Blogger Recognition Award

Mei-Mei (whom I share my Fan Art Friday’s with) recently nominated me for a Blogger Recognition Award.  While most of the time I don’t do these awards (who am I kidding, why did I even write that lie…I love doing them every time because I get to write about me for a bit, which is a refreshing change from Star Wars lol), I liked this one because it provides advice for new bloggers.

Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated and provide the link to the post you created.

So:

  1. Thanks Mei-Mei!
  2. Here’s my post. Hi!
  3. Star Wars Anonymous started through a culmination of reasons.  I used to have a blog over on hyperspace (back when starwars.com had an official fan club where you had to pay a fee in order to have your blog hosted with them) through some of college.  When I got the notice that hyperspace was shutting down, I was too lazy to save all my posts.  Stupid me.  I took about a two to three year break (I think, I can’t actually remember) from blogging.  I began to miss blogging and considered starting up my blog again because I had very few friends to talk to Star Wars about and I was bored at work and wanted to write about Star Wars while bored.  I then made a Star Wars parody video which went semi-viral and decided that I would finally start up my blog again so that I could direct some people to my blog from the video.  Again, I was lazy and didn’t want to do too much work actually building a community from scratch.  Silly me (again) – that plan backfired and I did end up putting a lot of work into building a community of other fans on WordPress.  I’m glad I did though!  I’m not sure how my name came about though, sooooooo can’t answer that question.
  4. My two pieces of advice is this: 1) Blog regularly.  Try to blog at least twice a week for a year.  That will get momentum and help with SEO, along with helping other fans on WP/internet, find you.  Make sure that when people comment, you take the time to reply back to them.  Your blog should be a conversation that you started, it doesn’t end when you publish your post.  (Okay that was more like 3 pieces of advice).  2) If you want to become a “famous” blogger or perhaps make your blog a source of revenue – build social media accounts that relate to your blog and drive people back to it.  Social media is a great way to make your blog a business.  (No, I have not done that with my blog but I have done it for clients in my day job so I kinda know what I’m talking about)
  5. 15 bloggers?????  Uh, no.  I’ll give you two blogs that I have recently found and like though: There Has Been an Awakening and Graphic Novelty².

Have a great rest of the day guys and MTFBWY (oh, and happy St. Patrick’s Day!).

 

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Latest WhatCulture Article

So…….I’m going to complain.  I really don’t like complaining this blatantly on my blog, but I do it rarely, so I’m giving myself a break.

My latest WC list is up.  Please take a look: http://whatculture.com/film/20-lesser-known-facts-surrounding-making-star-wars.php

I spent a long time on this list.  Too long.  It’s been in the process for probably 2 months and I wanted to make sure every single fact was picked for their juicy flavor.  Even though I’m sure some people knew these facts, I didn’t want to just throw something together  that everyone knew.  There had to be enough in there that you wanted to keep going until the very end.  After writing it, I painstakingly went through it for spelling errors, and reworked everything to the point where I thought the countdown was appropriate, and other Star Wars fans would enjoy reading it.

 

I really want this list to be appreciated by other fans

I really want this list to be appreciated by other fans

In these past few months that I have been working on it, WC has changed around a few of their procedures.  For instance, you can now get paid for your articles/lists.  Woo.  Okay, it’s not much at all and your payment is completely generated by how many views you have and not by the quality of your work.  The more views you have, the more money you get paid.  (Right now, looking at my views, I will probably get around $8-$9 LOL)

With the fact that you can now get paid, they also give you extensive feedback on your articles and you get rated on this feedback.  Makes sense.  If they are going to start paying you, they want to feel like it’s worth it to be on their page.  I like feedback, I really do.  I have always taken feedback on my stories, essays, etc., just fine.

However, when I got the feedback on this list, I was told to cut my words down by 70%.  I was a little surprised, especially as my last two lists had the same amount of words for each point.  They said people are not going to keep clicking through a list that has too many words and I was going to lose viewers….which is confusing because in their rules they say that each point has to have a minimum of 100 words.  So they were telling me to cut down my points to 90-100 words each.

