Friday, May 30, 2008

Maximilian's Austrian Volunteers

Danke sehr to one of my Austrian readers! For anyone interested in 19th century Mexican history--- and the Emperor Maximilian in particular--- here is the link to an excellent webpage on the Austrian Volunteers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Guest-blogger Greg Niemann on his Baja Books, Big Brown, and Five Favorite Websites

To date, "Madam Mayo" has hosted Baja Buff writers Graham Mackintosh and Jennifer Silva Redmond. Now it's a trio with Greg Niemann, who is not only one of the most prolific of the Baja Buff writers, but also the author of a fascinating book on the history of UPS, Big Brown. I'll let him tell you how we met. Over to you, Greg!
I met C.M. Mayo in San Jose del Cabo while we were both promoting our Baja books. Because I feel that Miraculous Air is one of the best Baja books written, I later took her writing seminar in Mexico City this past January and continued to be impressed with her knowledge and writing ability. When she asked me to guest blog, I really didn’t know what she meant, nor exactly what a blog was, so I read a few other on-line blogs and offer this. Sometimes an old dog can learn new tricks. Thanks, Catherine.

My vast myriad of interests is partially reflected in my writing. After publishing two books about Baja California, Baja Fever and Baja Legends, one might assume my future books would be somehow connected with that Mexican peninsula. After all, my colleague Graham Mackintosh now has four Baja books and a host of fans. My own Baja publicity and marketing has long been set up, in place, and effective. In fact, Sunbelt Publications expects to do a third printing of Baja Legends this year.

Another Baja book from me would almost be expected. Too easy! Somehow, I always take the hard way. Just like in my real estate investing I have sometimes worked harder for not heeding the experts. For example, they said to have all your properties in the same general area. Mine are scattered all over the place, necessitating multiple vendors, plumbers, maintenance workers, gardeners, etc. Maybe I got deals, but I created headaches at the same time.

For my third book, my interest shifted to the desert oasis of Palm Springs, California. My curiosity about the place led to Palm Springs Legends, now already in its second printing. Of course, it opened a new chapter of distribution, retailers, libraries, bookstores, gift shops, signings, presentations, and media, but I said I didn’t want it too easy.

Before becoming an author, I had retired from United Parcel Service after 34 years and spent most of that time editing company publications. Knowing the worldwide company would be 100 years old in August 2007, and knowing no one had written about the huge shipping firm, well, I felt somebody had to. I got busy. It took the finding of a bright, hard-working agent in Sally Van Haitsma of Castiglia Literary Agency who really believed in the project, and several years of hard work, but my fourth book became a reality. The result is Big Brown: The Untold Story of UPS, published by Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley & Sons. Potential readership suddenly leapfrogged from regional to worldwide audiences. Now I really had to scramble to market the book. With Wiley’s assistance and direction, and hands-on involvement from my agent, it too is already in its second printing, and rights have been sold to Korean and Chinese publishers.

What’s next? Who knows; for my Baja fans, well I do have a few stories that have never been published. But I’m also working on several other projects right now, and I’m not sure which one will muscle its way to the forefront. I will venture this, it most likely will not be easy.

As far as my favorite web sites, I do check some specific-to-me sites, including some for UPS retirees, real estate, the stock market, the Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC), or even fishing sites. For example, I like to know when trout are stocked nearby. Some of my sites require membership. Thought I’d share some of my favorite web sites that are more general in nature. The popular web sites I’ve listed here, however, are probably no great revelation to many of you.

#1. Wikipedia
We all have spell checks and thesaurus capabilities on our software these days, but when I’m busy writing, really creating, I seem to constantly pull up Wikipedia, the on-line dictionary. It’s awesome. It seems to have everything. If you’re writing an article about Cocaine, for example, just pull up Wikipedia, type in Cocaine and take your pick from history, pharmacology, use of, types of, or whatever it is you want to know. Real helpful.

#2. Abebooks
My wife and I both use this site regularly. If we’re traveling and don’t want to lug books around, we’ll write the info down and order the book from AbeBooks when we get home. Over 13,500 booksellers have 110 million books listed, and they’re listed by price, condition, edition, etc. Hard-to-find used books and bargains can usually be found.

#3. Baja Nomads
To keep my finger on the Baja pulse, so to speak, I do regularly check the Baja Nomad Forum, run by Doug Means. Unlike other Baja forums, this one is used a lot, with much new input added each day. Over 6,500 worldwide members have made over a quarter million posts covering 22,000 Baja topics. I personally don’t take the time to post, but keep up by reading it.

