Seven Years: A Blog Appraisal

I tipped over my seven years as a blogger at the end of July, and I am looking forward to the eighth year in 2020.

I thought to have a look at the current ‘All Time’ stats provided by WordPress in the ‘Insights’ feature.

Total views as of today.
277,610

Total visitors so far.
82,270

Follower totals.
WP 4,561
Email 37
Social media 218

Total 4,816

Posts Published.
2,710

Most popular day.
Monday

Biggest views on one day.
Sept 2nd, 2019

Most popular category.
Blogging

Most popular tag.
Guest Post

It’s important not to become obsessed with blog statistics, but I always find them interesting.

If you have just started out, take some encouragement from these figures.
And remember, my blog is small!

Recent Guest Posts

I would like to thank everyone who sent me a guest post for publication. This was the best response ever, and I was delighted.

I hope that everyone will agree that the guest posts were of a very high standard, and I was very happy to feature the bloggers involved.
Although I apologise if you felt somewhat inundated by so many at once. 🙂

Please remember that this is not ‘time-limited’. You can always send me a guest post at any time, and it’s very easy to do.

1) Send me the text of your post to petejohnson50@yahoo.com (Or a link to where I can find and copy that text)
2) Send me any photos/images you want to add separately, to the same email address. Make sure the images can be copied or downloaded though.
3) If you would like to add your own bio, or short introduction, send that separately too.
4) Please send any links to blogs or published work as ‘full links’, not just typed out.
5) Reblog my guest post on your site, to attract more readers.
6) If you have had a guest post featured before, no problem. Send me another one!

Feel free to promote your published work, or any current project. But I DO NOT allow blatant selling. So no links to your SEO, Etsy, or Ebay sites, please.

Nothing will be edited or altered, as long as it is less than 2,500 words, and the photos are reduced into small files.

This is a full-time offer, and open to anyone who follows my blog, or is a part of this wider blogging community.
I will expect you to acknowledge and reply to all comments, as engagement is the key to good blogging.

Best wishes to everyone. Pete.

Guest Post: Brenda Scruggs

Brenda is a published writer and blogger and has sent me a guest post titled ‘Chasing Your Dream’.
https://brendascruggs.wordpress.com/

Here is her own bio.

‘Brenda Scruggs is an inspirational multi-genre author of 7 books with at
least 25 more floating around in her thoughts. She studied journalism in
high school where she learned graphic design and typesetting. She believes
the written word can transport a person to different times, places and
where dreams come true. Her words bring the imagination alive experiencing
diverse emotions leaving the reader wanting to know more.’

CHASING YOUR DREAM!
Chasing your dreams can sometimes feel like when you watch fireworks
during holidays, they seem to explode in our mind only to fizzle out when
we don’t have the courage to chase them.
Do you have a burning desire to do something? Is there a dream that keeps
coming up but you’re too afraid to step out into it?
Bravery is facing your fear and having the courage in taking steps
regardless of how it feels. The word “courage,” is related to the French
word “Coeur,” which means “heart.” Have you heard the phrase,” to take at
heart?” If you take heart in something, you are encouraged and made to feel
optimistic by it. Synonyms: be encouraged, be comforted, cheer up.
In this post, I’ll share some helpful tips in chasing your dream.
Remember, real bravery isn’t about fearlessness; it’s about taking steps
in spite of it.
Courage is your fuel in achieving amazing success in life, follow/chase
your dreams.
• If you’re a writer, you could be the next best-seller.
• If you’re a singer, you could be the next pop or country, etc. singer.
• If you’re an inventor, you could invent the next creation that could
change the world.

Dreams are limitless. It’s the possibility of having a dream come true
that makes life interesting. So, don’t limit your dreams, live them.

