Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This is Who I Am

I don't know if it's just my blogs, (I maintain 3 of them), but followers keep disappearing. It could be people cleaning house for the new year, people bored with my posts, or just mad about something. One day I lost a follower on each of my 3 blogs, so it's hard not to take that personally LOL! No hard feelings though, it happens. Sometimes it's necessary to do a clear out, no big deal.

But I decided to start off my blogging year with an upfront appraisal of who I am and what I'm doing here. So you know what you're getting into if you decide to follow this blog or any of my others.

From the Shadows to the Page is about writing from life. It has random personal stuff on it so if you just can't get enough of me here, you can follow me there too LOL. It was featured recently on a genealogy blog site, because I post a lot about writing one's family history, writing from life, and recording a personal history.

The Celery Tree blog was started with L.A. DeVaul, co-founder of Celery Tree, to get interest and share information on the new website for authors. I used to post a lot here about marketing issues that writers face. Those subjects will now be addressed on the Celery Tree blog.

Coming Down the Mountain is where I post mainly about writing, editing and publishing. Yes, I am a writer with two books out. No, I don't have an agent, never have nor ever will. I might have relented if Tom Cruise-look alike guy had stayed in the business and begged me to be his client, but alas he's no longer available.

Yes, I am an editor-- for WiDo Publishing, a small press located in Salt Lake City, Utah. No, I have not self-published. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) My book Farm Girl was the first release for WiDo with the expenses of editing, design, printing and all the rest paid by them, although my family and I have been consulted and closely involved along the way.

Because this is how my family is. We are large (meaning there's a lot of us), loud (not individually but as a group), creative, smart (not bragging here just being honest LOL) and bossy (in a kind of goofy, non-threatening way). We stick together like our own universe. But people seem to like us and want to work with us, so that's good.

I see things from many points of view because of these experiences-- the writer, the editor, the marketer, the publisher, the mother, the daughter, the sister, the cookie-maker. Oh yes, I also make chocolate chip cookies and sell them locally under the name of Karen's Cookies. Our slogan is "When you want just one really good cookie." But that's a different matter entirely and has nothing to do with my online activities.

I'm not young and hip and cool. So if you're looking for that, you better go find Candyland, Bang Out the Prose or Creepy Query Girl. I like to buy clothes, makeup, shoes and purses. But mostly I sit at home in my pajamas editing or writing, not giving myself much opportunity to wear the clothes, makeup, etc etc.

My goals this year for Coming Down the Mountain are to focus even more on writing, editing and publishing issues of all kinds. Because that's my passion. And it is now the absolute most exciting time to be in this business ever.

49 comments:

  1. A new year, new goals, new focus for most people.

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  2. Ahhh, KarenG I sure do love you and your posts. "But mostly I sit at home in my pajamas editing or writing, not giving myself much opportunity to wear the clothes, makeup, etc etc." I LOVE it! You will never loose me as a follower even if I am invisible for long periods of time.

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  3. Hi KarenG,Followers come and go and I have learned to live with it too! Nothing personal, I'm sure!

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  4. I wish I was mostly sitting home in my jammies and writing/editing. I dream about sitting home in my jammies, coffee at hand. And I lost a follower once, too. It was awful.

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  5. mshatch, I've lost at least a dozen since I started. (not that it's a competition lol) And whenever I do a rant, I always lose at least one! Sometimes I want to just put it all out there and see how many of them drop.

    Deborah, Well, except for that time I lost one on each of my 3 blogs the same day, I think that might have been personal.

    Plain Jane, So glad to see you back here making your infrequent but impassioned comments!

    rosaria, I must check out your url, I think I follow you on a different blog.

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  6. I went through last week and unfollowed about three of four blogs myself. A couple had no posts in the past six months, another was shut down completely, only one did I cease following that was still active, and that one was one that I was skipping because it just didn't interest me at all.

    I'm sure if you have a large enough following people will fall off from time to time. Can't please everyone. I think of my very few followers, at least three were real life friends that signed up just because they wanted to check out my blog one time, then they never logged on again. So I can't lose all of mine, they can't even remember their passwords to log in and unfollow.

    You do a great job, love reading your posts.

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  7. Rusty, Thank you, I appreciate the vote of confidence. "So I can't lose all of mine, they can't even remember their passwords to log in and unfollow." Your comments always make me smile :)

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  8. I enjoy reading your posts. They provide so much information, especially for us authors.