#4. Amazon
I check Amazon constantly to see how my books are doing, either by reviews and sales. You can see how a book is selling in relation to all books, or compared to others in the same category, updated hourly. In addition, you can order any book you can think of, and then some. We use it a lot.

#5. Zillow
Where was this site back in the 1980s when I was calling realtors from corner phone booths? Just type in an address and get an instant appraisal, info on comparables, neighboring homes, etc. A real helpful tool, and usually pretty accurate, especially in mid-price ranges. Certainly enough to give you a ball park number before you consider a purchase or sale.

--- Greg Niemann

--->For the archive of Madam Mayo's guest blog posts, click here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Full Belly Farm

I wish there were something like Full Belly Farm in Mexico--- with CSA box deliveries to Mexico City. Is there?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bee Monday

Reading the latest by Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food, and re-reading my amiga L. Peat O'Neil's excellent pieces on organic farming in Mexico (one a delightful profile of the queen of Mexican cuisine, Diana Kennedy), last weekend I was inspired to visit the very informative storefront apriary of Vitamex, in Ixtapan de Sal, Estado de Mexico. (And: I'm reading Rudolph Steiner's Bees, which is, like, totally cosmic.) Alas, it seems the Vitareal webpage is down (link is Apropos of the bees, my amigo T. sends this link to Virgil's Fourth Georgic, on Beekeeping. And it turns out, there's an international symposium on bees in Puerto Vallarta next fall. More buzz anon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Poder" Interview with Dolia Estevez

More about translating Mexican literature: Last October Mexican journalist Dolia Estevez interviewed me for Poder y negocios magazine (kind of like a Mexican Forbes or Fortune). With her permission, I've now posted the text of the interview, with a link to the whole enchilada on PDFs on this webpage--- and also this webpage, part of the new Spanish version of my webpage.

Even the Birds Are for Obama

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guest-Blogger Gayle Brandeis on 5 Works of Fiction that Explore the Senses in Fresh, Strange Ways

Guest-blogging today is award-winning novelist Gayle Brandeis, whose blog, fruitful, I found thanks to a tip from Andrea Cumbo, who blogs at Andilit. Be to check out Gayle's new novel, Self-Storage, and check out the trailer, which she made herself. (No, not the contraption you hitch to a truck; I mean a video.) Over to you, Gayle!
I am in love with the senses. One of my very favorite books of all time is A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman. I often teach a workshop called Writing from the Senses. My book, Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (Harper San Francisco) is all about tapping into the senses, the body, as a source of creativity. In my novels, I can't know my characters' world until I'm able to smell the jasmine in their front yard, taste the blackberry pie they just pulled from the oven.

I decided to choose and excerpt five books of fiction (four novels, one short story collection) that explore the sensory world in fresh, strange ways. Each one below represents one of the senses. The novel excerpts come from the beginnings of the books, while Aimee Bender's comes from the last paragraph of her collection.

#1. Sight
Blindness by Jose Saramago
"Who would have believed it. Seen merely at a glance, the man's eyes seem healthy, the iris looks bright, luminous, the sclera white, as compact as porcelain. The eyes wide open, the wrinkled skin of the face, his eyebrows suddenly screwed up, all this, as anyone can see, signifies that he is distraught with anguish. With a rapid movement, what was in sight has disappeared behind the man's clenched fists, as if he were still trying to retain inside his mind the final image captured, a round red light at the traffic lights. I am blind, I am blind, he repeated in despair as they helped him to get out of the car, and the tears welling up made those eyes which he claimed were dead, shine even more." READ MORE

#2. Hearing
Disturbance of the Inner Ear by Joyce Hackett
"No one heard me. For years now, I have muted my cello by wrapping a thick silk sash around the bridge and wedging its ends firmly in the f holes. To save my ears from being dulled by too much sound. That was how it started, anyway; I used it on tour, to warm up for performances. The silence forced me inside, forced the music back up into my nervous system until I walked onstage with all the notes of a perfect performance streaming through my flesh at once, the sound bursting from my bow's first slice like the flesh of an overripe plum." READ MORE

