The making of a rhyme…

28 03 2013

Wotcha!

When I posted yesterday’s rhyme, Itchy Eric, I’d intended to include some waffle about how I wrote it, but forgot. Blame the over-tiredness! So I’m going to do it today instead. Probably a good thing in hindsight, otherwise yesterday’s post would have been massive.

This isn’t meant as a ‘how to’ guide, or even hints and tips – it’s just me writing down the thought processes that went through my head when I was penning Itchy Eric.

So. As yesterday was a Crazy Rhymey Challenge day, to start off with I had no idea what the subject or storyline would be. Crazy Rhymey Challenge started when one day I asked the lovely people on Twitter for a word or two which I’d then use in a rhyme. I’ve done a few of these now – they’re great fun! They usually happen when I’m on a train travelling to or from a work shift, so have a few hours to kill between home and London, Crewe, Newcastle, Edinburgh and various other places. I’ll generally do all the writing and subsequent posting to WordPress on my iPhone in a yellow note, but if I’m heading home (or to a hotel I know has free wi-fi) I’ll use Pages on my iPad.

The first word to be tweeted in yesterday’s challenge was reciprocation, closely followed by sausages, treacle, and pancakes. Not much story there yet, although reciprocation had good rhymey potential, and the others suggested a vaguely foody theme. These words were dutifully noted down in a new Pages document on my iPad.

Then came another wordy tweet – euouae. I know, that’s what I thought! It rang a distant bell however, in a musical kind of way, so I popped over to Google (other search engines are available) and did the business:

Euouae is a mnemonic which was used in medieval music to denote the sequence of tones in the “seculorum Amen” passage of the lesser doxology, Gloria Patri, which ends with the phrase In saecula saeculorum, Amen.” (Wikipedia)

Aha! I had an inkling of a subject now… medieval… monkish… The word was pasted into Pages, along with seculorum Amen, just in case.

Then I sat on the train (did I mention I was on a train? I was on a train – the 1007 Crewe to Derby if you’re interested) muttering into my scarf for a while, trying to work out how to pronounce it, which is quite important if you’re rhyming…

Popping back over to Twitter on my iPhone, pantaloons, esoteric, and cinnamon had arrived. Hurrah for pantalooooooons! It rhymes with macarooooooons! And macaroons always remind me of my mum – she always pronounced it macaroooooon! (With the exclamation mark after it).

Jot down new words in Pages.

Sometimes a bit of a rhyme jumps out at me straight away, which is always nice as it gives me a sort of base-rhythm (and a bit of story) to work from. This popped into my head:

Eric pulled a docket from the pocket in his pantaloons,
And took it to the cook who swapped it for a bag of macaroons.

It had to be Eric, by the way, in view of esoteric and the great Mr Morcambe.

If you read yesterday’s rhyme, you’ll notice that the above bit isn’t there – that’s because I decided the multiple rhymyness (docket/pocket and took/cook) would take far too long, and unless I stayed on the train until it went back to Crewe then back to Derby again a few times, I probably wouldn’t finish it by the time I got home. So I saved that thought for possible later use.

I was beginning to get a vague nobbley-shaped story in my head, to do with a monk called Eric, something about food, and trousers. Why was he wearing trousers and not a habit? Hmmm.

I jotted down a few rhyme thoughts:

Reciprocation – dedication, the nation, altercation, abomination, acceleration, manipulation, circumbobulation, constipation, standard deviation, decapitation, participation
Treacle – faecal
Pancake – mandrake
Esoteric – eric, derrick, generic, hysteric, atmospheric
Cinnamon – minimum, Wimbledon, persimmon

…and paused a bit to chuckle at ‘treacle‘ and ‘faecal‘. Dare I?

I always start finding rhymes by jotting down the obvious ones, then running through the alphabet in my head. If I’m stuck, I’ll also nip over to the extremely useful Rhymezone for a bit of help – it’s so much lighter than carrying round my rhyming dictionary. Not all the suggested words end up getting rhymed – some work better mid-sentence (like sausages in this case, although I did rather dubiously rhyme sausages here) just because they do, or because they’re un-rhymeable. Or I can’t conjure up a made-up word that fits. Or the available rhymes don’t work with the story. And so on…

Then I went back to muttering euouae into my scarf. With a bit of, er, artistic licence, perpetuum mobile sort of worked. As did pooey, which fitted in nicely with treacle and faecal.

