Tag Archive | blogging

Gena/Finn, by Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson (book review) – friends in fandom

book cover of Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson published by Chronicle Books | recommended on BooksYALove.comA television show that they adore,
Creative juices flowing in words and art,
Completing the story arc, like their friendship completes them…

I heard authors Hannah (Not Otherwise Specified, which I love) and Kat last month at TxLA as they discussed fandoms, friendship, and writing this book together totally through chat and email – so good.

Ask for this April 2016 release at your local library or independent bookstore. And for more on real-life fandoms and cons (“Up Below” is a fictional TV show), look for Sam Maggs’ Fangirls’ Guide to the Galaxy  which I recommended here.

And it’s National Readathon Day, too!! Share what you’re reading today with hashtag #Readathon2016.

Fandom or obsession? Discuss.
**kmm

Book info: Gena/Finn / Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson. Chronicle Books, 2016.   [Hannah’s site]  [Kat’s site] [publisher site]  [authors’ video] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Brought together online by the fanfic and fanart that they create for a beloved TV show, two young women bond immediately and experience friendship’s highs and lows as other relationships falter.

Fanfic stories by Evie (short for Gena’s online name) that fill in the gaps in their favorite TV cop show inspire Finn (for Stephanie) to start drawing again. Sharing her art with Evie leads to numerous email and chat exchanges as recent college grad Finn and high school senior Evie find so much in common.

Big questions link into the backstory for their mutual admiration:

Should Finn really have followed boyfriend Charlie to California after college?
Is getting into an Ivy League school truly in Gena’s best interests?
Why won’t Gena stay in the room with cast members of “Up Below” when this fancon is the reason she and Finn traveled from opposite coasts to meet in person?

Told entirely in texts, chat windows, emails, fanfic, fanart, and journal entries, this coming of age story celebrates the passion of fandoms, the strength of women’s friendships, and the unlikelihood of completely outrunning one’s past.

 

That’s a wrap – another April AtoZ Challenge in the books!

logo of April AtoZ blog challenge 2016I did it!

26 posts – A to Z – in April, on schedule.

That’s 22 new, no-spoiler book recommendations, plus 3 library-celebration posts and a look ahead to free audiobooks all summer.

Thanks again to the April AtoZ Challenge organizers! This is all free, a labor of love to help bloggers build up their blogging muscles and gain readership.

Since I signed up so late (#1532 on the list), I didn’t get many new followers or comments, but it was certainly worth it for me to get back in my writing groove – so many great books from debut authors and smaller presses to tell y’all about! (not enough hours in the day for me to consider covering self-published works, as my policies state)

So if you want to find your voice in blogging or just have a super list of blogs to visit and follow, look into the April AtoZ Challenge – I’ll remind you next March!

Got a favorite, unheralded YA title to recommend?
**kmm

Back in the saddle again, for April AtoZ Challenge!

logo of April AtoZ blog challenge 2016Yes, I waffle about doing this every year.
No, I haven’t given up recommending books.
Maybe the outside forces that consumed the last few months of my life have abated… maybe.

I have been reading during all the time away from home, tossing aside the almost-good books and saving the gems for y’all.

So I’m using the April AtoZ Challenge to jumpstart BooksYALove again (that’s me at #1532), even though AtoZ shares its month with the gigantic Texas Library Association annual conference and all its presentations, author signings, and previews of upcoming books.

Every April day but Sundays will have a new BooksYALove post on the alphabetic track = April 1st is A, April 2nd is B, etc. And my theme is [drumroll,please!] the Books That Almost Got Away… the really good ones that you might have overlooked in past months when the shiny, super-hyped bestsellers took up so much book-talk space.

See you on April 1st with the first of 26 stellar reads that you won’t want to miss!

And, yes, you still have time to sign up your own blog for April AtoZ Challenge – over 1,500 bloggers strong!
**kmm

We did it! Blogathon2015 is in the books

clipart of Fireworks by rduris from OpenClipArt.org

Fireworks by rduris via https://openclipart.org/detail/167949/firework-ns

If you are reading this, that means that I conquered the Blogathon2015 challenge and posted every day in June! [cue the fireworks!]

And it means that I’m smackdab in the middle of the International Association of School Librarianship‘s annual conference. This year IASL2015 is in lovely Maastricht, Netherlands (near the borders of Belgium and Germany), so I hope to post pictures here soon.