So I did what they said.  I cut it back.  They are the editors, after all.  In the beginning of editing, I did realize that I gave too much information.  There were some points where I proved every fact threefold with examples and it was not needed.  This is a list on a pop culture page, not my blog, and an average fan isn’t interested in every single actor who played different parts within the movie.  I did the best that I could when cutting out information and words, but there was a point where I had to stop because I was losing information that was essential to it.

I resubmitted it and voila, they published it.  But when they published it, even more was different.  Some of the photos I had chosen were changed; more of the writing had been cut.

I started wandering around different Star Wars articles on their page and I realized that the shorter the list (between 5-10 points), the longer you can go in depth.  But…But…why?  Are people’s attention spans really that short?  I’m making it sound like each point of mine had about 500 words, which is NOT true at all.  I had about 150-200 per point; enough (I think) to make you feel like you got a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, instead of a slice of bread.

I just don’t know how I feel about this.  I’m trying to write an article that has some substance to it and that makes fans of Star Wars feel like they are reading something interesting and/or new.

But reading through it now, I feel like there is nothing left.  Is this really the article I wrote?  It lacks the Star Wars depth and information that I love to write about.  And aren’t you supposed to be happier after all the edits are done because you feel like it made your work stronger?

Anyway, this experience kind of left me feeling down and like my work is not taken seriously.  :/  I was debating if I should post this, but it’s not like I even get enough traffic from WC to this blog for it to really matter.

Do you guys think the article is okay?  Or do you agree that there is not a lot of depth to it and you want more?  Or is this all in my head?  Should I be letting this roll off my shoulders more, since this is a pop culture page, not a Star Wars page?

C&H writing

Exciting!

So I mentioned that some exciting things have been happening with my writing, and here it is…I got accepted as a Star Wars contributor to the website WhatCulture.

Once accepted, I was allowed into their admin page to check out the articles that needed to be written.  There was only one Star Wars article, so I claimed it and began writing.  It’s not what I would normally love to write about as I find it a little boring, but hey…it was a good way to start out and get the feel of what they’re looking for.

I’m hoping to do more interesting blog posts in the future, as I can bring up items that I would personally like to write about (anyone have any suggestions?!).  I just need to think of a list that people would be willing to engage in that hasn’t been written before.

Without further ado…http://whatculture.com/film/10-places-every-star-wars-fan-should-visit-on-holiday.php  If you notice any mistakes, please let me know!  Though editors looked at it, I’m sure they’re not as up-to-date on Star Wars info as some of us are and I do want to make sure that whatever I publish there is completely aligned with the Star Wars universe.

Feedback is greatly appreciated!

A New Addition to Our Family

I’ve missed blogging!  It’s funny how when I don’t have time to blog, I find myself drawn back to it and I miss updating this little hub with Star Wars thoughts, news, etc.  I was traveling on business last week and had no time to sit and blog and I’ve missed it!  When your writing has no outlet, where do all your thoughts go?  I feel like they get crammed inside of me, about to burst if I don’t sit down with a pen (or in front of a computer).

I’d like to preface this post by saying I’ve never been very good at poems.  My poetry is not very sophisticated and there is only one poem of mine that I think is excellent.  I did try to send it in to poetry magazines, but it got rejected or was too long for their requirements.  No matter – I still think it’s a commendable poem even if may not be deep enough for the Poetry Lords and Ladies.

Here’s my latest attempt at poetry and I hope you enjoy.  I made it up on the plane on the way back home.

There once was a husband and wife

Who had a very nice life

But despite all their kissing

They knew something was missing

A little bird was all they had

And they decided they needed a dog real bad

After many months of searching

They saw a trend emerging

All the cute shelter dogs were taken

But they knew one had to be forsaken!

So they continued to look

Until they found one that grabbed them like a hook

The dog’s name was Chewbacca

And the wife had a moment of “A-ha!”

