Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blogs! I don't get it!

I was reading in the Writer's News how Caroline Smailes, an unknown author, got a book deal from her blog. I thought Wow! That's great! Amazing. She's so lucky...

The article said:
"The publisher, The Friday Project (TFP), stumbled across her blog and was so impressed by her quirky style and risky subject mater they emailed the next day with a one book deal."

Well I thought to myself... I need to read this Blog.

I want to see what they are raving about.

So, I did and to be quite frank - I didn't get it.

Call me mad but I didn't understand a word of it. The big bold type intermixed with normal type made
it really hard to read and I found myself only reading the bold writing and not
reading the rest, which is why it probably didn't really make any


Now I went to the site because I really wanted to learn something and was really disappointed I didn't get it. What was controversial about a load of fancy type? My eleven year old daughter does that all the time.

Anyway, whilst I was writing the above my daughter walked in and said, "I like that, it's really cool. She read on and said, "I'm twelve."

So I stand corrected - My twelve year old daughter does it all the time. See Chrisi's Blog.

Well, after playing around with font, size, colours, and position on the page I think I might have got it. She doesn't know how to work blogger. She played with the quotes and it all went wrong so gave up and left it like that.

Maybe it is sour grapes. Maybe a bit of jealousy. But, to be quite honest I don't think so. I'm always pleased to hear when an unknown writer has some success. It is my dream it will happen to me.

A friend of mine, Candy Gourlay, is meeting up with an agent who liked her blog on her novel - Volcano Child - and I think it is a brilliant blog. Easy to read, easy to understand and lovely pictures to support it.

My message to all you writers and bloggers out there is:

Blogging does work. It gets you noticed. Now all I have to do is think of something quirky and risky to write about. Any fun ideas? Let me know. Want to enlighten me about In Search of Adam? Please do.


Atyllah said...

Erm, I'm with Chrisi - I also think Caroline's blog is cool :-) I think it's the interplay of type, images, and words that makes Caroline's blog so interesting. She writes well and her posts are intriguing. She has a pretty "unique" style by comparison to a lot of the other poetry and fiction blogs - and The Friday Project are always looking for the new and the intriguing. They've published a range of stuff and there criteria is that it works in blogging medium - that seems to mean visual appeal as well as well written, interesting, smart or funny content. I've wondered about approaching them with Atyllah and I've suggested Addy contact them about Wilf.

Candy said...

have faith, anita. caroline's blog is some kind of visual poetry isn't it. it is interesting, but can be wearing. thanks for mentioning my volcanoc child blog - but while i blog intermittently, caroline blogs like clockwork. i think that must help. look at the number of comments on her blog!

the excerpt of her novel sounds really good.

that said, i'd never heard of the the friday project - what a fascinating brief. definitely a publishing house to keep an eye on.

be of good cheer! our time will come.

clare said...

I would be delighted to enlighten you Anita although I do wonder whether replying to such a mean-spirited post is entirely justified. When I stumbled across Caroline's blog I loved the way she experimented with layouts and fonts to engage the reader. It made a welcome change from the usual 'heading, text, picture' format of most blogs and while many blogs I enjoy have that format, Caroline's really stood out for being different.
In Search of Adam is different too. Caroline makes clever use of text imagery again which adds a new element of punctuation, but this is just a small part of what is an absolutely amazing book. I have rarely found a book so utterly transporting and I could not stop reading it. No amount of clever blogging or unusual layouts will ever lead to a book deal but a brilliantly-crafted, absorbing and captivating book will. Simply put, success comes from being an exceptionally talented writer and that is exactly what Caroline is. All of us at TFP are excited and proud to be publishing her debut novel.

Ruchita said...

hello anita...

i am going to be honest and say that i think it was unfair of you to write that post...

i would have thought being a writer yourself, would make you look a different forms of writing objectively... aren't writers supposed to be evolved beyond their personal likes and dislikes?

maybe not.. maybe thats just the way i look at it..

also, i do believe that if caroline read your blog and found it not as interesting as her own, she would NOT have posted a comment on her own saying so... repeat: objectivity...

sorry if i sound too harsh.. this is not some kind of a protest against those who don't like caroline's blog... rather, just a different outlook... also, considering that she has been published i do believe that as a writer you'd pass on more best wishes than question marks her way...

good luck to you.. hope your dreams come true soon..

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

Hi Clare and Ruchita,

Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to make a comment.

I thought I best point out I did not say I did not like Caroline's blog - far from it. I most definitly did not say it was not interesting because it most certainly was. I said I didn't get it, which is more of a comment on myself than on anybody else or their writing.

There are loads of things I don't get and poetry is just one of them. So I apologise if I caused anyone offence. That was not my intention.

However, I have learnt something, which is always a good sign. I have learnt - blogging is a new art from. It's not just about writing. It is about the whole visual effect.

So, I must thank you all for taking the time to explain this to me.


Jude said...

Anita I love this- I had some fun today with it too!

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

Hi Jude,
It was an interesting thing to do and I found I spent ages playing around with the letters and position on the page. Not sure I've really mastered the whole visual element and as for sound - I definitely need to explore this avenue. I liked Addy's addition to her Wilf blog when she had him do a talking post whilst on holiday. It was brilliant.
All the best,

Cheryl said...

I followed Atyllah here.
I'm sure Caroline is lovely and I am sure it takes a whole ton of creativity to pick out which words to bold type.
And to write in short sentences.
Like that one.
But as a page I find that blog painful on the eye and a whole load of hard work to struggle past the fancy stuff to the (really quite witty) words.

Its like writing in adverts; in soundbites - you know? A whole page crammed together like that just swims.
But maybe I have Irlens.
Or an irradiating computer screen.
(Or something).

Maybe its an age thing like that whiny crowd disperser dog whistle up the wall machine thingy that only pisses off the under thirties because they're the only ones that can hear it.
Hehehe - maybe I'm just too old, and dear God but I seem to be happy to frame that sentence. *chuckle*.


Anita Marion Loughrey said...

Hi Cheryl,
Thanks for your comments. I have been very surprised at Caroline's reaction and even more surprised at the rude comments by her friends. She actually thought what I said was a bad review! Problem was because I found it so hard to read I could not actually read much of it. I think I am getting too old too.
Anyway, everyone is entitled to their opinion but, they have no right to be nasty.

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

Wow! There's a whole page dedicated to bitching about me.

Don't you think that's kinda funny?

By the way, I am published!!!