#3. Scent
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
"In the period of which we speak, there reigned in the cities a stench barely conceivable to us modern men and women. The streets stank of manure, the courtyards of urine, the stairwells stank of moldering wood and rat droppings, the kitchens of spoiled cabbage and mutton fat; the unaired parlors stank of stale dust, the bedrooms of greasy sheets, damp featherbeds, and the pungently sweet aroma of chamber pots. The stench of sulfur rose from the chimneys, the stench of caustic lyes from the tanneries, and from the slaughterhouses..." READ MORE

#4. Taste
The Epicure's Lament by Kate Christensen
"It's breakfast time. Under normal circumstances--- which is to say, if I were alone here--I would stroll by the options in my mental automat: omelet with leftover chunks of lamb, a daub of sour cream, some chopped parsley; or a fried jumble of eggs, onions, potatoes, and sausage, puddles of ketchup; or maybe a sandwich of smoked herring fillets on toasted rye with horseradish and mustard; or a big chunk of extra-sharp cheddar, an apple cut into eighths, and a wad of sourdough bread ripped from a whole bakery loaf..." READ MORE

#5 Touch
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender
"I think of that girl I read about in the paper--the one with the flammable skirt. She'd bought a rayon chiffon skirt, purple with wavy lines all over it. She wore it to a party and was dancing, too close to the vanilla-smelling candles, and suddenly she lit up like a pine needle torch. When the boy dancing next to her felt the heat and smelled the plasticky smell, he screamed and rolled the burning girl up in the carpet. She got third-degree burns up and down her thighs. But what I keep wondering about is this: that first second when she felt her skirt burning, what did she think? Before she knew it was the candles..." READ MORE

It didn't occur to me until I gathered all these excerpts together that they are almost all about losing one's senses, or muting one's senses, or overwhelming one's senses in some way. None of them are sheer sensory celebrations, as I had remembered them—all of them are filled with the specter of loss. But maybe that's why I love them so much—maybe remembering the potential for losing our senses makes them all the more precious. Our senses operate over a vast store of silence and darkness, and I am grateful for the rich, fleeting pleasure and beauty they bring us. I want to appreciate all the colors and sounds and flavors and textures and fragrances of life while I can, both on the page and in the world.

---Gayle Brandeis

--->For the archive of Madam Mayo's guest-blog posts, click here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dreamy Monday

"Writing and Telepathy" an audacious, beautiful, and oh-yes-this-is-how-it-is essay by Joan Connor in Arts & Letters:
"I approach this topic tentatively and with the risk of sounding New-Aged, but writing invokes a different, less willful form of consciousness than habitual and daily thought. It is more akin to dreaming than thinking..." READ MORE

And some dream construction over at the Phron.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Eric Maisel's Telesummit 2008: A Definitely Different Writers Conference

It's a whole new tilt-a-whirl Web 2.0 paradigm: a virtual writers' conference. Attend if you're in Kansas, attend if you're in Kalorama. I'm doing the session on travel writing. Writes director Eric Maisel:
"The hosts of Art of the Song Creativity Radio and I have gathered together 24 world-class presenters who will tell you what you really need to know about turning your experiences into a memoir or a self-help book, writing genre fiction, interesting agents and editors in your work, and more. We have top agents, editors, publicists, and bestselling authors—folks like Rebecca York, who has 115 books to her credit, Jeff Herman, who wrote the book on finding agents and editors, Georgia Hughes, editorial director of New World Library (The Power of Now), and many more. And you get to attend right from your home or office. Please take a look:"

More anon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Guest-blogger Jennifer Silva Redmond's 5 Favorite Baja California Writers's Websites

Baja California is that Mexican peninsula which begins at Tijuana and ends nearly 1,000 miles south at Los Cabos. (The photo was taken by my sister, Alice, and shows the Sea of Cortez on the right, Pacific on the left.) Guest-blogging today is my amiga and fellow Baja aficionada, writer (her work is in Latinos in Lotusland, the new anthology edited by Daniel Olivas) and editor-in-chief of Sunbelt Publications, Jennifer Silva Redmond. As Jennifer is one of the world's experts on this magnificent finger of the world, it is a special honor indeed to have her guest-blogging here today. Over to you, Jennifer!
Here are my top five websites of those who write about Baja California-- its history, natural history, people, places, even cuisine... To limit it to 5, I’ve assumed you all know Madam Mayo’s wonderful Miraculous Air (mandatory for Baja-lovers), and my amigo Graham Mackintosh’s site-- he was a recent guest blogger here. My list is confined to those Baja authors whose sites yield goodies: downloads, excerpts, recipes, links, and more! (Disclosure: Yes, many of these sites do link to Sunbelt, but what can I say? We’re where people go for new and classic writing about Baja!) I’ve listed them A-Z, to avoid any hint of favoritism... Enjoy!