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  9. You mean to tell me I am NOT the only one who sits in her pajamas all day writing? I was so sure none of the rest of you did that. You have no idea how relieved I am. lol For what it's worth, I'm not going anywhere. Happy New Year :)

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  10. I made it back here today from your Tweet and that helped. I also visit blogs that are posted on facebook a lot.
    Thank you for sharing abit about yourself. I enjoyed the information.
    As long as you keep your blog real, I'll be back!!:))

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  11. I love your blog, i think youre really clear about what your aims are in it, and that comes across- its always a good read, and honest... which is importent to me. Onwards and upwards in our pygamas!

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  12. eep! lost another one? why are people just so touchy?
    oh well at least you got me eh

    xoxo

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  13. Who says you're not cool???? I'll sic my army on them!

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  14. I love your blog. Hugs! And Happy New Year!

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  15. You give me too much credit. I am *not* "hip" or "cool". Like at all.
    And I'm typing this in my pajamas after wearing the same sweat pants for like 7 days straight. And I haven't touched my mascara in about 2 weeks.
    We <3 you. The way you are.

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  16. You think my blog is young, hip and cool? But I always thought that about your blog! Maybe I should make my diet blog public and link to it on my writerly blog, then we'll see just how "cool" this day-time-pajama-wearing-so-she-can-write-in-comfort mom (i.e. me) really is.

    You are so awesome Karen, imagine my surprise when you mentioned my blog in your post. I felt my face go beet red with the flattery of it all and my eyes are still watering at your kindness.

    I don't know why anyone would stop following your blogs, but all that matters is you've got a permanent follower in me, right? ;O)

    By the way, can I put up a link to your blog (in particular this post) on mine?

    Take care you spectacular author superwoman you :O)

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  17. I'm planning on sticking around. I've appreciated your posts in the past and think I'll continue to do so.

    It's hard to imagine being at a place where people are unfollowing me. My followership just isn't that big yet.

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  18. It can't possibly be anything you've said or done! I honestly think people got so caught up in the blogging thing last year and are now overwhelmed. There have been a lot of posts about following, blogging, and commenting recently and most seem to be saying "I can't keep up!" I think people are having to scale back and unfortunately that means dropping some blogs (although I'll never drop you!)

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  19. Always enjoy your post, even if I don't put in my 2 cents worth. I'm in awe of you anyway. I can barely manage one blog and you have 3. WOW. Looking forward to sharing 2011 with you. :)

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  20. I don't take losing followers too seriously because I know when I blogged under a different name and had to stop, the blogs I followed lost me. But, I found them again under my new name so...

    Looking forward to what's in store.
    CD

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  21. Hmm, I'm not a fan of chocolate - chocolate chip cookies especially. Can you make some white-chocolate, macadamia nut, oatmeal raisen . .

    Really Karen; its not the followers that are important, its the comments. I am amazed I have so many followers - and even more amazed sometimes at the awesome writers who have clicked that button. I've seen bloggers out there with over 300 followers, and five people commented on the specific post. Mind boggling . .

    So nice to make your acquaintance - again - Miss Karen. I have enjoyed your posts over the last year, and I'm sure I'll enjoy them as much throughout 2011. But just for old times sake, could you some day post with the Xena avatar, in honor or your faithful followers?

    I didn't know about the WiDo site. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for being who you are . .

    .........dhole

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  22. Well I wasn't fishing for compliments with this post but I got them anyway haha! Candyland and Suz, you are TOO young, hip and cool! Yes you can quote me or link to me or whatever you want to do because you are rockin' hipsters!

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  23. Awww I always loved and love who you were last year (when I started blogging!) and who you are now!! I'm all for wondering around in jimjams too! :-) Take care
    x

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  24. p.s. I meant of course "wandering"! :-) x

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  25. One of the best things about being a writer is getting to wear my pajamas all day. I pretty much only get dressed if I have to go out! Sad, but true!

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  26. haha. I know all this about you, but loved this post all the same. Nice to meet you again, Karen ;o) Don't worry about the lost follower. I find a lot of people follow just to be followed back and that's no what it's about. Follow because you want to read. Who gives a damn otherwise? XOXO

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  27. I once lost a follower right after I had hit a lovely round number (I think it was 70 or 80) and then one person unfollowed me and BOTH DIGITS CHANGED. I was more upset about that than losing the follower :)

    Looking forward to another year of your posts, Karen!

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  28. "Follow because you want to read." Jessica's comment above. I've come to believe that this is where it's at. And in one day you just can't read hundreds of blog posts!! (At least I can't!)

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  29. p.s. In other words, we do have to prioritize. I never even wonder if I've "lost" followers, I just enjoy so much the ones who do comment on my posts.

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  30. Karen, I'd love it if you would do a post on how you got involved with WiDo Publishing. Book deal first? And how did you find them? How you came to be an editor.

    Unless of course you have already covered this and I missed it.