Can you remember when you were a child and you chased your friends in a
game of tag or hiding seek? You would run as fast as you could to tag the
person you were chasing so that they would be it. In other words, you
chased the person for a purpose. When you chase something, for instance,
your dreams, it is for a purpose and that purpose is to see the dream come
to life.
Here is a story about a man that had the courage to continue when
rejection wanted to stop him.
George Lucas spent four years sending the script for Star Wars around to
various studios. After numerous rejections, he didn’t give up even when
Universal Studios and United Artist both turned him down. Rejection is a
mountain that wants to stop you.
Then finally, an executive from 20th Century Fox who had seen his American
Graffiti film and been impressed by it decided to give him a chance with
his Star Wars. The film was made for $11 million dollars and was released
in 1977. Since then the original Star Wars trilogy has grossed over 2.4
billion dollars. If he’d let his negative inner voice get to him, he would
never have ended up having the highest grossing film of all time. George
Lucas had the courage to chase his dream.

What’s keeping you from chasing/pursuing your dream?
 Could it be fear?
 Could it be not knowing where to start?
 Could it be finances?
 Could it be doubt in achieving your dream?
It’s easy to talk yourself out of something, but face the fear, begin
somewhere, invest in yourself little by little, and CRUSH doubt!
Steps in Chasing and living your Dream

1. Vision your dream
Think to yourself and imagine seeing yourself living your dream. Activate
your imagination and see where you want to be.

2. Design your dream
Once you have a vision of your dream, build a blueprint of it on paper.
Jot down an outline of ideas, and techniques.

3. Work your dream
Now that you have the vision and outline for your dream, you will need to
work it. This is where you need to collaborate with all the tools and
materials that you will need for the finished product – your dream.

4. Launch your dream
Now that you’ve seen your vision, planned it, worked it, it’s time to
launch it. Launching your dream can be exciting and scary at the same time.
An assortment of thoughts will bombard your mind some good others not so
good. But believe in your dream. Believing is a vital part of your dream.

I am an author of contemporary/historical romance and I am
following/chasing my dream.
Free Gift!
I have a historical romance on my website for you. Visit brendascruggs.wordpress.com
to get your free book, “A Noble Wife.” Plotted in Nashville, Tennessee in
1872.

Blurb:
Norma Gentry is a natural entrepreneur. Her ideas are more than dreams,
they become reality. Her beauty is more than skin deep. Her heart is in
everything that she does from being a wife to starting different
enterprises. Though a lady’s place is in the home, her husband encourages
her dreams. But when the train that she is returning home on derails, her
life is changed forever.
Jim Gentry a notable councilman in the city of Nashville, Tennessee
considers himself fair and is respected by the townspeople. Known for his
astuteness and investments, he took the position of a moderator on the city
council to aid in the growth of this great city. But his world comes to a
standstill when the train Norma, his wife is on derails.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/lv13SCErHTE
If you liked, “A Noble Wife,” then
You May Also Like…

Ladies of Entrepreneurship
The Ladies of this saga are Proverbs Thirty-One women. They are women who
are business orientated, strong-willed and determined to live the dream
that God has placed inside of them. Follow these women of free enterprise
and see how their story unfolds as God secretly works behind the scenes
fashioning love together, healing wounds and bringing dreams to life. Three
books in the series – Many Hats of a Lady, Sadie’s Mustangs, and Clara’s
Return.
Each novel can be read as a standalone book or as a historical saga.
I also have Contemporary books
The Chocolatier, Michaela’s Justice
And one Non-fiction – Fear- It is a Devour
Until next time… Chase your dreams and catch them!
Brenda Scruggs

Brenda can be found at:
Amazon Author Page:
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B06Y22VDYT
Website:
https://brendascruggs.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Brenda-Scruggs-Author-981454718586806/
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/brendascruggs/

Check out Brenda’s site or social media pages. You might enjoy her books!

Guest Post: Ian Swinton

Ian is a blogger and football fan. He lives in the north of England, and has two blogs.
https://idhope.wordpress.com/
http://halftimepie.co.uk/

This is his own short bio.

‘Ian is from Northern England and writes about his everyday experiences and family times. He is aged 45 and has been blogging for 5 years now mainly writing about daily life and his other passion of football where he writes and runs another website. To follow his personal blog do so here https://idhope.wordpress.com/ or if you like follow his football site here http://halftimepie.co.uk/’

End of school holidays.

