Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: blog comments

Yet More Conversation about Genre . . .


The previous posts in this conversation are Here and Here… Genre Conversation

Those posts had comments that reflected various shades of discomfort with putting books in genre-boxes…

One of the comments, though, stood out by saying:

“A work’s genre is nothing more than a convenient handle to help the reader find his next read. I think of the genre as something useful, not confining at all.”

And, while I respect that viewpoint ( like I must, as a seasoned writer, respect readers’ oh, so various perspectives on books... ), for the sake of this discussion, I’ll share a few excerpts from a post at Literary Hub:

“The entire publishing ecosystem, from authors to publishers to bookstores to readers, frequently have blind spots that separate stories out in ways that exclude readers.”

“For readers who want their personal library to show a healthy variety, finding books outside of your preferred genre is how you can broaden your tastes and discover terrific new talent.”

“By staying in the box an industry creates, a reader will see similar approaches and similar tropes, explore similar experiences and similar results. The hope and aim of reading, drilled into us as students, is that it broadens horizons, but that aspiration then gets undercut as soon as we start reading for fun. Our literary diets narrow, then ossify. By tuning out books from other genres, we cut ourselves off from important parts of the literary conversation.”

“Really, anything that feels a few towns over from where your reading life lives will gift you a new perspective. Because so much of the process before a book reaches your hands is designed to build that box, by simply venturing to another section of the bookstore, you’ll get to experience worlds you otherwise would never have known existed.”

So, we’ve come from comments that blast genre as a ploy of the traditional publishing houses to sell more books, to the idea that “…genre [is] something useful, not confining at all.”, to a caution about the genre mode of classification that encourages swimming in multiple genre-pools…

But, now, I’ll introduce a Marvelous comment on genre, from one of those previous posts, that shatters the mold of the standard idea of a blog comment, while it swims in a meta-pool of meanings…

The Rainbow

Always impressive, the rainbow’s view
Its shades spread across the spectrum
Colors blending from one to the other
Each band’s width wider to some

But no one can say where one band begins
And the next color has altered its hue
For changes in the view of a spectrum
Is altered how it’s perceived by you

~~~ Barbara Blackcinder

All it takes to continue this conversation about genre is a comment from you :-)

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Our Blog Conversation Takes a Delightful Turn . . .


pop-up book

Image courtesy of Thuwirawat @ Wikimedia Commons

Since most of the visitors to this blog come from Google searches, I ask my regular readers to bear with me while I explain, briefly, to new readers that Mondays and Wednesdays are Conversation days (in about 10 weeks, Fridays will also be for the Conversations…).

And, on the other days of the week, I do informative re-blogs; or, sometimes, special-topic posts…

So…

On Monday we wrapped up our dialogue with the post, Extending the Conversation about Traditional vs Self Publishing, which has the links to the three previous posts in that discussion…

And, the way these conversations work is that folks can leave comments on a post and those comments are the bridge to the next post where I respond by extending the conversation…

Unless…

…the comments take us in a different direction :-)

So…

Here’s the image from that last post: traditional-vs-self-publishing

And, here’s the conversation that happened in the comments:

HA: I like your picture. I miss pop-up books. <3

AMZ: Well, now that you mention it, I do, too :-)

HA: It’s nice to have something lift off the page a bit. Pop-up books are so rare now with machines doing all the printing for books. Every August or September, I learn how to make pop-ups and make them for Christmas cards. I’m not too good at it yet but if you want, I can make one for you someday. :)

AMZ: Lovely offer — are you able to make a video of you making one?

HA: I’m a bit shy because I’m not very good at making pop-ups. If you want, I’ll try. :)

AMZ: Go ahead and try; then, we can decide if you want me to do a post about it :-)

HA: A Christmas card? I’ll keep this in mind. Will do it when I have the time and I’ll let you know then. :)

AMZ: Doesn’t have to be Christmas—actually, sooner is better—maybe a pop-up of an author at work; or, a pen and paper; or, a pop-up of a pop-up book… Something like that? :-)

HA: I’ll figure something out and let you know soon. :)

AMZ: Very Cool ! When you have it, send it to my email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com …

HA: I do have to let you know that this couple of weeks are going to be pretty busy ones but I’ll let you know as soon a I have it. :)

AMZ: Wonderful ! :-)

So…

Instead of:  Post > Comments > Post > Comments

We had:  Post >>> Conversation :-)

And, here’s a request for your comments about experiences with pop-up books—or, any type of books that are rarely created these days…

Plus, we can all look forward to HA’s video of the making of a pop-up………
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#BlogPosts as #Conversations


Blog posts as conversations Two days ago, I began a restoration of my commitment to regular blogging after a month-long psychological sabbatical (though I was re-blogging during that break…).

In Monday’s post, I said:

“I want to enlist my readers, you and you and you, in a long-term project…

“I’m hoping my regular readers at first, then, perhaps, folks who happen in, will begin commenting on the Monday and Wednesday posts, in a way that creates ‘bridging ideas’ that I can carry into my next original post—either your thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, experiences, lack of experiences—you name it—perhaps, call it ‘creative writing prompt invention’—something to help me ‘thread together’ a series of posts…

“Sometimes, I may have only one comment that inspires what I write in my next scheduled post—sometimes, hopefully, there’ll be a whole bouquet of comments…”

Of course, if any given post has no comments, I’ll have to carry on the “conversation” myself—not very hard for this writer :-)

As it happens, there were two readers’ comments on Monday’s post; and, I was able to capture these two thoughts:

“I like the idea of blogs being a conversation rather than a monologue.”

I think every author stands at that window of trust and wonders if it’s possible to jump and land unhurt. In a way, we are all shouting into the emptiness of bookspace and listening with surprise to faint answers.”

First, I notice the “flavor” of the two comments—one being directly about blogs as conversation, the other broadening the conversationality to “authoring”. Though, writing a blog is authoring; and, many authors write more than blogs…

And, one more curious form of “authoring” that comes from my belief that the Reader is always “rewriting” what conscious authors produce—the re-authoring of the author’s words—an authorial Conversation between writer and reader…

Plus, if we expand “authoring“—based on its etymology ( increase , promote , originate )—and apply it to other human activities, we can say the TV commentator is an author, the mother is the author of the household’s “rules”; perhaps, stretching it to ideas like the cook’s authoring of a cake…

Yes, I’m playing with the word; but, I’m an author, of blog posts, poems, short stories, a novel, and my own little Life…

I’ll end my end of this conversation with a question:

Are you authoring your life; or, are others writing it for you?