It also means that I am leading a workshop today on IASL’s GiggleIT Project for global student writing through school libraries. If you know/are a librarian or teacher, check out this fun and free way for your students to share their personal knowledge and sense of humor with the world: GiggleIT Project.

See y’all soon, and thanks for enjoying Blogathon2015 along with me!
**kmm

Almost to the Blogathon 2015 finish line!

FLX blogathon2015 logoI did it!

Blogathon2015 ends today!

Thirty posts in thirty days, despite technology problems (happens during every blog challenge), being away from home for half the month, and all the just plain crazy things that get in the way when there’s a deadline looming.

Thanks to the folks at Freelance Success for shepherding me and my blogging buddies through June!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming – but with a break, so I can enjoy the IASL2015 conference in Maastricht, Netherlands!

Thanks for visiting BooksYALove – grab a great book and read, read, read!
**kmm

A beautiful Dutch bookstore beckons in former church

Photo of Domincaen Bookstore in Maastricht, NetherlandsLarge or small,
New or old,
A bookstore or library can take you anywhere.

Greetings from the Dominicaen Bookstore in Maastricht, Netherlands – named one of the world’s loveliest bookstores by Architectural Digest!

What’s your favorite bookshop?
**kmm

Slowdown Sunday with wordcloud – visual learners, unite!

A favorite Blogathon activity is creating a wordcloud based on your blog.

The more often that a word appears in your chosen text, the larger it appears in your wordcloud.

I’ve used Wordle and other tools, but have the most fun with the shapes and ‘spin color’ options on Tagxedo.

Here’s how Tagxedo “sees” BooksYALove posts over the past few weeks:

BooksYALove 2015 Tagxedo wordcloud in LOVE shape

Have you wordclouded lately?
**kmm

Haiku for you

booksyalove-blogheader-31.pngThree cheers for theme days!
Hooray for Haiku Day!

Yes, we Blogathonners love playing with that 5-7-5 syllabic pattern, especially when a poem gets us that much closer to our goal of blogging every single day of June!

Again, a blank page.
Desperation? Reflection?
Poetry saves us.

My Blogathon haikus from past years are here and here and here and even here.

Do you haiku?
**kmm

Blogging tools – accessibility edition

clipart of eye with global map by cam morris at OpenClipart.org

“Eye Can See the World” by cam morris https://openclipart.org/detail/65845/eye-can-see-the-world

Interesting – check.
Timely – yes.
Understandable to everyone – maybe?

As a blogger or website owner, whether you just dash off a quick daily note or craft a series of longer posts, do you ever think about

…readers with visual impairments being able “see” your images?

…people with color-blindness easily navigating your blog?

To help you reduce potential barriers for your readership, check out some free assessment tools and adopt simple practices for your blog.

For every image, photo, or video on your page, include an alt-text description. This allows screen readers to say aloud what it is. For instance, I use book covers from publishers in almost every BooksYALove post, so I always include alt-text like “book cover of Cool Book by Great Author published by Fancy Publisher” – which also gets picked up by search engines.

Be sure to bookmark and refer to the checklists on the Website Accessibility Project’s site so that you can institute the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines recommended changes one at a time (and monitor how they affect your site for viewers). The very first one is providing text descriptions for non-text elements.

Read a brief background on color-blindness and web design here, then use some of the free online tools listed by Sitepoint here to check your site. Good color contrast when a website is greyscaled also helps older readers better distinguish things there.

Free and easy ways to help more people read what you’ve worked so hard to write!
What accessibility tips do you recommend?
**kmm

Hello, Blogathon!

sketch of book on computer screen by boxfordlibrary on openclipart.org

image courtesy of boxfordlibrary at https://openclipart.org/detail/174651/book-on-monitor

If it’s June, then it’s time for Freelance Success/WordCount Blogathon!

I’ll be posting every day in June to build up my blogging muscles and help clear out my to-be-reviewed bookshelf. On Thursdays, I’ll highlight the new pair of free audiobooks for download, a great service of @AudiobookSYNC.

We should have some theme days (gotta do haiku and word clouds, as in years past!), and I hope to have a guest reviewer or two who’ll share their no-spoilers recommendation of outstanding young adult books that you might have missed.

If you’re interested in writing a guest post, please give me a buzz at Katy@BooksYALove.com.

Happy June and happy reading, y’all!
**kmm