A small pause to snigger into my scarf as I pictured an unfortunate monk with a rather bad case of wind, causing endless, stuttering, perpetuum-mobile-bottom-burps to echo round a church…

Okay, I was getting somewhere now, in a smelly kind of way. But why the pantaloons? Then ‘itchy habit‘ popped into my head, and I jotted down the first two verses:

Long ago in Flanders, in a place called Sparton Perrick,
There was a lonely novice who went by the name of Eric.

The other monks they teased him as he was so very twitchy –
Poor Eric was too shy to say his habit felt all itchy.

Not being able to think of any places that rhymed with Eric, I made one up. and Flanders just appeared and sounded right. Twitching sort of worked with kitchen, so next came:

To cover his embarrassment he hung out in the kitchen;
The servants didn’t comment on his shyness or his twitching.

Which bought the foody words into play, and the fabulous pantaloons:

He helped to stuff the sausages and fill the macaroons;
They let him take his habit off and just wear pantaloons.

And then came the little story breakthrough – he makes up his own recipe, it goes horribly wrong, gives him a terrible case of wind, so he hides in the church which is unfortunately very echoey…

So back to food:

And sometimes in the mornings when the kitchen was all quiet,
He’d make up his own recipes to supplement his diet.

Cut to the church, and to introduce a bit of music in preparation for euouae:

One evening during vespers, midst the singing of the choir,
Some strange unholy noises were heard coming from the spire.

I realised another character or two would be required to help Eric out of his itchy predicament, so introduced them…

The Abbott gave a sniff and said “I’m sure I can smell treacle,”
“I’m not so sure,” the Friar said, “I think it smells more faecal.”

And then it was time to use that word:

The noises echoed all around and drowned out the euouae,
And everyone agreed the smell was definitely pooey.

Next poor Eric needed to be found…

The Friar and the Abbott climbed up high into the steeple,
To try and find out what it was disturbing all the people.

And there right at the top they found the miserable Eric,
Regretting that his latest dish had been so esoteric.

And then an explanation for his sorry state. I liked Pancake and mandrake, so decided he’d mistakenly tripped himself out:

All alone and itchy he had tried to make a pancake,
But accidentally sprinkled it with freshly ground-up mandrake.

…then gone on a bit of a food frenzy to try and come down from the mandrake high…

To try and stop the shudders he’d then scoffed a persimmon,
Lightly stewed with chilli and a dash of cinnamon.

…which caused a bit of a blockage so I could use the rhyme for reciprocation that appealed to me most…

The sorry meal resulted in a bout of constipation,
So he’d eaten lots of figs and prunes to aid reciprocation.

Okay, I bent the meaning of reciprocation, but in my mind it works! Next, an explanation from Eric is required:

The Abbott and the Friar shook their heads and said “Oh Eric!
It’s no surprise your meal proved so very atmospheric.”

Eric hung his head and told them of his chronic itching,
Explaining that was why he spent so much time in the kitchen.

And then Eric gets some help, and what the help is…

The Friar and the Abbott found his misery distressing,
And so they bent the rules to solve the problem with his dressing.

Next morning in the chapel as they sang their matins tunes,
The monks all gaped in awe at Eric, in his pantaloons.

And last but not least, a happy ending:

He stood erect and proud, and sang without a single twitch,
So happy to be wearing clothes that didn’t make him itch!

And there you have it. All that was left to do was read it back to myself a few times to check for rhythm, rhyme, sense (or nonsense, ha!) and typos. If I’m alone I’ll read it out loud, otherwise I’ll mutter it into my scarf/jumper/any other available muffler.

Itchy Eric took around five hours start to finish, and included three trains, three large lattes to keep me awake and one banana. It was polished and posted into WordPress using the excellent little WordPress App from my iPad – with the aid of a cup of tea – when I got home.

The Pages document magically floats through the air on a little fluffy iCloud to my MacBook Pro for safekeeping, and if I’ve just been using Notes on my iPhone, when I get connected to wifi the Note’ll pop up on my iPad and I’ll paste it into a new Pages document to make sure it gets the iCloud treatment too.

And that, me dears, is how Itchy Eric came into being! I have no idea if there’s a right or wrong way to write rhymes, I just a-fuddle and a-muddle my way along in whatever manner feels right at the time. If any of the above proves useful to you, then hurrah! If not, then… well, I hope you enjoyed peeping into the workings of my mind!

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Itchy Eric…

27 03 2013

Hello hello hello!

