Janet Sumner Johnson
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That’s Not Me!

Aug

04, 2011 |

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A year ago (or so), I read about Google Alerts on Elana Johnson’s blog.

They are pretty cool. You choose something you’d like to google, and once a week (or however often you want to receive them), Google sends you a list of the top-ranked pages for that search term. If you don’t know how, you should definitely google it . . .that is, as soon as you’re done commenting on my blog. 😉

As a writer and blogger, for example, you can set up an alert for your name just to get an idea of where and how frequently you are mentioned. Does your blog come up when someone searches for your name (ie agents and editors)? Are any other sites referencing you?

I decided to take a leap, and I loved the results. My blog came up consistently. And often, I’d find my name mentioned on other blogs (which was always a fun surprise!). 
Anyway, fast-forward several months, and Google (the stinkers!) changed the way they do something, and suddenly, my blog is gone from the lists. Except occasionally. So instead of seeing my posts proudly displayed, I learn about other Janet Johnsons (because there are a lot of us).
Did you know that in July, a one Janet Johnson of Texas gave birth to a sixteen-pound baby! Wow.
And do you know how often I find links to my obituary? At least once a month.
Still, it is amusing, and it’s nice to know I do show up somewhere . . . even if it’s a few links down.

So do you do Google Alerts? How does your name fare?

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Lost in the Louvre

May

27, 2011 |

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You simply cannot visit Paris without stopping at the Louvre. That would be a travesty!


So of course we did. And being the world’s most famous museum (so say the French) with claims to being the largest there is a lot to see. So much, that it’s impossible to do it all in one day.

You can follow the crowds to go see its most famous painting.

Yes, that is the Mona Lisa back there . . . if you look hard enough past the crowds.

You can see crown jewels and fun swords (though the plaques say the jewels aren’t real on many of them anymore).

You can see rows upon rows of mummies.

And Sphinxes . . .

But if you aren’t careful, you can easily get lost.

Which is what happened to us. And those exit signs? They really weren’t very helpful. (I have to wonder if someone wasn’t having some fun when they posted them because we walked the same Egyptian circle at least three times. For real.)

Anywho . . . I think that the blogosphere can be a lot like the Louvre. So many great sites out there.

You can follow the crowds and find some very useful and fun ones (Adventures in Children’s Publishing, Elana Johnson’s, Jen Daiker at Unedited).

If you search a little harder, you can find some real jewels (Lenny’s World, Seeing Creative, Whole Latte Life).

Then there are those crazy bloggers that hold our fascination like the mummies (Carrie Harris, Chris Philips, Creepy Query Girl, Rambles and Randomness).

And in the crazy-big world that is the blogosphere, it’s easy to get a little lost.

But with a little luck, you’ll have made some great bloggy friends along the way. And somehow, getting lost isn’t so bad when you’ve got them for company (NTM, aka Leigh from That’s Write, Amy at The Green Bathtub, and so many others I can’t list you all. Sorry! Don’t hate me.)

So what blog and/or blogger would you want to get lost with? Share your favorites!

P.S. With Memorial Day, I won’t be around on Monday. Have a great weekend!

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Award Central

Jul

08, 2010 |

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Between my contest and the move, I’ve been hoarding a few awards. It’s always a warm fuzzy to receive an award like when someone offers you half their cookie at lunch. So, time to share the fuzzies!

Renae at The Siren’s Song; Sharon at Random Thoughts; Kris & Kels at Take My Hand; Amparo at No Rest for the Lazy; Medei Sharif; Writing Nut at Writing in a Nutshell; Julie Musil; and Alexandra at Friends and Crocodiles awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you all! I’m so flattered you would think of me.

Then Bethany Elizabeth at Ink-Splattered, and Clara at Pinches of Madness awarded me the Honest Scrap Award. I love this one. Makes me feel strong. 🙂

And finally, Medeia Sharif also awarded me the Sugar Doll Award. I feel so sweet every time I look at the one. Thank you! Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to go eat a sugar cookie . . .

Okay, I’m back. So Honest Scrap and Sugar Doll ask for 10 facts about me, and Versatile wants another 7. You’d all be bored to tears, so I’ll just offer up 7 and call it good:

  1. I don’t eat plain chocolate. Slather it over a cookie, or mix it with something and I’m good, but I can’t handle it plain. Every few years I try to eat it again, but I always have to spit it out. No go.
  2. My husband and I spent 3 months in Ecuador the first year we were married to work in orphanages. All our wedding cash went to pay for it, but it was SO worth it.
  3. I was a cheerleader in junior high. Short skirt and all. But no pom-poms. I promise I was no cliche, though. I was nice! Really. 😀
  4. I’m much better at math than I am at English. I know, weird!
  5. I’m the 4th of 5 kids . . . Did you know 4th children are always the most well-adjusted? 😉
  6. I have never been to Canada. 
  7. I hate to brag, but I can both roll my tongue and fold it. Yes, talent indeed.

Okay, so for passing these puppies on. Versatile calls for 15 people each, and the others ask for 5 . . . so doing the math (which I’m good at, remember?) . . . (8 x 15) + (5 x 2) +5, that would be 135 of you. Uh, yeah, that’s a lot. So I will be breaking some rules.

I am choosing only 5 recipients, and I am letting you choose which award you want (did Stina do that first? Fab idea):

Vicki Rocho at Rambles and Randomness. She is so fun, and not afraid to share those less-than-flattering moments. If you need a good laugh, check out her blog.

Roh Morgon at Musings of a Moonlight Writer. She is just getting started with her blog and has a fun character contest going on right now.

R. Garrett Wilson who always has interesting discussions going on. His blog makes me think, and I like that.

Justine Dell who is not only funny, but amazingly brave. She posts her query stats ON HER BLOG! I can only hope to be that brave one day.

Finally, Bekah at Bekah’s Stories who always has interesting topics going on, plus she has a Worst Query contest going on right now. How fun is that?

So phew! My fingers are numb. Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Thoughts on Peer Pressure and Caves

Jul

27, 2009 |

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So yes, after years of resisting, I have caved. I have started a blog.

It’s not that I dislike blogs, of course, or even the idea of blogging, but rather a question of where my time is best spent. Do I clean the house (not if I can at all justify otherwise), play with my children (and frustrate them by my inability to make believable weapon sounds with my mouth), work on my book (that is running through my head anyway), call someone I haven’t spoken to in ages (but how to choose among so many?), play solitaire on the computer (which really isn’t an option, but sounded funny), finish unpacking (so many boxes, so little time), or do I bag it all and start a blog?

I’m sure you can see my dilemma.

However, after weighing my options, and considering the sound advice of several friends, I have come to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, a blog is not a time vaccuum, but a way to keep friends and family informed on my life. Then, I can let go of the guilt for not contacting them all more often, and accomplish more (like mastering the art of making shooting sounds with your mouth).

Only time will tell (no pun intended). 😉

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