Taking Stock, Or The Electrical Side Of Blogging

Very shortly, I have some graphs coming which are so delicious they make me regret breakfast. I’m not promising you’ll like them as much as I do, but sometimes, when I look at them, I am beset by a moistness of the eyes, much the same as occurs if I watch a video of a medium-sized puppy falling over in its sleep.

I’ve been collecting more bestseller data from 2014 – some of it annualised, which always tugs at my heart-strings – which might be interesting to anyone who’s ever read a book (not to overestimate their appeal or anything).

In the meantime, however, I have a couple of administrative and electrical items to tidy up: namely, some things to discuss which could in an alternate universe be misconstrued as shameless plugs, but in this universe (where I am President and Chief of Secret Police) are really public information notices.

Taking Stock, Or The Electrical Side Of Blogging

Shameless Plug (a bit dirty too, I might say)

1) I am about to sever an already tenuous grip on reality by giving a workshop on Blogging

Carousel Creates, the writer’s centre perched high in the Dublin mountains whilst somehow managing to be only 15 minutes from the city,  are hosting a blogging workshop called Blog It! on March 7th given by – well, me. Fresh from my triumphant 5-star round-the-world victory lap with go-go dancers and a full choir of corrupt politicians, having been declared Best Newcomer at the Irish blog awards last year – I will be attempting to help bloggers to identify their blogging goals and improve their blogging skills, not to mention find and grow their audiences, without cracking any jokes. I hope to fail miserably (at the joking part) and succeed wildly (at the helping part).

If you are interested in taking part and spending the day with other like-minded people, whilst taking in a magnificent and inspiring view of the capital right out to Dublin Bay, go here to book. There’s also a competition, where you could win your free place on the day by writing an idea for a blog in no more than 100 words. Entry here. Closing date Friday 20th February.

Taking Stock, Or The Electrical Side Of Blogging

2) There’s a new book coming out which might save our nation’s youth

For anyone who was scarred by my cringeworthy piece on How To Torture A Beloved Story To Death (And Ruin Children), there is an antidote to the pain and suffering I caused you.

Grá Mo Chroí (Love Stories From Irish Myth) is written by two very talented tellers of Irish lore, Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty, and features an ethereal telling of the Diarmuid and Gráinne myth from Gráinne’s perspective, along with several other vivid resurrections of ancient Irish tales of love and loss. It’s a lovely book, not least for its lyricism, which makes you feel like you’re listening to these stories by the fireside. It’s interesting too to see how our forebears thought of love. The viewpoints are startling, and refreshing. Rom-coms they ain’t.

The book is nicely timed for Valentine’s Day, and will be available next Wednesday, 11th February. More details here.

Taking Stock, Or The Electrical Side Of Blogging

I am unplugging this post now (but that’s not my hand. I do not have man hands)

That’s all for today. Please join me again next time, where I will be pretending to say something amusing in a slightly less self-serving manner. Honest I will.

  53 comments for “Taking Stock, Or The Electrical Side Of Blogging

  1. February 4, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I so wish I could attend the workshop. Makes think of moving to Ireland only so I can do crazy things like that.

    As for Ali’s and Jane’s book, I’ve already preordered it. So, your plug falls on deaf ears here. Which reminds me: Electra has asked me to find some socket converters, from European to UK, for tomorrow’s trip – which I totally forgot until now. Oops.


    • February 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Maybe I will have to do a podcast, Nicholas… although I had contemplated turning up in my pyjamas, to create a convivial and informal atmosphere of creative camaradie. I don’t think that would come across right on the the Internet.

      Enjoy your trip, but don’t forget to keep your voice down in the UK if putting “Greece” and “converters” in the same sentence, eh? Tempers seem a bit frayed right now!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. February 4, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Great stuff, Tara. Us farther flung ruralites will have to await your podcast.


    • February 4, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      What are you doing out there, Tenderness? After I left the wild west for the capital, I thought I burned everything in my wake. Unless you’re in Louth. I ran out of diesel by Louth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 4, 2015 at 3:27 pm

        Running my very own cottage diesel industry in the lawless North, and herding a few pigs o’er and bac’ da bawda. (Possible blog post idea? *strokes piglet’s chin*)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ali Isaac
    February 4, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Great post Tara! I might join you on your course… congratulations!!! Hope your jammies are at least matching…


    • February 4, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Congratulations on your book!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ali Isaac
        February 4, 2015 at 4:06 pm

        Thank you very much! 😀


    • February 4, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      Nobody told me the jammies had to be matching. I’m just going to say they’re clashing in a fashion way. It’s all about the way you walk in them, apparently.

      It would be lovely to see you on the course! Ah go on…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ali Isaac
        February 4, 2015 at 4:17 pm

        Well if you’re wearing slippers, wont that be shuffle rather than walk?

        Ah go on go on go on go on go on…
        That’s the second time I’ve used that Father Ted reference today… weird!

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 4, 2015 at 4:25 pm

          I wouldn’t be seen dead in slippers, Ali. I don’t know how you could even have thought that of me, really.

          You will you will you will you will…..


          • Ali Isaac
            February 4, 2015 at 4:29 pm

            But jammies dont go with high heel boots…

            I might I might I might… I havent clicked it yet but I will tonight when I have more time. Depends when and how much. Although you better be worth it!