Due to another journey by train, I proclaimed it a Crazy Rhymey Challenge day, and put out the usual call for words on Twitter.

Today’s words were:

shaggydogyarns – reciprocation

yorkshire_chris – sausages (again…!), treacle, pancakes

laurothecheerio – euouae

AnnieBC3 – pantaloons, esoteric, cinnamon

I may have taken a bit of artistic licence with the pronunciation of euouae…!

Er, I should probably also warn you that this one is a bit… whiffy…

Itchy Eric…

Long ago in Flanders, in a place called Sparton Perrick,
There was a lonely novice who went by the name of Eric.

The other monks they teased him as he was so very twitchy –
Poor Eric was too shy to say his habit felt all itchy.

To cover his embarrassment he hung out in the kitchen;
The servants didn’t comment on his shyness or his twitching.

He helped to stuff the sausages and fill the macaroons;
They let him take his habit off and just wear pantaloons.

And sometimes in the mornings when the kitchen was all quiet,
He’d make up his own recipes to supplement his diet.

One evening during vespers, midst the singing of the choir,
Some strange unholy noises were heard coming from the spire.

The Abbott gave a sniff and said “I’m sure I can smell treacle,”
“I’m not so sure,” the Friar said, “I think it smells more faecal.”

The noises echoed all around and drowned out the euouae,
And everyone agreed the smell was definitely pooey.

The Friar and the Abbott climbed up high into the steeple,
To try and find out what it was disturbing all the people.

And there right at the top they found the miserable Eric,
Regretting that his latest dish had been so esoteric.

All alone and itchy he had tried to make a pancake,
But accidentally sprinkled it with freshly ground-up mandrake.

To try and stop the shudders he’d then scoffed a persimmon,
Lightly stewed with chilli and a dash of cinnamon.

The sorry meal resulted in a bout of constipation,
So he’d eaten lots of figs and prunes to aid reciprocation.

The Abbott and the Friar shook their heads and said “Oh Eric!
It’s no surprise your meal proved so very atmospheric.”

Eric hung his head and told them of his chronic itching,
Explaining that was why he spent so much time in the kitchen.

The Friar and the Abbott found his misery distressing,
And so they bent the rules to solve the problem with his dressing.

Next morning in the chapel as they sang their matins tunes,
The monks all gaped in awe at Eric, in his pantaloons.

He stood erect and proud, and sang without a single twitch
So happy to be wearing clothes that didn’t make him itch!

But wait! I haven’t finished yet! Something fab happened! AnnieBC3 not only gave me some words, she also wrote a rhyme too! And here it is – I think it’s marvellous!

Esoteric Eric was a very learned man,
He liked to write in poetry –
He really was a fan.

He’d write haikus, rhymes & ballads
Full of mystical allusions…
But beware the sign upon his door:
“I’ll suffer no intrusions!”

For Eric worked in secret
And he NEVER shared his work
He really was the most pretentious, irritating BERK!

If you’d like to join in the next Crazy Rhymey Challenge, keep your eyes peeled on my Twitter feed for #CrazyRhymeyChallenge – it usually happens when I have a longish train journey home after a long shift, as the rhyming helps keep me awake so I don’t I don’t miss my stop…

Thanks to those of you that took part this time, and special thanks to AnnieBC3 for letting me include her rhyme here!

Bye for now!





The windfrog…

24 03 2013

Wotcha!

During a random conversation with my other half yesterday evening, he accidentally invented windfrogs. It was too good an idea not to use…

Windfrogs have extra webbing between their front and back legs, a bit like flying squirrels. If you take them outside, you should always make sure they’re secured to something with a long piece of strong string…

The Windfrog

I had a little windfrog,
I fed him every day;
And then one windy winter’s morn
We went outside to play.

We found a little hillock,
And decided there to linger.
I tied my windfrog’s string onto
The ring upon my finger.

I waited for the perfect gust,
Then held my hand up high;
My windfrog gave a ribbit
And he leapt into the sky.

Up he flew with croaks of joy –
But then to my dismay,
The ring slipped off my finger
And my windfrog blew away.

Oh how I miss my windfrog,
His boggley eyes, his frown,
But once a windfrog launches off
It never can come down.

20130324-115112.jpg





Horror…

22 03 2013

BOO!

Did I scare you?!

Wednesday’s sad news of the passing of author James Herbert sent me off down memory lane.