#1. Bruce Berger Wrote one of my all-time favorite Baja California books, Almost An Island, and won the 1990 Western States Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, for The Telling Distance, among other awards. Berger is an author and poet, journalist, activist for environmental conservation—and a concert pianist! His site would be worthwhile just for this poem and excerpt; but it also has some great links, like this one to Planeta Peninsula, co-publisher of Oasis of Stone, with stunning photos by Miguel Angel de La Cueva.

#2. Harry W. Crosby Author of the best-known and most lauded books on Baja (after Steinbeck!). Those who love Baja California may already own The Cave Paintings of Baja California and Antigua California but many don’t know his latest history (of the trek to San Diego in 1769) Gateway to Alta California. Two of the coolest links on his site are easy to miss, the UCSD photo collections gallery and text, and the outtakes and excerpts (like DVDs “extras”) from his novel, Portrait of Paloma. Also check out the Crosby Collection on the UCLA Rock Art site.

#3. Ann Hazard Her two “Baja Magic” cookbooks are synonymous with Baja California cuisine. Everyone should have a copy of the first Cooking with Baja Magic cookbook, but you may not have numero dos yet! You’ll find that and Agave Sunsets on her site, which is a veritable treasure trove of fun stuff-- new stories and articles, a few excerpts from the new cookbook and her novels, unique photo-art by Terry her talented partner, and best of all, lots of wonderful easy-to-make recipes for yummy comida y bebidas!

#4. Michael Mercer Love his books? Think he should be censored? Either way, he’s a helluva writer! I read Mexicoland, his first collection of stories back in 1998, and said his writing was “broadly comic to subtly disturbing, but always fascinating.” Nothing has changed. This story about Osama Bin Laden is from his book Bandidos (which caused quite an uproar, including being banned locally) you can read all about it on the site; also available is a talk he gave in Los Cabos in 2006 and some witty short pieces like this one about Costco.

#5. Daniel Reveles Beloved Mexican Author who made Tecate Famous (see Tecate on Wikipedia!). Señor Reveles’ whimsical tales have been compared to O’Henry, Twain, and other humorists, but his stories can bring a tear, too. His website includes an audio download of him telling the story of “Señor Frog” from his new collection of stories Guacamole Dip, excerpts from the new book and Tequila, Lemon and Salt, a downloadable reading group guide in PDF form, and even a slideshow of Tecate!

There are so many more-- publications like Baja Breeze (6 full pdf issues to download!) and Baja Traveler, authors who update their sites regularly, like Greg Niemann of Baja Legends fame, and David K’s eclectic, far-ranging, and photo-filled Viva Baja which defies description but is so addicting! A site that covers all of Mexico, but has Baja travel stories, book reviews, info, and articles in Mexico Premiere (check out their social network, called Zocalo).

---Jennifer Redmond

--->For the archive of Madam Mayo guest-blog posts, click here.
Up next Wednesday: novelist Gayle Brandeis.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Break the Block and Get a Bread Book

Paula Whyman, aka "curious writer," who recently guest-blogged here and was featured in a very cool Washington Post article on bread, is running a "creative jump-start" contest on her brand new blog: check it out and enter to win a beginner's guide to bread baking. Here's my entry in the contest:

Wash something--- yourself, the dishes, the dog--- anything. The act of washing calms the mind so that creative ideas, no longer repelled by turbulence, float in... to glide.... swanlike... One then proceeds to the desk....

