Daily Archives: June 6, 2012

The Armchair BEA – Beyond the Blog

Here is the prompt for Day Four of The Armchair BEA:

Today we’d love you to share your top tips for getting beyond your blog! Have you done any freelance writing? Are you monetizing your blog and how so? How do you make connections outside the book blog community on the internet? If none of these apply we’d love for you to share a fun aspect about your blog or life that may be completely separate from books!


I don’t freelance (although I do publish my reviews at The Piker Press – an ezine for which I wrote before I became a book blogger…here is my author page over there). And I don’t really monetize my blog. I am an associate of Indiebound, but since I have never collected a paycheck in the years I’ve been with them, I don’t really see that as “monetizing.”

So this post is going to be my life outside of books which I think is important to talk about because sometimes I think that there are those who believe that book bloggers never leave their homes and spend hours just reading and blogging. The truth is, I have a really busy life outside of my role as book blogger!

I work about 25 to 30  hours per week as a physical therapist for a home health agency and I also own my own physical therapy consulting business where I work with group homes which service adults with developmental delay. I have been a licensed physical therapist since 1989 and still love working with my patients (although I could do without the huge volume of paperwork!).

Outside of work my passion these days is designing and making quilts – many of which I share here on my blog on my Creative Ventures page. I post photos of my quilts on Flickr and have joined many groups over there. I follow tons of quilting blogs and join in on block of the month clubs and quilt-alongs. In addition, I have recently joined a terrific group of sewists over on Threadbias which is a fabulous community if you enjoy any type of sewing. Lately my time on line seems to be more dominated by quilts than by books. I am also involved with my local quilting shops and take classes when I can. I am participating in a block of the month club at one of the local shops which meets the first Saturday of every month.

If you follow my blog, you also know that I spend a lot of time with my husband and my dog, Raven (who arrived after the loss of my search and rescue dog, Caribou). Our two cats (Gizmo and Maia) also share our home.

My husband and I like to travel when we can, but lately we have devoted a lot of our time to ongoing renovations and upgrades to our home. This summer we are tackling our huge, unwieldy backyard! One of these days I hope it will be less dirt and more lush with plants and flowers.

Other things that call to me outside the blog are hiking, cooking (I love to improvise meals and try new things), and connecting with friends and family.

Book blogging will continue to be something I love, but every now and then, I shut down the computer and devote a little time to the other things in life!

Visit The Armchair BEA blog to get links to other “Beyond the Blog” posts.


Raylan by Elmore Leonard

Learn more about the book and author by visiting the publisher page.

Enter to win:

  • Contest open to US/Canada mailing addresses.
  • Anyone can enter – you do not need to be a book blogger
  • Contest closes on June 9th at 5:00 pm (PST)
  • To enter Click here to take survey

Don’t forget to visit my other giveaways this week (all are open through June 9th at 5:00 pm PST):

Don’t forget to come back on Friday for the last book giveaway!!

Armchair BEA – Networking in Real Life

Welcome to Day Three of The Armchair BEA.

For Day 3, we want you to share your positive experiences of using your blog to get involved in your community.  This can involve partnerships with the local literary scene, attending author events and signings, or getting together with bloggers in your area.  We want to hear it all!

I have had the opportunity to get out in my community and network with authors, publishers, and other bloggers. My first foray into the “outside” world was in October 2008 at the San Jose Book Group Expo (posts are here and here) where I connected with Trish, Jill and author Michelle Gagnon.

In May of 2009, I spent an amazing week with women I had met through Library Thing. Our get together included a trip to see Edith Wharton’s home in The Berkshires, Massachusetts.

And later that summer, I traveled to Portland, Oregon to meet up with other bloggers for the Portland Book Blogger Retreat (August 2009). Book bloggers from Northern California, Washington, Oregon and Canada converged on the city of Portland where we toured the renowned Powell’s bookstore, visited the rare book room at the Multnomah County Library and spent about an hour with author Molly Gloss. All in all, it was a memorable and fun trip.

I was lucky enough to be able to make it to BEA in the spring of 2010 and sat on a panel at the first ever Book Bloggers Convention. It was thrilling to meet other bloggers and authors, and to visit some publishing houses where I made connections with publicists which are still strong today. And I learned A LOT!!

More recently, I participated in a community outreach to promote reading and literacy through World Book Night – an event which began in England and arrived here in the United States for the first time this year. Although nervous at first, this community event allowed me to reach out face to face with others and encourage reading on a local level.

My future plans for outreach include attending Booktopia in Santa Cruz this autumn to meet up with other bloggers and authors and to support the local bookstore there.

Blogging has afforded me the opportunity to connect with others, not only on line, but in person. I feel incredibly lucky to have made friendships through my blog which I hope will endure a lifetime!

Get links to other networking posts by visiting the Armchair BEA blog here.


I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (ARE format)
The GQ Candidate by Keli Goff (New Trade Paperback)

Read more about Sophie Kinsella’s novel here.

Read more about Keli Goff’s novel here.

  • Giveaway is open through June 9th at 5:00 pm PST
  • Giveaway open to ANYONE with a US or CANADA mailing address.
  • To enter Click here to take survey.

Don’t forget to visit my other giveaways this week (all are open through June 9th at 5:00 pm PST):

  • The Sunday Salon post for giveaway of The Road to Grace by Richard Paul Evans (US/Canada; book bloggers only)
  •  Introductions First post for giveaway of Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (worldwide; don’t need to be a book blogger to enter)
  • Armchair BEA Giveaway post for giveaway of The Green Shore by Natalie Bakopoulos (worldwide; book bloggers only)