If you keep up with my blog posts (such as this one for World Book Day) you’ll know I’ve been a book-a-holic from an early age. I think my introduction to the horror genre came when I started secondary school at 11, and a new friend introduced me to Stephen King.

The first of his books I read was The Shining, and I was seriously impressed. And proper scared! What impressed me most though – and it still gives me a delightfully shivery feeling – was how he used italics, brackets, italics in brackets, italics-in-question-marks-in-brackets, capitals, bits of sentences in italics, unfinished sentences or sometimes a whole sentence with no punctuation or capital letters at all! I was astounded! Here, printed in a proper book, were things we were being told at school we were NOT ALLOWED to do. It was BAD GRAMMER! But how could it be bad when the effect was to send shivers up and down your spine, make the hair on your arms stand up, and cause goose-pimples to pop up everywhere? In short, what I learnt from Stephen King with regard to writing (amongst other things, no doubt!) was this: It’s okay to break the rules. Mind-blowing.

And that was it.

I was hooked on horror, and pocket money, birthday money and Christmas money was thereafter dedicated to horror books for a couple of years as I worked through other Stephen King books including Pet Sematary, ‘Salem’s Lot, Carrie, Christine, Night Shift, The Stand, and The Dead Zone. ‘Salem’s Lot particularly scared the pants off me – in fact I had to turn the book cover-down and push it under the bed after reading every evening, so that I didn’t accidentally wake up in the night and catch sight of those scarey faces on the cover… This soon became a habit with all horror books – along with not being able to look at windows if it was dark and the curtains were open, in case a little vampire child was staring in at me…

Alongside Stephen King came other authors – some probably bought after recommendations from friends, and others because the title or covers appealed to my scarey-bone. James Herbert’s The Rats I think was a recommendation, and it truly terrified me. It terrified me so badly that I had to buy the sequel, Lair, as soon as possible so I didn’t come down from that terrified high.

Other horror authors I devoured included Mary Higgins Clark (Where are the Children), William Pete Blatty (The Exorcist and Legion) and many more I was hoping to list here, but I’ve just been up in the loft to find them and whichever box they’re in has disappeared into L-space somewhere. Hmph.

It wasn’t just horror though – I think it was inevitable I got into horror as I’d had a fascination with the weird, creepy and wonderful from an earlier age.

Every Thursday, the Leicester Mercury ran a full page ‘stranger than fiction’ type thing of weird, spooky, unexplained occurences, which I loved. It ran for years, and even after I’d left home mum would save them for me and pop them in the post.

Then of course there were the things on telly – Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World and good old Tales of the Unexpected, which we watched religiously as a family (and sang along to the theme tune – who didn’t?!). An episode that really stuck in my mind was one about flowers screaming when they were picked – such a simple idea, but for some reason the idea of that fascinated me. How did people come up with these things?! What prompted them to think of them?

I shall also raise my guilty hand as being one of the kids that badgered their parents into subscribing to The Unexplained magazine for a while (mainly because I wanted the article on spontaneous human combustion!). But wait – it gets worse! My collection got lost in the depths of time so, er, what could I do when I found a full set WITH BINDERS recently at a car boot sale?! Ahem…

So there we are, a little trip down my memory lane of horror. I don’t read too much of that genre anymore (with the odd exception – such as the excellent Tim Powers) but the need to write this post sent me up into the loft to find my horror collection, although as you now know that mission was unsuccessful. So instead I’ve popped an e-book of The Shining onto my iPad to shiver over those italics, and downloaded the audiobook of The Rats to scare myself to sleep to in random hotel rooms. And when they’re done, I’ll be exploring some of Mr Herbert’s books I’ve never read…

RIP Mr Herbert, but he will live on in all our memories for his incredible contribution to the world of fictional horror, and for scaring us all silly in our youth…

I’ve saved this ’til last – if you’re of a sensitive nature, look away now! Here’s the ‘Salems Lot cover that scared me so much…

20130322-151017.jpg

[turns iPad face down and exits stage left screaming…]





Happy World Poetry Day!

21 03 2013

Hello hello, and a happy World Poetry Day to you all!

I decided to do another Crazy Rhymey Challenge today on the train home from London, and then realised it was World Poetry Day – a happy coincidence!

Here are the words given to me today by the lovely folk on Twitter:

greywing – wretched squirrel

yorkshire_chris – truffles, jester, pigeon, ciabbata, sausages

celadonsusan – clay, bowl

LimeyLimericks – Robotics Engineer

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I really enjoy these rhymey challenges! And it always surprises me where my mind ends up wandering to with the words that I’m given!

