Midweek @ Musings: new feature!

When I moved my blog to WordPress, my overarching goal was to better engage and connect with my audience, and create a place people enjoy visiting.  This was on my mind when I made my Blog Improvement To Do List, and has rattled around in my head for several weeks.  I know there’s no silver bullet, no single way to create community, but a light bulb went off when Florinda at The 3R’s Blog wrote in her State of the Blog post:

I’d really like to see bloggers express more of themselves on their blogs. … It’s also disappointing to me to see content primarily driven by the Meme of the Day. I don’t necessarily mean that the blogger needs to share a lot of personal information; I know that quite a few book bloggers, in particular, choose to be more reserved with that, and that’s fine. But one of the most important reasons I’ll decide to follow a blog is the voice of its writer; if I don’t get a good feel that the writer has a voice of her or his own, I probably won’t hang around for long.

I’m launching “Midweek @ Musings” as a way to share more of myself.  Similar to Claire’s Corner at Paperback Reader, and Weekend Review at The 3R’s Blog, I’ll use this space to comment on a broader spectrum of interests:  books, language, family, pets, gardening, vegetarianism, wildlife, technology, etc.  Some will be serious, and some silly.  Much of this will be determined by what “grabs” you and ignites discussion.

This inaugural post is a fairly random selection …

The 2010 Orange Prize Longlist was announced on Tuesday, March 16.  I’ve only read one of the 20 nominees (Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, which won the 2009 Booker Prize), but I’ve heard great things about several others.  I’m looking forward to following the prize as the shortlist is unveiled (April 20), and the prize awarded (June 9).

I love data, statistics, and graphs, but I’m exceedingly bad at creating visual representations of them.  Enter infographics.  Here are two really cool ones I came across this week:

I really hate McDonald’s.  I haven’t eaten there since turning veg two years ago, but I still humor my carnivorous daughter.  Recently we ordered a 6-piece McNuggets meal via the drive-through.  They gave us a children’s meal.  Now, back in the days when my kids were young enough to eat Happy Meals, the McNuggets meal was only 4 pieces.  Since then McDonald’s has introduced the Mighty Kids Meal, allegedly for older children who “need” the  100+ calories in 2 more McNuggets.  Of course, the adult menu has also gone super-sized, with the 1/3-lb Angus Burger.  No wonder our country has an obesity problem.

OK, that was almost a rant.  Let’s end on a cute note.  This week my 17-year-old daughter became obsessed with “teacup pigs.” They’re adorable, but with 2 dogs and 3 cats, we really don’t need one:

Tell me what you think:  what would you like to know about me, or my literary and non-literary interests?  Leave a comment please …

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9 thoughts on “Midweek @ Musings: new feature!

  1. Love the new midweek musings, Laura! I’ve been hopelessly behind in my Google Reader this month but wanted to pop by and see what you thought of the Orange Prize. It’s the subject of this week’s Claire’s Corner and, upon further reflection, I am excited by a number of books I hadn’t heard about until now. I look forward to discussing them with you!

    Teacup pigs are adorable! I am hoping to add a kitty to my home this year (the kitty on my facebook profile is my beloved family cat who I miss desperately but get to see tomorrow :))

  2. I enjoy reading these posts about your other interests. Florinda’s post made me realise that I don’t do enough of this sort of thing either.

  3. I gave up McDonalds for Lent, and other assorted fast food places, pizza excluded.

    I loved the map of online communities. Very imaginative.

    One of the charts had Generation X listed as 27-40 and Young Boomers as 41-50, but I am a Gen X, NOT a baby baby boomer. Quibbling, I know.

    I use my Where are You? post on Tuesdays to try and have a little discussion like this, tell a bit about myself, and ask a question.

  4. I love this idea, Laura – I do think that people want to get a personal sense of the blogger. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me “What I love best about your blog are your posts about Raven.” *laughs* Not the book reviews, but my dog!! Which reminds me, I should post an update on her soon!

  5. Nice post. I agree with the person in the quote that you posted. I guess I’ve never really thought about it before but the blogs that I read on a regular basis are written by people who have a distinctive voice as a writer.

  6. I never know whether to feel gratified or terrified when someone publicly acknowledges that I’ve influenced them :-). But I’m glad you’re starting this feature! I do some of this in my Tuesday (or Thursday) Tangents posts, too, and I like to see what’s going through other people’s heads.

    I avoid McDonald’s like the plague. Always have – I didn’t even like it when I was a kid. I’ve always been a bit outside the norm, I guess. And despite their efforts to promote “healthier” choices, they definitely have to answer for their part in the obesity epidemic.

  7. Laura, Great new feature and I especially like the title. It just suits! I agree also, I like to know a little bit about other bloggers and it’s more interesting when someone has a distinctive voice.

    I think pets, pet peeves, longlists and shortlists and whatever’s on your mind are good topics and I’ll look forward to getting to know you better. I’m also curious, like Claire above, what you think of the Orange Prize and what drew you to it.

  8. Thanks to all of you for your insightful comments! I appreciate the encouragement & you’ve given me some ideas for the weeks to come, which is so helpful.

    @Claire: New kitty photos please when you have some to share! Note Wendy’s comment … 🙂
    @Raidergirl: I’m just glad to still be a YOUNG boomer.
    @Florinda: you should feel gratified, definitely!

  9. I have to agree with you and Florinda that I am most interested in reading what I call “blogs of substance”. For me it’s all about content. And, like you, I enjoy reading blogs where the author’s voice is clear and strong. And it is nice to get to know the blogger a little bit. Make the whole experience a little more personal.

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