Could this really be the one?

Was all their searching done?

You can probably guess how the story ends

They ultimately found their “man’s best friend”

What makes this story really great

Is how they found their ship’s first mate

Yup!  We have a dog.  And, actually, it’s female, not male, but we’re keeping her name of Chewbacca and calling her Chewie for short because…really…how could we change that name?  She was a street dog in Georgia and was going to be euthanized and a shelter up here rescued her and brought her up.

They were having trouble finding her a home because she was so “ugly”.  She is actually not that ugly, we find her cute, but she has this massive under bite.  For both those reasons, the shelter owner named her Chewbacca.

We have been looking for the “perfect” dog for a few months now – long hair, non-shedding, good with other pets, dogs, people, kids, etc.  Whenever we tried to adopt one that we thought would suit us, they were either already adopted or we were rejected because we both work full time.

But then, one day, while just browsing petfinder.com, I came upon this dog named Chewbacca.  And you know me – IT WAS A SIGN.  I had to click.  Before you knew it, we were on our way to adopting her.  God has a wicked sense of humor, but go figure that the dog we adopt was named after a Star Wars character.

It’s funny how life plays out.

Chewbacca

Chewbacca

Sulk

I’m at a terrible writer’s block, but I don’t believe it only has to do with this blog.  I have a block in my life right now.  I’m not motivated and I’m becoming resentful of “stuff” in my life.  I don’t want to go into too much detail, but one of the problems is that I’ve reached a plateau.

Throughout the beginning of your life, you are handed education (if you’re lucky).  You go to school from kindergarten through to senior year of high school.  That’s 13 years in my town.  Even before kindergarten, your brain is developing so quickly that everything is a new lesson to learn through social interactions and physical limitations.  If you’re so blessed to go to college, you have four more years to go to class and get more learning and knowledge to soak up, all handed to you on a silver platter.

After college, you can go either to graduate school or find a job and start making money.  I decided to go the route of the latter because I am not interested in grad school and never have been.

I’ve begun to discover that you need to help yourself if you want to keep learning.  I guess I expected to continuously be motivated in my life and job and to always find fulfillment.  But everything becomes routine after a while: marriages/relationships, jobs…just life in general.

So you need to find a way to shake it up.  You.  Yourself.  No one else.  You need to make yourself learn because it’s no longer supplied to you all the time, everyday.  And when you don’t have the opportunity to learn from others, you have to unlearn what you have learned.  Grow, and then grow some more.

This week has been funky for me with this blog.  I have felt downtrodden and not interested in writing about Star Wars.  I’ve been jealous of bloggers who live on the West Coast and get to go to tons of Cons because it means they have more material to write about.  I then got really sad because the one Con I have been SO excited about this year (BSG folk + one of my favorite authors) is during my family vacation.

Yes, I’m sulking, and yes I’m pouting.  But by admitting that I’m in a funk helps me move on and helps me to get out of it.

Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.  I am not going to try to write a post that I don’t feel right now (I have been working on one, but it’s really half hearted and not flowing).  I am going to write how I feel at this moment and what’s going on, even if I’m the only one who reads it.  If I want to learn more, I need to make the effort to do so.

So for “do”ing – I’m going to invest myself more into Star Wars and try to learn beyond what I know.  As of right now, I’m not sure if that means I’m going to read more EU books (I read a great snippet from the new book Into the Void: Dawn of the Jedi that was in the latest Insider that peaked my interest).  Maybe it just means surrounding myself with more or unlearning what I have learned already.  There’s always something new in this universe, and with the release of VII rapidly approaching, there’s even more fresh news to be excited about.

As for “do not” – I am not going to be complacent.  Not only in my blog, but in my job and my relationship.  Trying is unacceptable to a Jedi.  We DO.  And when you have to do something yourself, it means picking your feet back up, standing tall, and getting to work.  Learning what works and what does not.

Ok.  I feel more motivated.