So here we go – here’s my rhyme for World Poetry Day, which had to have a bit of a poetry theme to it in honour of the day. Hope you enjoy it!

Trying to rhyme…

High up in a twisted tree
on top of Caldy Hill,
There perched a lonely squirrel
who went by the name of Bill.

He gazed out o’er the River Dee
And heaved a mournful sigh,
Then just as he began to weep
A pigeon fluttered by.

Hearing sobbing from the tree
The pigeon turned in flight,
And noticing poor Bill
She asked him if he was alright.

“Oh woe is me!” the squirrel wept
And gave a mighty snuffle
The pigeon cooed in sympathy
And offered him a truffle.

“I’ve run away,” poor Bill declared
“My dad is quite severe –
He sent me off to Uni
And he chose me a career.”

“The job he had in mind
was a Robotics Engineer;
But I was always more impressed
with rhymes by Edward Lear.”

“But now I think I’m not cut out
To live life as a poet;
There’s not a rhyme for sausages –
Unless of course you know it?”

The pigeon pondered thoughtfully
Then slowly shook her head,
“I don’t think one exists at all”
she very sadly said.

Poor Bill let out an awful howl,
“I’m such a wretched squirrel!
I can’t find any poetry
out here upon The Wirral!”

The pigeon gave a cry –
The squirrel’s words had quite impressed her
“Why Bill!” she said
“I’m sure you have the makings of a jester!”

“Did I just rhyme?” he asked in awe
And cheered up – just a smidgen,
“You did – you rhymed quite beautifully!”
Smiled kind and friendly pigeon.

Bill blew his nose upon his tail
And felt joy fill his soul,
The pigeon passed the truffles
And they finished off the bowl.

Then squirrel cleared his throat
And quoth “Oh, what a lovely day!
My dear friend pigeon, tell me –
Is that bowl made out of clay?”

The pigeon clapped her wings
And gave a little jump of joy
“Oh squirrel! Now you’re on a roll!
You’re such a clever boy!”

The bowl fell off the branch
And hit the ground with a faint clatter
And Bill said “Hang on, wait for it –
that sound rhymes with ciabatta!”

Bill and pigeon danced with glee,
And quite lost track of time,
But neither of them cared because
It was such fun to rhyme!

I think Bill and the pigeon are right – it is fun to rhyme! Happy World Poetry day, and thank you greywing, yorkshire_chris, celadonsusan and LimeyLimericks for taking part today!

Update: You can listen to my reading of this rhyme here!





Violet and the fastest toboggan in the west…

19 03 2013

Well. I wasn’t expecting that.

You know how things just, sort of, run away with themselves sometimes?

I decided to do another Crazy Rhymey Challenge on the way to work this morning, and it got totally out of control!

These were the words Twitter provided today…

@yorkshire_chris – existential, banana, knickers, blackberry

@hedzie – catapult, slimey, picnic, edge, pilot

@bostonkas – startle, blabber, luge (there’s always one I have to look up!)

@shaggydogyarns – syringe

@rachel__elliott was stuck for words today due to all the snow up her way, so I threw a bit of that in too.

I might have tweaked one or two of the words a teensy weensy bit, but it says in The Rules that I’m allowed to do that, so there!

And here is the journey this weird collection of words took me on…

Violet and the fastest toboggan in the west…

Violet went a-wandering
Out in the snow one day,
Looking for a mighty slope
Upon which she could play.

She wore her lucky knickers
And she carried her new luge,
She also had a picnic
In a basket that was huge.

Up she climbed, and up some more
Until she reached a ledge,
Then laying on her luge
She pushed herself right off the edge.

Down below ’twas market day
And gentle Mr Shearer
Was setting up his stall of fruit
As Violet zoomed in nearer.

Mr Benn the fishmonger
Had opened up his trailer,
And next to him was Mr Tweed
The county’s finest tailor.

Over to the tailor’s stall
Strolled good old Doctor Snedding,
To pick up a new suit and hat
He’d had made for his wedding.

The market place was bustling
And the folk were all a-chatter,
When suddenly a sonic boom
Across the square did clatter.

Mr Shearer stood back up
To straighten his bananas,
And Doctor Snedding said “My dears,
Let’s not let this alarm us!”

Mr Benn got to his feet
And shouted out “Cor blimey!
My trailer is in pieces
And my fish have gone all slimey!”

