All about your BLOG:
Tell us about you lovely BLOG.
What is the name of your blog and how did you decide on your blog name?
It’s really a short and boring story. My blog is called “Zigler News” and has been pretty much since I started it. Although, I did call it “Torizworld” for a while at one point. I wasn’t as happy with that though, so changed it back. Anyway, it got its name because that was basically what it was started for: to share family news. So, with mine and my hubby’s last name being Zigler, it seemed logical.
What prompted you to start on this blogging journey?
My Grandma and her sister had discovered blogging, and I joined Blogger to comment on their blogs. It occurred to me that a blog would be a good way to share stuff from my life with several people at once. Plus it was an excuse to practice my writing skills.
To date, what blogging achievement/s are you most proud of?
I’ve maintained the same blog for 12 years. Well, there was that time I announced I was giving up blogging and threatened to delete my blog. But I didn’t delete it, didn’t last long without blogging, and celebrated my 12th bloggerversary this past May.
How would you describe your own blogging style?
Like with the rest of my life, there’s some structure, with a bit of randomness thrown in. I have some themed posts, but I also have times when I just post whatever comes into my head. Actually, those seem to be the most popular of my posts. Apparently, people think my life, and my random thoughts, are interesting. I’m not sure why.
What excites you most about blogging?
I love writing, and any way to share it with the world is excellent in my opinion. But I get most excited when someone comments on, or shares, one of my posts. I love knowing people were interested enough in whatever I had to say that they were willing to take the time to interact with my post in some way.
What platform do you use and why?
I use Blogger. I use that one for no other reason than that it’s the one I started on. I know how it works, JAWS (my text to speech software) is willing to work with it, and it does what I need it to. So I don’t see the point in causing confusion among the couple of people who have stuck with me for years by changing it. Plus, every platform has its pros and cons, so I don’t suppose it really matters which a person uses.
What genre/topic/theme do you blog about? Do you ever deviate from that theme?
I have some themed days, and some random days where I post about whatever random thing is in my head, or random events from my life.
My main themes are books, writing, and pets. But I also have a regular motivational quotes post, and often post about my other interests like music, movies, crafts, and baking. I’ve got several posts about dealing with blindness too.
When I do one of my random posts, I could end up blogging about anything from the weather to space littering, the latest random question that popped in to my head – sometimes with an answer, other times not – to recent news articles that captured my attention and I considered worth talking about, what I did on my most recent trip to town, and everything in between.
How often do you blog per week or month?
I used to blog whenever I felt like it. Then I started a proper blog schedule that says I’m supposed to be blogging four times a week. But it often ends up being five or six times a week, because I keep running out of posting days. I’m planning on officially changing it to five times a week in the New Year.
At the moment, every Wednesday I have a writing-themed post. Every Friday I have a post from the point of view of one of my furkids. Sundays and Mondays sometimes have themed posts (like book reviews, Monday motivation, music Monday, movie reviews, etc) but not always. Then I use Tuesdays and Thursdays for when I have too many things I want to post for the number of regular posting days in a month, which is something that keeps happening.
Starting from the New Year, I’ll be posting Monday through Friday. Monday will be motivational and inspirational quotes or other types of words of wisdom. Tuesday will be one of my “this and that” random posts (talking about my week, and sharing any other random thing I want to share). Wednesday will still be writing themed stuff (writing news for myself and other authors, as well as writing-related links, and sometimes some words of wisdom or quotes about writing; the same stuff I post on Wednesdays now). Thursday will be book and movie reviews. Friday will still be my “Furkid Friday” posts, where one of my furry family members has their say.
Do you have any wisdom or tip/s regarding blogging to share with us?
My first reaction to this was to say, “No.” But then I started thinking about it, and ended up coming up with a little list. So… In no particular order… Here are my tips, words of wisdom, bits of advice, or whatever you want to call them:
- Make sure anything you post is either your own, or properly credited to the person it belongs to, because otherwise you’ll be in trouble for copyright issues.
- Answer all comments. It makes the people who comment feel happy, and happy commenters are more likely to come back.
- Be polite even if someone is disagreeing with your opinion on things (I learned that lesson the hard way… It cost me a potentially good friendship; don’t make the same mistake I did).