Friday, May 09, 2008

Flash Fiction Workshop in Mexico City

It's filling up fast but there are still a few places available for my one day (10 am - 2 pm) "Flash Fiction" workshop via Dancing Chiva in Col. Roma, Mexico City on Saturday May 31st. What's a flash fiction? A story as short as six and as long as, say, 1,000 words. Though a genre with a distinguished tradition, flash fiction is perfectly suited for blogging and podcasting. For both beginning and advanced writers, this workshop will focus on improving your fiction-writing craft and generating new material. Suggested reading prior to the workshop: Dinty W. Moore, ed., Sudden Stories: The Mammoth Book of Miniscule Fiction. ---> Read more about this workshop here.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Finding Art, Making Art

Now, not in the future. A few artists who inspire me, not only for the quality of their work, but its range and sense of joy:
--->Christine Boyka Kluge--- who has a new blog post up, by the way;
--->David Rothenberg--- whose reading / whale & clarinet concert I caught last night at DC's Olssen's Bookstore;
--->Alvaro Santiago--- Mexican artist whose orange and gray art-box sits on my desk (must get a photo). If you're anywhere near DC, check out his "I Rent Myself to Dream" at the Mexican Cultural Institute.
More anon.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Happy Birthday

To Pabu, the world's greatest Tibetan Spaniel.

Guest-blogger Sanda Gulland's 5 Top Research Sites for Historical Novelists

I met today's guest-blogger, historical novelist Sandra Gulland at last February's San Miguel Writers Conference. She's a dynamo--- not only a fun conversationalist and fellow Mexico aficionada, but she's admirably prolific (a new novel plus the Josephine Triology) and--- this is also close to my heart--- keen on the whole Web 2.0 thing for books. ("Thing?" you say... well, I'm still trying to figure it all out, never mind the vocabulary.) Check out her website,, read her latest newsletter, go ahead and sign up for it here, and check out her blog. Apart from all of that, be sure to check out her latest novel, based on the true story, Mistress of the Sun. It's forthcoming June 3rd in the US; already it's been a best-selling novel for many weeks in Canada. Over to you, Sandra.

As a writer of historical novels, I increasingly rely on the Net for both research and inspiration. Here are five outstanding historical sites:

#1. The Medici Archive Project, Document Highlights
This is a site I go to for inspiration, to refresh my delight in all things historical. As the workers who toil in this dusty realm of historical documents put it, every now and then a document comes along that casts a spotlight into that far-away realm and demands to be shared. From this site I’ve read the historical accounts of a rain of frogs, disemboweling kisses, and the sexual crimes committed under cover of the rite of the Tenebrae-— or "The Darkness"-— during Holy Week.

#2. The Diary of Samuel Pepys
I enjoy reading Pepys delightful diary on almost a daily basis. It gives me the feeling of life in the 17th century. The annotations are informative and well worth reading, as well.

#3. BibliOdyssey: Books—Illustrations—Science—History—Visual Materia Obscura—Eclectic Bookart.
There are many, many delights in the realm of historical research, and coming upon unusual and captivating illustrations is one of them. This amazing blog revels in the unusual, the charming, the beautiful. Not all of the images are historical, but most are. I could linger on this site all day.

#4. Google Book Search Google wasn’t the first to put digitized books on-line (the French on-line library Gallica was an early pioneer), but it has quickly become the best, in my view, and certainly the easiest to use. If you specify “full view only” in your search, you will be shown books in the public domain, often published some time ago. If you go to Advanced Book Search, you may even specify the time of publication. You may also begin to build up your own on-line library.

I use it for research, but I also love to search for old expressions — for example, how someone in the past might have completed the phrase: “as hot as a ... “ A Google Book search reveals these tasty possibilities: “as hot as a turnspit,” “as hot as a plum pudding,” “as hot as a melon bed.”

#5. Oxford English Dictionary
If I want to know if a particular word or expression was used in the 17th century, this is where I can go to find out. If I want to know what words were used for—say—”pretty” before the 18th century, the OED on-line will tell me (comely, quaint, jolly...). The site, however, is restricted: one must use it through a library that subscribes or pay. I couldn’t do without it.

--- Sandra Gulland

--->For the archive of Madam Mayo's guest-blog posts, click here.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

11 Cool Beans

I hereby share the links...

Brother Labeler
David Allen was not kidding, this gizmo will change your life. I realize that sounds really wacky. But I am not kidding, either.

For those who must text at all times.

Beautiful Beast Pet Portrait by Julie Feingold
She did Picadou's portrait with the monarch butterflies.

Derek Buckner UFO Painting

Holographic Portrait
Wouldn't it be interesting to keep one behind a little red velvet curtain?

Mexican Secretaire
Muy sofisticato.

Micro Expression Training Tool
But, actually, I think we were all born with the software installed.

Mutt Mitts Pinkies
The Cadillac of you-know-what bags! Read the poem!

