Looking Forward and Back: Some Changes in the Wind

janusHappy New Year, everyone! I hope you’ve been enjoying the holidays, and found some time to relax, read, write, or at least spend some time with loved ones. It always feels refreshing to me when we start a new year. I like to do the Janus-thing –you know, the Roman god of new beginnings & reflection, who looked both forward and backward. Do you like to do that, too?

Looking forward, we are considering some changes here at the Riskies, and we would love to have your feedback. So, below I’m going to post some questions and hope you’ll take the time to consider them and share your thoughts with us. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any changes we decide to make!

Before I post the questions, I’ll share a little of looking backwards over my holidays. First, I learned why it’s best to spoon the brandy already in the pan over the plum pudding after it’s alight. My family always has plum pudding (with hard sauce) at Christmas dinner, a nod to our English heritage. But you must understand the job of flaming the pudding is usually undertaken by my sister, who could not be with us this year. Here’s what happens if you light the pudding, then decide to pour more brandy on it after it’s flaming nicely –the blue flame travels up the stream of brandy to the receptacle you are pouring from, making you dump the rest quickly and without much grace, before your sleeve catches on fire. <g> Christmas Pudding-afireI must say that creates a really good blaze!! Good thing I was using a heat-proof glass measuring cup! Hmm, maybe that’s why the pudding package says to use just a teaspoon or two of brandy, but we have found that’s nowhere near enough! I might have to use this in a story…

Second, I learned a lot about foods that are considered to be lucky, or lead to prosperity and good health, if eaten on New Year’s Eve. We usually stay in and have friends over for dinner on New Year’s Eve, so this year I planned a menu made up almost entirely of these sorts of foods: shrimp (before dinner), lentil soup, butternut squash soup, roasted pork tenderloin, soba noodles (with water chestnuts, spinach, and curry sauce), salad of dark leafy greens with poppyseed dressing, sour cream & chive mashed potatoes colored gold, lemon poppyseed muffins. Explaining them all would be another whole blogpost! (Desserts were exempt from the theme.) Aside from the fact I prepared almost twice as much as we needed, we had a lovely evening, watched the 2006 movie Miss Potter (about Beatrix Potter) and all managed to stay awake to watch the NYC ball drop on TV and make a toast to the new year at midnight. Now we are all expecting great things from 2015.

I am sure I should be posting profound insights here, but after also having relatives over for dinner on New Year’s Day who couldn’t come on Christmas, I am still (or again) cleaning up my kitchen and am too tired to think that hard. I do love the holidays, but still, I can’t wait to get back to work on my Christmas novella (for release next fall), my rewrite of The Magnificent Marquess, my series and other writing projects. Do you feel a bit relieved when life starts to return to “normal” routines?

The normal routines here at the Risky Regencies are already a little changed with the departure of Megan and Myretta. We will miss them greatly! Thank goodness we can still visit with them in their other online homes. And we’ve invited some wonderful guests and may be expanding the ranks of the Riskies, as we have before. But we are taking a hard look at our blogging schedules, and wondering about making changes. So here are some questions we’d love to have you answer:

1) How often do you read the Risky Regencies blog? Daily, every few days, weekly, or less often?

2) Do you read several postings at a time, to catch up, if you don’t visit every day?

3) If we cut back the posting schedule so there were only three or four posts each week, would you still check in with us to read the posts?

4) Do you tune in to read only certain Risky authors, or do you read all/any of us? Do you pay attention to the schedule of who posts when?

5) Do you prefer one type of post over another? (i.e research posts, personal posts, writing related posts…)

6) Are you on Facebook? Do you think we should make the Riskies Facebook page a more active venue for discussions and posts?

We have tried to keep a schedule where there’s a new post almost every day. While we love the sharing with you, keeping to that schedule can really cut into writing time, and we are thinking a somewhat reduced schedule might be a help to all of us. What do you think?

Please, share your thoughts with us? We really would like to know. You can post in the comments here, or on the FB page, or in anyone else’s comment spaces in the next week.

In the meantime, I (and all my fellow Riskies, I’m certain) wish you all the very best in 2015, and look forward to many more conversations in this space!

About Gail Eastwood

Gail Eastwood is the author of seven Regencies that were originally published by Signet/Penguin. After taking ten years off for family matters, she has wobbled between contemporary romantic suspense and more Regency stories, wondering what century she’s really in and trying to work the rust off her writing skills. Her backlist is gradually coming out in ebook format, and some are now available in new print editions as well. She is working on the start of a Regency-set series and other new projects. Stay tuned!

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22 Responses to Looking Forward and Back: Some Changes in the Wind

  1. Lorraine says:

    I read the Riskies via Feedly, so I read every post the day it is published. I especially love the historical research posts, but it’s all enjoyable.