- Blog regularly, even if that “regularly” is only once a month, otherwise people will wander off and go find other blogs to read.
- Proofread your posts. I’m not saying you have to do a full on edit but read through what you’ve written to catch obvious typos, and things like that.
- Consider accessibility issues. Don’t use fonts and colour schemes that make things hard to read. Don’t have music playing in the background, because it makes it impossible for those of us using screen readers to hear them over it. Don’t assume everyone can see your images. That kind of thing. There are more disabled bloggers out there than you might realize, and you don’t want to exclude them as potential readers, do you?
Do you participate in linkup parties? How do you feel about it?
Every so often, but very rarely. I used to do it more.
I think they’re great, and can be a lot of fun. Not to mention, they can potentially help you find some new bloggy friends, which is always nice. But I don’t participate often, because I feel you should visit at least a couple of the others on the list, so I’ll only participate if I know I’m going to have time to do that.
All about YOU:
Tell us something about you, the real YOU.
What do you like to do other than blogging?
If I’m not blogging, mostly you’ll find me either reading or writing. But I also enjoy watching movies, listening to music, doing crafts like knitting and sewing, playing roleplaying games (like Dungeons And Dragons) and sometimes doing a little cooking and baking. I’ve got other interests that sometimes capture my attention too, but those are the main ones.
If I’m not doing any of those things, or indulging in one of those other random interests, I’ll either be spending time with my hubby and furkids, or catching up with family and friends (mostly on the phone or on social media, since very few of the people I know live near me).
Where do you reside?
I live on the South-East coast of England, in the United Kingdom. Hubby and I moved here in 2011. He’s originally from Canada, and I’m originally from Wales. Now we both live in England.
Are you an indoor or outdoor person?
It varies. Some days I like to be outside and wish I could stay out there all day. Other days I really just want to stay indoors. It’s not because of the weather. I don’t mind being out when it’s raining, and love being out in the snow. But some days I just don’t want to be out there.
On the days I go outside, I love being on the beach. Not for the sunbathing, but because the ocean calls to me. I could happily spend hours on the beach. I could do the same in the mountains, or in a wooded area too. In fact, I’ve done so several times. I grew up spending hours at a time just sitting with the sheep in the mountains. Not because we had sheep, but because they were everywhere. Hey, I did say I was from Wales. I like spending time near the ocean best though.
Do you still work, and if so, what is your trade/profession?
I’m a self-published author and considered to be working part-time.
Or are you retired? If so, what do you do besides blogging?
As mentioned above, I’m a self-published author. But I’m disabled and have various health issues that mean I have to work around bad health days, so I’m only considered to be working part-time, with flexible hours. Thankfully, my hubby is my carer, and he helps me out a lot, even though I sometimes yell at him when not feeling well, or not being able to do things because I can’t see, frustrates me.
Do you wish to be 20-something or the age you are now and why?
I definitely don’t want to go through my 20s again. I lost the last of my sight in my early 20s and spent the rest of my 20s adjusting to that. I wouldn’t want to go through that again.
Even if that wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t want to be younger. I actually look forward to getting to a nice old age and being able to say I lived a long life.
What makes your day a good and happy one?
A happy day for me is one where my health is behaving itself, I get a good writing session in, I get to spend some quality time with hubby and the furkids, and I also get to spend some time reading while relaxing with a nice cup of tea or cocoa.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Creative, curious, and stubborn.
Share with us 3 interesting facts about yourself.
- I’ve published more than 50 books. Nine of them are poetry collections, the rest are stories officially aimed at children, but I happen to know they’ve been enjoyed by many adults too.
- I’m completely blind, having lost my sight to Congenital Glaucoma in my early 20s.
- I’ve always wanted a pet lion. The closest I’ve ever got – and am ever likely to get – was an oriental cat I owned several years ago. But I can dream, right?
Do you have any other tidbits to share with us about yourself?
Not really, though I don’t mind people getting in touch if they have questions that aren’t covered here, or about any of my answers.
Also, thank you very much, Esme, for inviting me to be interviewed.
Last but not least:
Please share with us your social media links, in order for our readers to follow you!