This needs REALLY LOUD Scottish bagpipes. I think. Anyway, do the math, Sports Club LA dues + gas > Twike.

Vintage Turban
Dolley Madison a la Trailer Parque. Hon, why wait until you have to have the chemo?

Walking Wall Art
Can I have this in purple pugs?

More anon.

Hoy a las 17:00 hrs Konrad Ratz

Conferencia de Konrad Ratz sobre el Padre Fischer. Uno de los colaboradores mas destacados de Maximiliano en Mexico fue el sacerdote, presunto jesuita de origen aleman, Agustin Fischer. Entrada libre. Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, Republica Salvador 49, Col. Centro, Mexico DF, Mexico.

Monday, May 05, 2008

DC Event May 6th @ 7 pm with Leslie Pietrzyk and Matthew Klam

Flirting with the Masters: Fiction Writers on F. Scott Fitzgerald. Tuesday, May 6, 2008, at 7 PM, the Arts Club of Washington will host acclaimed fiction writers Leslie Pietrzyk and Matthew Klam as they talk about the personal impact of reading F. Scott Fitzgerald, then share selections from their own work. This event is affiliated with the 2008 NEA "Big Read." Free and open to the public, reception to follow. The Arts Club of Washington is at 2017 I Street NW, near Foggy Bottom/GWU and Farragut West metro. Headquartered in the James Monroe House, a National Historic Landmark, the Club was founded in 1916 and is the oldest non-profit arts organization in the city. The Club mission is to generate public appreciation for and participation in the arts in the Nation's capital, through ongoing educational programs that include literary events, art exhibitions, and musical and theatrical performances.

Helmut Answers A Couple of Qs

Phronesisaical, or the "Phron," is one of the first blogs I ever read-- and after more than two years in the "blogopshere," I'm still checking in on an almost daily basis. Founding blogger "Helmut," (not his real name) is a DC friend, a professor of philosophy and an expert (he's edited an anthology for Johns Hopkins University Press and testified before Congress) on the philosophy of torture. Apropos of the workshop I gave last Saturday on writers's blogs for the Maryland Writers Association, I asked "Helmut" for his thoughts on blogging.

Madam Mayo: Do you read any writers's blogs?

Helmut: If fiction, I don't really read many unless I e-stumble upon them. I find McSweeney's, for example, really annoying in its overly self-conscious and preening cleverness. So, I assiduously avoid the site. My dislike there has more to do with the writing itself than with the fact that it's blog-based. It may be that writers' blogs and their drawbacks/assets have as much to do with the medium of blogs rather than writing itself. Part of this has to do with market. For example, I like James Wolcott as a writer and urbane wit, but I tend to check his blog more often than he posts. In some cases with other writers, this would doom them to blog oblivion (under the blogoid assumption that you continually have to post new content)-- that is, supply not keeping up with demand. In the case of Wolcott, however, he has the institutional heft of Vanity Fair behind him, but also individually has a large-ish market of readers. They'll come back, like me, to check for new posts.

Madam Mayo: What do you think attracts readers to a writer's blog?

Helmut: Given the vastness today of the blog world, readers tend to congregate around those blogs that either established themselves early on or have had the good luck to have some basic quality or particular product discovered by some other well-established blog. But to keep the readers, the blogger has to post fairly often. That need to post (if one wants readers and to retain those readers) is going to be in basic tension with the quality of the writing at some point, I would think. If one doesn't care about the readers, I have no explanation for why they're blogging in the first place... Frankly, I have no idea about these things regarding my own blog; otherwise, I wouldn't have given it the ugly name it has and wouldn't have committed myself-- on a whim-- to posting fruit photos.

Madam Mayo says: check out the latest fruit photo on the Phron here.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Guest Blog Posts at Madam Mayo



--->Travel writer and writing teacher Richard Goodman
5 Favorite Books on Soul
--->Travel writer and power walker L. Peat O'Neil
5 + Links on Walking
--->Writer Nani Power
5 Interesting Facts About the Monarch Butterfly
--->Poet Sandra Beaseley
5 Poets Turned Prose Writers--->Sociology Professor Clara Rodriguez
5 Latino Stars of Early Hollywood
--->Writer and Mexico City Aficionado David Lida
5 Secrets of Mexico City
--->Visionary librarian Jane Kinney Meyers
5 Links About Lubuto
--->Novelist, Anthologist and Blogger Daniel Olivas
5 Influential Writers in "Latinos is Lotusland"
--->Baja Buff and Business Writer Greg Niemann
5 Favorite Websites
--->Novelist Gayle Brandeis
5 Works of Fiction that Explore the Senses in Fresh Strange Ways