Meanwhile Mr Tweed looked pale
His stall was all a-tatter,
Something had dropped through the roof
And made an awful splatter.

Doctor Snedding’s suit was trashed –
He almost blew a gasket,
Then looking down he said “Hang on,
I recognise that basket!”

Then Violet zoomed back into sight
And folk began to blabber,
She catapulted overhead
And they all tried to grab ‘er.

Mr Shearer caught her foot
And spinning round and round,
He managed to hang on to her
Until she hit the ground.

“I thought so!” Doctor Snedding cried,
“I recognise that pilot!
It is my lovely fiancé,
My own delightful Violet!”

Violet wobbled dizzily
Her eyes were all a-sparkle,
“Oh my!” she said, “Oh silly me!
I didn’t mean to startle!”

Her eyes fell on the tailor’s stall
And saw upon the floor
A suit and hat she recognised
All covered in red gore.

Her eyes rolled up into her head
She paled beneath her fringe
Then from the crowd a voice yelled out
“Quick! Pass me my syringe!”

A deft injection did the trick
And Violet looked around,
She gaped in wonder from the Doc
To red splat on the ground.

“Pish posh, my dear!” the Doctor said,
“It’s really nothing drastic,
‘Tis only all the blackberries
From in your picnic basket!”

And so they hugged and all did cheer,
Some got quite sentimental,
And all agreed their morning
Had been rather existential.





Thoughts on blog promotion…

17 03 2013

Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone!

Today I thought I’d offer a few observations – not really advice, as I don’t think I’m really qualified to do that – on promoting your blog. This was prompted by seeing a tweet from someone who’s just started blogging, asking if anyone had any tips on increasing blog readership. I tweeted a few thoughts, then thought ‘Why not expand on that in a blog post?’ – so here we are.

Before I start, I must make it clear that I’m not the sort of blogger that’s constantly checking stats and worrying when they’re low. Although it does intrigue me when they’re high, because I want to know why! Whilst I’ve had my blog for a few years, it sat dormant for quite a while and it’s only since January 1st this year that I really started it up again. More on that here and how starting to blog again really helped to kickstart my creative juices!

So, here are some little things that I’ve come to realise, or that I do, or don’t do. Actually this is going to include Twitter thoughts as well…

1. A blog post every day is the best way to increase readership and tempt people to follow you, or at least check in regularly to see what you’re up to.
2. Don’t always post about the same things, for example your craft, your business, your mission etc. People like to get to know you, so share bits of your life with them. Did something daft happen on the bus? You read a good book? Saw a great film? Your cat bought a live turkey through the catflap?
3. Think about blogs you like to read and visit regularly. What makes you revisit them? Why do you like them?
4. One of my personal hates are sceduled tweets on Twitter. I find it hugely annoying, and akin to lying – I ignore tweets that are obviously scheduled. If you’re not awake, don’t tweet! I appreciate people are trying to catch readers from different time zones, but personally it irritates the pants off me!
5. Another Twittery thing that bugs me is folk that tweet the same link to the same blog post day after day after day after week after week…! So I don’t do that.
6. Don’t just tweet a link to your blog post. Write something in the tweet, make it personable. And if you tweet the link two or three times on the day of posting, don’t just copy and paste – say something different in your tweet!
7. If you really want to have a massive view-boost for a day or two, get a link to your post re-tweeted by someone famous. Preferably by accident, without you realising it. Then allow yourself plenty of time to jump up and down on the sofa squeee-ing and frantically refreshing your stats as your views go through the roof. Be warned though that this will totally mess up your average view figures for the rest of the week/month/year! This was my post that got such a re-tweet – from the author himself no less! I thought my stats were broken until I dashed over to Twitter and noticed his retweet!
8. If someone comments on your post, reply to them.
9. I always pop a link to my latest post on my personal Facebook page. I don’t mind if people ignore it, but I know I have a few friends who like to read my blog, so don’t feel guilty about sharing your posts there. Just don’t do it 20 times a day!
10. Finally, don’t let your stats rule your life! Personally, I’d far rather have just a few hits a day from people who are genuinely interested in what I have to say, than loads of hits from people who are either ‘helping’ to up your views, or have landed there by accident because you’ve used a cheeky tag or two that aren’t really relevant to your subject matter.

So there we have it – my top ten thoughts on blogging and promoting your blog. If you find them useful, hurrah! If you don’t, or disagree, then never mind!

Laters!