My son returns to high school on Wednesday going into year 9 which marks the start of his GCSE qualifications. Every year he has his six weeks off during the summer term it takes me back to when I was his age and memories of the time I had.

Over the years as parents we always had to juggle the summer holidays between us making sure our son was looked after either by us or our parents. Now he is a teenager, things are much more relaxed and easier. As he is very responsible he can fend for himself for a few hours and look after the dogs whilst we are at work. Fortunately I work shifts which means I have plenty of time off in the week or I am around in the mornings. With my wife working Monday to Friday, it is quite infrequent when our son is on his own at home.

I have managed to take quite a bit of time off this six weeks holidays which has allowed me to spend some quality time with my son. At the start of the holidays you wonder how they will fill their time and six weeks feels like a lifetime that the children are off. However, by the time he is due back to school it feels like the whole time has gone very quickly.

This holiday we had quite a settled period of weather especially for the first few weeks which in Northern England is no mean feat I can tell you.I managed to repair his mountain bike which had been sat in the shed for sometime looking sorry for itself. This allowed him to get out with his friends and get some fresh air and exercise. Sadly the bike finally gave up halfway through the holiday and had to be taken to the recycling centre but for those first few weeks, he loved every minute and got him away from electronics. We have managed day trips out to various places and attractions around the North West and Wales which has been fun. Overall we as parents have managed the 6 weeks well meaning we have all spent some quality time together whether out exploring, at home baking or just having family time.

When I was a teenager way back in the mid 1980`s, I did not have the same luxuries but my memories of those holidays are of endless days out playing with my friends from dawn to dusk. We only had four television channels to watch all the children’s television programmes on like Roland Rat and various cartoons that would be on all morning.

I did not own a computer console until I was around 13 or 14 years old. My dad bought a second hand Atari console off his work mate so I used to play classic games like Pacman, Pitfall, Donkey Kong, Asteroids to name a few. All iconic arcade games with what are now seen as shockingly poor graphics.

My parents worked throughout the summer holidays never taking time off to look after me like we now do as parents ourselves. I wasn’t given a house key until I was in my teenage years. My dad worked all week until around 4pm and my mum worked part time and was home by 11am. I would wake in the morning, sort my own breakfast and knock on for my pals and play various sports all day on the local fields. I loved it and only returned home if it was time to eat.

My memories are of endless games of cricket, football, playing on our bikes, exploring and making dens in the woods all innocent stuff until it was time for dinner. Then straight after dinner, I was out again until it started to go dark. We were lucky to have the fields and woods only a couple of minutes walk from home so we never ventured too far. It is funny how we as parents seem more protective of our children yet we grew up with such freedom. You would think we would allow our children that same amount of freedom but I worry about my son crossing roads, where he goes and whom with.

With the electronic age of Xbox, etc and the internet the new playing out is really staying in and gaming whilst talking to each other online. It seems safer in respect of children being at home but I cannot help but think how much children are losing out by not playing out and “being kids”. Whether that be climbing and falling out of trees, building dens, playing army or just playing sports which keeps you healthy.

Generations change and you cannot stop that. So as my son returns to school and another summer holiday ends, I fondly look back on my summer holidays that felt endless and were special times growing up.

Please check out Ian’s other posts, and if you enjoy football, his other blog is a must-see!

Guest Post: Colin Guest

Here is a guest post from someone whose name is actually Guest! That must be a first. 🙂
Writer Colin lives in Turkey, and his blog name is ‘Tigerman’.

As an expat, Colin Guest has worked in fifteen countries and lived a life most only dream. Click on the word Home to get a link to his site.
Home

Here is Colin’s own bio.
‘Colin Guest is a freelance writer who has published eight books, with a ninth due out shortly. Five of them have been made into audio format via Amazon ACX, with a sixth to be available in early August 2019. Apart from his books, Colin has had articles published in various online magazines, with one published in a UK expat magazine. Colin also writes poetry with several in the final four in poetry contests. He once took part in a live American radio show, did a one-hour podcast re his writing and has taken part in a number of online interviews. A newspaper in his hometown in England, UK, published an article on Colin and his writing. Colin is keen on environmental and wildlife issues. His pen name Tigerman, comes from his love of tigers, with his adopting one for the past twelve years. Colin is married and lives in Istanbul, Turkey.’