~~~

So, this conversation began Here and continued right up there…

Where will you take the conversation in the Comments?
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Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

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Is Blog Traffic Something That Takes Hard Work?


I’ve been blogging for around 8 years—3.5 on this blog.

Blog Traffic

Image courtesy of Svilen Milev ~ http://efffective.com

I’ve tried many things to encourage folks to visit.

Most of them seemed extremely artificial…

I write the best content I possibly can—posts that have what I consider Value for the reader.

I don’t look at my Stats much anymore—just plugging away, saying what I feel I must say…

Yet…

I thought it might be interesting to ask my readers what they’d like to see me do.

I’ve had many polls here—recently started a special Friday Poll—not for what I should post but other, more interesting topics.

So…

This post will only succeed if I have a bunch of my 168 followers make a Comment—even very a brief Comment…

What direction do you wish I’d take on this blog?

[ignore the following link—it’s just to set up a Pinging service :-) —  Click here ]
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Your Opinion Absolutely Counts ~ Give This A Try


Blogging is a form of Social Media—one of the oldest.

Blogging

Image courtesy of Wilton Rodrigues ~ http://www.sxc.hu/profile/wilton

Sure, it doesn’t Snap, Crackle, and Pop like some platforms but it has great potential for evoking meaningful conversations.

Still, the blogger has to work to craft posts that are worth talking about

Some of my posts generate the beginnings of conversations, some have 4 to 6 comments that don’t really form a conversation, and most have no comments at all

This doesn’t trouble me because I know from various stats that folks are reading what I write.

And, apart from the burning desire to get the words and the story out of the heart and mind, the writer’s greatest hope is to have folks read what’s produced.

Next would come the need to get meaningful feedback.

So, I decided to have a little experiment.

The first part of the experiment was whether you got this far into this post.

Congratulations :-)

Now, I’ll give you links to three articles that have been in my bookmarks waiting for me to figure out how to use them:

Can Fiction Improve Us? Yes, That’s What It’s For

Good English teaching helps students in math

Does Reading a Book Count More Than Listening to One?

O.K., now pick one of those to check out (two if your adventurous).

Go read your article and come back and leave a Comment

If you want to really get into this experiment, really push the boundaries of this blog, try to word your comment in a way that sparks another reader to comment about your comment

If you’ve read this far and are still in an experimental mood, you might want to read a post I did called, Why Do People Comment On Blogs?

It has posts I’ve done that got more than my average comment-count—though, still not what I’d call conversational commenting

Why am I doing this experiment?

To trick you into commenting?

Nope.

I’m trying to trick you into thinking differently about blogs—thinking of them as a place to start and join in on conversations—make them places that outdo all those snapping, crackly, popping spaces that folks use, so often, to not really talk to each other but merely talk At each other

Naturally, you can avoid those three articles and just comment on what you think of this post’s “experiment” :-)
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