            Liked by 1 person

            • February 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm

              *Tosses hair and pouts like a demented 7-year old who’s just seen her first Kim Kardashian selfie

              But I am worth it, Ali. I’m sooooooooo, like, worth it…

              Liked by 1 person

  4. February 4, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Good luck on the workshop! If I could get myself to Ireland I’d be there in the audience, waiting for your jokes and reveling in your inspiration! Have a good one!


    • February 4, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      I hope so, Lorraine! If I manage to actually come up with any jokes or anything vaguely inspirational I will be happy. I’m toying with the idea of making it a mandatory drill march up to the top of the mountain, by which point people will just be glad of the break and willing to accept anything I say, however banal. But I haven’t decided yet 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. February 4, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Workshop sounds good and delighted to hear your win is being acknowledged with such invitations – Yay

    Liked by 2 people

    • February 4, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      All respect due to you and Amanda, Lorna, for the way the awards were organised. I wouldn’t be able to hold my head up, otherwise!!


  6. February 4, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Gotta lurve shameless plugs – even if they’re dirty (well – especially then actually! 😉 ) Thanks though for the Irish lurve stories link as I’m in dire need of decent contemporary(ish) reference material in this field for my next BIG project 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      They come recommended, Jan. There’s some lovely descriptive stuff in there too. Your next project sounds highly intriguing. Are you going to give us any clues?!

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 4, 2015 at 9:52 pm

        Well… as it’s you asking! 😛 You might recall I was talking about a berserker battle queen character set inna galaxy far, far away and a long, long time into the future with celtic myth themes lurking broodily with a side order of GELFs? That one!!!!! lol

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 5, 2015 at 12:54 am

          You’ve definitely got a meaty one there, Jan! Time to stock up on Celtic fodder!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. February 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Tara, I’ve heard people suggest that you were nuts but I defended you. No, I said, she’s not mad — merely differently sane.


    • February 4, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      I haven’t been officially mad in ages, John. That’s half my problem. It’s all the rage here. My ordinariness is hampering my ability to make millions. MILLIONS.


  8. February 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Really? A workshop on blogging? I thought blogging was the workshop.
    Congratulations on being chosen to teach it, though. That’s fantastic, almost as cool as being the best newcomer. You’ll be amazing, anyhow, and I expect a complete and thorough post on the workshop when you and your girly hands return. Please focus especially on the workshop attendees.


    • February 4, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Well, Naptime, it’s called a workshop, but in reality, it’s a dictatorial sweatshop where I force participants to create content and make it amazing. I know it sounds like fun, but some people aren’t keen on the verbal abuse. That’s their problem, obviously, but I will do as promised, and post pictures of their traumatised expressions when I (and my delicate lady hands) return.


      • February 5, 2015 at 12:57 pm

        Ask them to make me some new handbags while you’re there.


        • February 5, 2015 at 2:34 pm

          If they finish hand-rolling the spaghetti by 10am, I’ll think about it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • February 5, 2015 at 8:30 pm

            10 am, you’ve got them all day! make sure they have everything they need, needles, fabric, leather, whatever. And make sure everything is HANDMADE. I want to see bleeding fingers in those pics.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. February 5, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Thanks for the plug, Tara. Love the idea of saving the nation’s youth. I haven’t had much luck with this household’s youth though.


    • February 5, 2015 at 11:09 am

      You’re welcome! And the big questions are always easiest to solve, Jane. I had world peace down before I could figure out which socks to wear this morning.

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

        I consider my children a tougher question than world peace. Maybe I could send you their case histories for you to sort out. I’ll choose the socks.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. February 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    No comment really on the content, but I just wanted to say that I do enjoy your writing style, Tara. You conjure up some wonderful images. Thank you for making me smile

    Liked by 1 person

  11. February 5, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    I’d love to go to the workshop. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to 😦


    • February 5, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      Awww. Never mind. By the time we’re into the second hour of chanting, before the cleansing throat singing, you’ll probably be glad.


  12. February 6, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Don’t skip the jokes, what with the blogatory (new word!) content,spaghetti and handbags, some comedy might help lift things…

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 6, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      But I can’t believe you’d even think I’d joke about blogging. Blogging is an extremely serious business, and anyone who laughs in my class will immediately be made write out the word “Like” 700 times.

      Tch. Comedy. I ask you!


      • February 7, 2015 at 9:01 pm

        And a new handbag. I suggest punishment in the form for an extra manual labor. I’ll send you some pics of the ones I’d like them to produce.


        • February 7, 2015 at 11:28 pm

          Normally I’d say fine, Naptime, go ahead, but the last pictures you sent me crashed the Wifi in my building and resulted in 5 arrests. So you understand if I’m a bit nervous.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. February 7, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Jane Dougherty Writes and commented:
    Tara Sparling pronounces upon Grá mo Chroí. We pass the quality control!

    Liked by 2 people

    • February 7, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      With flying colours, Jane. I was so shocked at my positive feelings about it, I got my blood pressure checked.


      • February 7, 2015 at 7:50 pm

        It comes to something when you’re shocked not to be reading shite!


        • February 7, 2015 at 11:26 pm

          Yes indeed. I blame sugar, the Internet, and economic austerity. That should just about cover it.


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