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  31. Thanks for the recap Karen! I didn't know about your other blogs or about WiDo (don't know where I've been) Also, don't take the un-following personally. A month ago, I mistakenly deleted the 'blogs I follow' folder on google reader,(which was probably about 100 blogs) and that may have un-followed a bunch of people and I didn't even mean to!

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  32. nice to get to know you a little better. i'm thinking of doing a post something along these lines. and did you read Jackee Alston's post about followers? it was a good discussion-starter.

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  33. Ummm... Karen... *tap*tap*... are you there?

    Yeah, you just rocked my world.

    That was one amazing post. I love learning more about you and who you think is hip and cool (in full agreement that Candyland and Creepy Query Girl Rocks - Need to find the other one listed).

    You're real, honest and AMAZING. That is why I follow. I will say that I think that those who stopped following you are so missing out. It's uncool when people drop you like you don't matter (trust me, it hurts every time it happens to me)... but their loss.

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  34. I bet somebody who followed all three blogs totally went off line, at least for a time. I think that happens to all of us. I have lost people at time with outrageous stuff, but mostly when one or two disappear it is just how these things go.

    I don't think I've ever seen you cross any turn off lines, so I bet that is all it is.

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  35. Hart, That makes sense. I wish I knew who it was because how sad that someone who followed all my blogs is now offline and I didn't even get to say goodbye!

    Jen, It does hurt no matter how many followers one has, and for you with over 1000 to say that, just proves the point!

    Michelle, I read Jackee's post and another one about dropping followers, which got me thinking about it myself. I think it's a first of the year clear out thing actually.

    Melissa, Yikes! Accidentally unfollowing all the blogs I read would be awful!

    Colette, I've mentioned it before but it has been awhile. I plan on getting more into publishing topics this year, so for sure I'll do more on that.

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  36. Nice to meet you Karen! :) I hate losing followers. But having said that this time last year my wish was to get my follower list to double digits. I have achieved that but being greedy and in the words of Oliver Twist, "Please sir, I want some more."

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  37. How odd that you lost followers... And after all the nice contests and giveaways you've done. Perhaps they left the bloggy world. I'm sure that's what it was.

    Regardless, I think you're great, and I often learn from visiting. Keep up the good work~ :o) <3

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  38. You don't have to worry about losing me! Thanks for letting me know a bit more about you.

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  39. My advice to not take losing followers personally, Karen. It hurts but you have no way of knowing why it happened. All you can do is be yourself and keep on. You still have a large and enthusiastic following which is a great thing.

    Big hug!

    Jai

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  40. It does sting when you lose a follower. I think it's natural to wonder what we said or didn't say. We're writers so we're our own critics, usually over every aspect of our lives. Maybe they just deleted their blog for the new year? That would explain losing them on all three blogs. I have a few friends who made New Year's Resolutions to delete blogs, twitter, facebook and focus more on their family and writing. The rest of us are still here and still following. We love you, Karen, and don't find you boring in the least!

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  41. Jennie, Really? People are deleting everything? That's amazing, but not really surprising when you figure how addicting it is. I was on FB chat the other day and killed an hour. Can't do that again!

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  42. It was great learning more about you!

    It's too bad about the followers. I've never un-followed blogs unless they don't exist anymore (which has happened). But even though I follow many, I know I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. :)

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  43. Donna said a wise thing. Look at all your comments here!

    I have no idea why followers go. Sometimes I think it's just a tech glitch. The last time one of mine disappeared, I couldn't figure out who it was, but pretty soon another follower appeared that I couldn't identify either. Might have been the same one disappearing and coming back.

    Or it may be that some people treat blogs more like Twitter, where lots of people change who they follow often, just for variety.

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  44. Followers can be fickle. Why? Who knows? In any case, I wouldn't stress it. If they stopped following you, it's their loss. :)

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  45. I look forward to all the wisdom and fun you'll impart on my year. :) I'll bet some followers fall off just because they've deleted their blog, you know? New year, new goals and blogging isn't one of them?

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  46. Karen--thanks for your kind words on my blog!

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  47. Hey Karen! I didn't know you were in Salt Lake! I'm just a few minutes away from you! Sweet!!! =)

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  48. I like your blog and I like you! :) The people who stopped following you don't know what they're missing. You've always been kind enough to encourage me to keep writing even when I've lost followers, so now it's my turn. I think your blog is great, because I like your writing and I think a lot of people can relate to it. I also wish I lived in your area so I could buy your cookies. I love cookies. I also wish I could say that I like to buy makeup too, but the ladies at the makeup counter scare me. I wish I could say I was kidding.

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  49. I just lost one when I posted about deleting a dog from my WIP - ho hum.

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