--->Writer and editor Jennifer Silva Redmond
5 Favorite Baja California Writers's Websites
--->Historical novelist Sandra Gulland
Top 5 Research Sites for Historical Novelists
--->Mexico historian Tasha Tenenbaum
"Kahlo de Rivero" and the Long List of World-Class Mexican Artists
--->Novelist and blogger Leslie Pietrzyk
3 Dos and 3 Don'ts for Writers's Blogs
--->Writer, editor, translator, graphic designer Tom Christensen
3 Dos and 3 Don't for Writers's Blogs
--->Poet and playwright Grace Cavalieri
5 Favorite Venturesome and Vivid Movers of the Earth
--->Writer Paula Whyman
5 + 1 Sites on Baking for Writers--- and Other Breadheads
--->King of the Baja Buffs, adventure travel writer Graham Mackintosh

5 Favorite Websites
--->Novelist and lit-bloggerLeslie Pietrzyk
5 Favorite Guest-Blog Posts on Work in Progress
--->Travel writer and Mexico expert Isabella Tree
5 Favorite Books About Mexico
--->Journalist and highway historian Steven Hart
5 Sites at the Crossroads of History, Industry, Commerce and Art
--->Writer, musician, composer, philosopher David Rothenberg
5 Whale Music Links
--->Poet Cathleen Calbert
The 5 Members of the Providence Area Writers Group
--->Novelist Eric B. Martin
5 Links On the Next Roberto Bolaño: Guillermo Fadanelli
--->Travel writer and essayist Richard Goodman
5 Favorite "Collected Letters of..."
---> Medievalist and author Jeff Sypeck
On other writers's blogs
---> Writer and documentary film maker David Taylor
Top 5 Books Read in 2007
---> Children's book writer Nancy Levine
5 Favorite Pug Websites
---> Playwright and writing coach Roy Sorrels
5 Reasons San Miguel de Allende is a Writer's Heaven
--->Poet, writer and teacher Sheila Bender
Top 5 Books On Writing
--->Short story and nonfiction writer John Kachuba
5 Spooky Sites
--->Short story writer and novelist Janice Eidus
5 Favorite (mas o menos, directly or very indirectly) Mexico-Related Websites
--->Comedy writer and stand-up comic Basil White
Top 5 Laugh Links
--->Poet and visual artist Christine Boyka Kluge
Top 5 Websites for Hybrid Writing, Collaborations, and Experimental Work
--->Travel writer Jim Benning
World Hum's Representative 5
--->Short story writer Kate Blackwell
5 + Summer Reading
--->Poet Kim Roberts
Top 5 Litblogs
--->Feng Shui Expert Carol Olmstead
5 + 1 Feng Shui Tips for Writers

--->Want to guest-blog for Madam Mayo? Guidelines here.
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Writers's Blogs: 3 More Dos & 3 More Don'ts

This Sat May 3rd is my Writers's Blogs: Best & Worst Practices Workshop at the Maryland Writers Association Conference. On this subject, so far novelist and "Work in Progress" blogger Leslie Pietryzk has weighed in with 3 dos and 3 don'ts, as has writer, translator, and editor and "Right-reading" blogger Tom Christensen. And recently, on the occasion of Madam Mayo's second anniversary, I offered "5 Lessons Learned." Herewith 3 more dos and 3 more don'ts:

--->Mine your blog--- by which I mean, feature the better / most interesting / traffic-generating posts on your menu (see right-hand column of this page, scroll down, and you'll find, for example, Top 10 Books Read in 2007; Hypnerotomachia Poliphili; and Ten Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Writing Workshop);
--->Keep your text brief and link rich (surfers prefer to click rather than scroll);
--->Offer RSS feed.

--->Use that generic "blogger" header (I must admit, it took me over a year to put in something original--- it's designed by Kathleen Fetner);
--->Get into endless rounds with anonymous and crank commenters (surely there are better things to do, for example, write?) I don't even allow comments--- though, certainly, I am happy to hear from readers (note link to "send e-mail" on right hand side of the page);
--->Forget to include the link to your blog on your e-mail signature.

---> For the archive on "Gone to the Litblogs" click here.