This post is intended to give encouragement to other authors.

The first book I wrote was a memoir, and foolishly as it turned out, paid a chunk of money to get it printed. Despite what I had previously been informed, I could not reduce the cost the company decided to sell the book. Due mainly to this, and I must admit poor professional editing, there was only one copy sold. After my contract period was up, I cancelled sales of the print version. I later had it re-edited and self-published and eBook version. A lesson from this is to make sure that what you are going to receive from such a company is what you wanted. After writing several more books without managing to attract the attention of a publisher or agent, I struck lucky. In the space of two days I received offers from two companies to publish my books. One is a media company that is dealing with the majority of my books, and have produced new cover photos and republished the books. The other is a small publishing company that has published an erotic style romance story of mine in both print and eBook format. They will also be publishing a print version of my novel, A Dangerous Love Affair. At present, it is available in eBook format or as an audiobook via Amazon ACX. This version I am delighted to point out has recently had a significant increase in sales.
I am presently in the process of having Fatal Love; my erotic style romance story made into an audiobook, which is due to be completed in October. I also have plans in progress to have my memoir An Expat’s Experiences of Living in Turkey, made into an audiobook. It covers my living here for the past thirty years and includes advice to those thinking of moving to Turkey. I think that audiobooks are an excellent way to go for authors. It can help get your books read by more people at little cost to yourself.
On this note, I strongly advise all authors and budding ones to ensure that their manuscripts are professionally edited before trying to get them either published by a company, or self-publishing.
Given my late success, do not give up when seeking an agent or publisher. Remember, positive thoughts lead to positive results.

Here are some links to Colin’s work.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VFTJCNL Desperation Rules the Day
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VDSFTLG Impending Disaster
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VFTJCNL Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VS35W96 For the Greater Good https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VPX7N4F An Expat’s Experiences of Living in
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0785TPYCN A Dangerous Love Affair
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VWX1LVQ Never Pull the Tiger’s Tail https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VYZTC7Q Terror Holiday https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07TCJGN4Q Fatal Love

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2019/08/05/book-promo-new-release-never-pull-the-tigers-tail-by-colin- guest/

Guest Post: Kim Barker

One of my longest and dearest blogging friends, the lovely Kim Barker, has finally sent me a guest post.
Kim is an ex-librarian, and mainly reviews books on her wonderful blog. Here’s a link
.
https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/

Nobody does blogging better than Kim. She currently resides in Alabama, USA, with her husband, Tom.

The Migraine Mafia, by Maia Sepp ~ 5.0 Stars.

I received this ebook courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Viive is a 30 something Canadian with a loving husband Nate, and a great career. She has it all right? Not quite. You see Viive also suffers from excruciating migraines, and now they have put her job in jeopardy. She’s lost countless friends to this disease, will she now lose her career? You would think a book about someone in chronic pain would be depressing and hard to read. Not so. The Migraine Mafia although a work of fiction is also extremely informative through the support group Viive joins, The Migraine Mafia. The novel is also hysterically funny in parts. One of my favorite scenes is when Viive discovers that gluten may be aggravating her migraines. She and Nate embark on a gluten free shopping trip and purchase all sorts of wonderful things. Then they get home and discover not one single thing is gluten free! I couldn’t stop laughing because that’s exactly what happened to my husband and I. And that’s an example of why this book is so wonderful. It speaks to migraineurs in a deeply personal way.Viive is lucky in that she has a loving and supportive husband, mother, and brother, yet one of the friends she has lost is Nate’s sister who just doesn’t get that migraines are so much more than “headaches”. Maia knows the toll this horrible disease takes on sufferers from not only what I already mentioned, but also missed vacations, get-togethers, etc. I HIGHLY recommend this to migraineurs, significant others, family, friends, and colleagues of people who suffer from this disease. I also think fans of women’s fiction would enjoy this.

Please check out Kim’s blog. Send her some love, and meet one of the most engaged bloggers on WordPress.
You will be glad you did, believe me!