your blog? How do your children feel about you blogging personal details about your life experiences?

Hmmm, two questions in one number.  Tricky, Amanda, tricky! 
My short term goals for the blog would be to recommit to a schedule, which has fallen to the wayside recently due to work. The schedule is important to me because I know readers "tune in" for different reasons, such as farm, large family, adoption. Without keeping to a schedule, it's hard for me to deliver focused content in a consistent way. Long range, of course, I'd like to increase my followers and my page views, but mostly because it's nice to have an "impressive" number on the page when sending out query letters.
As far as my kids, they seem to find it pretty cool for the most part. We were recently recognized from the blog when we were away on vacation about 400 miles from home, and they felt like celebrities!

(6) You claim to write all over the place but yet, you manage to keep some sort of schedule. How do you reconcile these seemingly distinct left and right brain habits?

Because there is so much chaos in my life, I craves me some structure. I can't always get it at home, so I strive to get it in other places like my blog. And like I said above, it helps not only myself, but my readers, as well.

(7) You’ve been blogging for a long time but it seems that you really increased production in 2012. What changed for you in 2012? Did the popularity of your blog inspire you to write more or did something else push you to write more?

In April 2012 I took part in Robert Lee Brewer's Platform Challenge. It pushed me to learn new things and helped me to grow my readership. In querying agents, I learned that size really does matter, and they all wanted to see a bigger following. So I kicked things into overdrive with what I had learned in the challenge, and as a result I was able to quadruple my monthly page views. In addition, interacting more with my readers through comments and email spurred me to give the blog more and more attention. It has really become a part of me.

(8) How did you get to live on a farm? Were you raised in a farm setting? Did you marry into a farm lifestyle? Why do you consider your lifestyle to not be like those who live on “authentic farms”?

I was raised on the beach (Jersey shore), not a farm, but I have always had a bottomless love for animals of all kinds. When my husband and I moved into a rental on a small farm early in our marriage, I promptly plopped a horse in the pasture, and the floodgates were officially opened. Although at this point we have several dozen critters, I still don't consider myself an "authentic farmer" because I do not generate any income from farming. The horses are for riding (in theory), the goats are brush-cutters, the bunnies are for petting, the dogs and cats and the bird are all good-for-nothins. The chickens are the only ones who pull their weight, but they don't weigh very much, now, do they?

(9) Your style and voice are distinct and charming. Why would you allow others to write guest blog posts for a blog that is already rich with a voice that others like to read? Do you think that guest blog posts enhance or detract from your writing?

When writers approach me to ask if they can guest post, I generally say yes if the material is pertinent to what I think my readers would enjoy. I figure it helps the writer with traffic, it often boosts my numbers (particularly if it's something that "pins well"), and it provides my readers with an interesting article. Although it's not my "voice", I still consider these opportunities a win-win for everyone involved.

(10) Why is it so important for you to be considered a top blog in TopMommyBlogs? Does the title of “top blogger” fuel your writing? Do you feel some sort of validation from that title that you do not already receive from readers of your blog?

OK, it's shallow time. Top Mommy Blogs is a great source of traffic. Of course I love having a position somewhere on their first page, but regardless of my place on their pages, I generate a lot of new readers/followers from their site, so I really appreciate people taking the time to click to vote every day. But you're absolutely right, Amanda, I'm not really crazy about the moniker "Mommy Blogger. Why not just blogger? Still, of all the names I've been called in my life, I'm not going to put up too much of a fight over that one!

Thanks again, Amanda, for including me in this!!!!


Vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs? Pretty please? You know the drill by now. Just click the juggling chick and you've voted. You can vote every day till like, forever.

Top Mommy Blogs - Click To Vote!



  1. Yay! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Anne! It's good to get another person's perspective on things. Helps us shape our own thinking, too :)

    1. No, Amanda, thank YOU for including me! It was an honor, and you really fed my ego. It was hungry. Just sayin'...



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