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23 July 2018

Blogging Break | Cat Picture #4

I'm on a blogging break until Wednesday, August 1st. To keep you amused in the meantime, here's a cat picture.

20 July 2018

Blogging Break | Cat Picture #3

I'm on a blogging break until Wednesday, August 1st. To keep you amused in the meantime, here's a cat picture. Wait a minute, that's a dog not a cat! How did he get in here?

18 July 2018

Blogging Break | Cat Picture #2

I'm on a blogging break until Wednesday, August 1st. To keep you amused in the meantime, here's a cat picture.



16 July 2018

Blogging Break | Cat Picture #1

I'm on a blogging break until Wednesday, August 1st. To keep you amused in the meantime, here's a cat picture.


13 July 2018

Happy Birthday Mr. Blog! Our 5 Year Blogging Anniversary & A Wee Break


Image via The Graphics Fairy

Mr. Blog turned five years old today. He's getting to be such a big boy. Can you believe that this is his 844th post? And that he has 1.6k Facebook followers? They sure do grow up fast, don't they.

Every year on Mr. Blog's birthday, I do a little reflection on blogging. On his first birthday, I had a look at how Mr. Blog stacked up against the criteria for a good blog. On his second birthday, I shared some random thoughts on blogging including wondering what type of blog The Cynical Sailor really was. On his third birthday, I talked about monetizing (or not) one's blog with Adsense and Amazon. I completely forgot about his birthday last year. Oops.

{If you want to see other posts on blogging tips and tricks from myself and others, check out this page.}

* * *

This year, I thought I'd talk about something a wee bit crazy that I did - starting a second blog over on my author site. Yes, it's a bit insane to manage not one, but two blogs, but I live on a sailboat which is the very definition of insanity.

I've talked before about how I wished we hadn't named this blog The Cynical Sailor because it really evolved over time from a pure "sailing blog" into, well, a blog full of a lot of random nonsense, some related to sailing and liveaboard life and some related to things like travel, cats, polar bears, and possible alien invasions.

So, when I decided I was going to become an author and publish books*, I thought it made sense to establish an author brand** and set up a website distinct from that of The Cynical Sailor. And here's why:

1 - Not everyone who follows this blog is interested in the writing side of my life. Although, I do post monthly on writing as part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) blog hop, feature books and authors on my Saturday Spotlight series, and mention my writing activity from time to time in other posts, I think I'd lose followers if that was all that I talked about. In fact, I think I'd stop writing this blog if that's all I talked about.

2 - Although my current book series is sailing-related, I've got lots of other ideas floating around in my head that have nothing to do with boats whatsoever. I'd like to be able to reach a broader audience in the future (not necessarily bigger) and a more "flexible" website seemed like the way to go.

3 - I wanted a static landing page and never could figure out if that was possible using the Blogger platform. It seemed a lot easier to use WordPress to set up my new site and not to try to monkey around and retrofit this one to work like I wanted.

4 - There was a certain appeal in starting off "fresh" and creating a website that wasn't as cluttered as this one has become. It's kind of nice to have simple, clean site that has a pure focus on books and my author activities.

5 - If we ever do decide to call it a day on The Cynical Sailor, I'll have another presence on the web already established.

Now that I've set it up, my new site is pretty easy to manage. I only blog there twice a month (the first and third Mondays) talking about the writing process (I'm currently doing a series of posts on the different aspects of publishing a cozy mystery from a newbie's perspective) and sharing tidbits about our life aboard a boat that might be of interest to readers.

While blogging twice a month might sound like a lot (especially given the fact that I blog here three times a week), it's actually quite manageable. I've re-purposed some content from this blog and my posts on the cozy mystery publishing process are basically write-ups of research I've already done. Plus, I >>love<< blogging. If you don't love blogging, you shouldn't be doing it. Otherwise, it's just a chore you resent.

If you're interested, you can check out my other site - ellenjacobsonauthor.com - and see what I'm up to over there.

NOTES:
*Saying that out loud still freaks me out - me an author? You've got to be kidding.
**I feel so pretentious talking about my "author brand." I think I've been listening to too many writing podcasts.

* * *

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it's summertime. For many people, summertime is about chilling out. I've noticed many bloggers are taking a bit of a break and I thought I'd do the the same thing. I've got a lot of work to get done on my next book during the rest of the month, so I'm going to take a blogging break until Wednesday, August 1st.

But don't worry, I'll probably schedule a blog post with a cat picture from time to time over the next couple of weeks so that you don't miss me and Mr. Blog too much.

What kind of blogs do you like to read? Are you a blogger? If so, how long have you been blogging for? Do you manage more than one site?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi! 


Murder at the Marina - the first in a new lighthearted and humorous cozy mystery series.  "A dilapidated sailboat for your anniversary - not very romantic. A dead body on board - even worse."

Buy Links

Ebook available at Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK) | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks | Google Play

Paperback version available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million

Find Out More

Check out my author blog, sign up for my newsletter, and follow along on Twitter and my author Facebook page.

11 July 2018

Wordless Wednesday | Best Mail Forwarding Service Ever!


Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about posting a photo(s) without any words. But, I'm a rule breaker, so here are a few words:

1 - Lots of people who live a nomadic life on sailboats or in RVs use a mail forwarding service which receives your mail and forwards to your current location as required.

2 - We could have signed up with an outfit like St. Brendan's Isle, which has a really great reputation, but we went with an even better option - Mom's Mail Forwarding Inc.

3 - Yep, my mom gets our mail and forwards it to us on a regular basis.

4 - She's got a real edge over regular mail forwarding services because she goes above and beyond the call of duty. We got a letter from the IRS, so she included some Oreos to eat while we opened it. {Oreos make everything better, even tax notices.} My sister and I got my mom some wine for Mother's Day and she sent me the cork from one of the bottles because it was cute. {Who doesn't love seahorses?} She even sends interesting articles, like one about a fascinating West African guy who works at her building.

What words does this picture(s) bring to your mind when you look at it?

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, click here

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!

09 July 2018

Validation & Smiles

I've been thinking a lot lately about how lucky I am. People have been so lovely to me during my book release, sending me messages of encouragement, giving me positive feedback, leaving nice reviews etc. It's brought many a smile to my face.

But it's also made me think about all of those people out there who are disheartened, who don't feel like they can do anything right, who are feeling blue, suffering from depression etc. You know, the people who can't think of anything to smile about.

It brought to mind this wonderful short film starring T.J. Thyne (you may know him from the TV series Bones) called Validation. It's about a parking garage attendant who tells people how wonderful and amazing they are - he "validates" them and brings smiles to their faces.

I know we can't necessarily fix other people's problems or make all of their worries go away, but we can all help bring a smile to people's faces by offering a few words of encouragement or noticing something awesome about them. After all, there's something positive we can say about pretty much everyone, isn't there?

Anyway, that's today's random thought. If you've got some time, you might want to check out Validation. Who knows, it might bring a smile to your face.



When's the last time you paid someone a compliment? What was the last compliment someone paid you? How did it make you feel?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!


Murder at the Marina - a lighthearted & humorous cozy sailing mystery - available in ebook and paperback format at:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK) | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks | Google Play | Book Depository | Books-A-Million

Find out more at ellenjacobsonauthor.com