    • Thank you, Lorraine, for being such a loyal reader, and also for your input! I’ll have to check out Feedly –it sounds like a great convenience, and I hadn’t heard of it. (I can already hear my two sons groaning over how out-of-it I am.) 🙂

  2. I read Risky’s at least once a week, depending on the time I have available and the topics. Somethings catch my eye. I like the research and history. Most of my best research tools were introduced to me here. A note on FB: It’s changing who is seen. Might want to see how it pans out. It only shows 70% of what’s posted and only that much if there is interaction, i.e., Likes and comments. The less interaction, the more FB hides.

    • Elena Greene says:

      We’ve been discussing the FB changes and considering adding a FB group in addition to the page. Possibly that might make our notices of blog posts more visible. It might also be a way to encourage more discussion. One thing I’ve noticed is that now that FB and Twitter are bigger, some people are posting comments there rather than directly to the blog.

  3. Wanda Susie says:

    I feel the Facebook page should be a gateway to the blog, reminding us FB users that something new is up. Sadly, blogs are not as much a part of my daily web schedule — time is of the essence these days, and Facebook seems to be the one place where I am able to catch up or be alerted to other internet sites. Thanks!

  4. Julie Fetter says:

    Whenever I see an FB post, I click and go to the website. Then, I read back through all previous posts until I reach one that I recognize. I’ve been going thru my FB likes and follows today and marking each one for notifications so I don’t miss out on keeping up with my favorite authors and author groups. I like all sorts of blog posts. It’s fun to peek inside the lives and work process of those who create my entertainment.

  5. HJ says:

    1) How often do you read the Risky Regencies blog? Daily, every few days, weekly, or less often? I use the RSS feed to a reader so I see your posts when they show up there. Usually daily.

    2) Do you read several postings at a time, to catch up, if you don’t visit every day? I’m always up-to-date, but when I wasn’t I would read several posts at once.

    3) If we cut back the posting schedule so there were only three or four posts each week, would you still check in with us to read the posts? Yes.

    4) Do you tune in to read only certain Risky authors, or do you read all/any of us? Do you pay attention to the schedule of who posts when? I read them all, but feel I know some of you better than others. I don’t follow the schedule at all.

    5) Do you prefer one type of post over another? (i.e research posts, personal posts, writing related posts…) I prefer research posts or writing related, with a bit of personal to leaven them.

    6) Are you on Facebook? Do you think we should make the Riskies Facebook page a more active venue for discussions and posts? I am on Facebook, but prefer to see you and read you here at the website. There is enough on FB already for me.

  6. Nancy says:

    I only read the blogs occasionally because somehow all my email subscriptions got wiped out and I have to start over. I like historical blogs. I think the authors have to pace their blogs to allow plenty of time for writing. Even with several people contributing, daily blogs can take up a great deal of time.
    I do not like Facebook pages as it is harder to keep the thread of comments.

  7. I want to say first of all that the Riskies have been my first introduction to the online romance world. I’ve been a member since 2006, and it’s near and dear to my heart. Now, on to your questions:

    1) How often do you read the Risky Regencies blog?

    I read it daily via my MS Outlook RSS reader. I used to comment a lot more here, but my commenting on all blogs in general is way down these days.

    2) Do you read several postings at a time, to catch up, if you don’t visit every day?

    I do play catch-up if I miss posts here and there.

    3) If we cut back the posting schedule so there were only three or four posts each week, would you still check in with us to read the posts?

    Yes, I will definitely stay faithful to the blog and the posters. Writing books comes first, the blog is fun/leisure, but I would be very sad if you shut down the blog. So if a reduced schedule is what keeps the Riskies going, then that’s the better option.

    4) Do you tune in to read only certain Risky authors, or do you read all/any of us? Do you pay attention to the schedule of who posts when?

    I read them all.

    5) Do you prefer one type of post over another? (i.e research posts, personal posts, writing related posts…)

    I like them all, however, sometimes I have felt off late that writers are phoning their posts in, rather than taking their time and our time seriously.

    6) Are you on Facebook? Do you think we should make the Riskies Facebook page a more active venue for discussions and posts?

    I’m not on Facebook professionally any more. I would be sad if the Riskies blog migrated to Facebook.

  8. 1) How often do you read the Risky Regencies blog? Daily, every few days, weekly, or less often?

    Usually daily. If I have one of those days at work and come home to fall into bed I might miss it. I do love to visit every day as the blog keeps me grounding in the world of writing and the world of Regency England.

    2) Do you read several postings at a time, to catch up, if you don’t visit every day?

    I do read to catch up if I miss a day or two. I always make notes of posts I want to print and put into one of my research notebooks.

    3) If we cut back the posting schedule so there were only three or four posts each week, would you still check in with us to read the posts?

    Absolutely!

    4) Do you tune in to read only certain Risky authors, or do you read all/any of us? Do you pay attention to the schedule of who posts when?

    I read everyone’s posts.

    5) Do you prefer one type of post over another? (i.e research posts, personal posts, writing related posts…)

    I love all of the posts. I may only keep the research ones or the inspirational ones, but I do love to read them. (See the answer to #1)

    6) Are you on Facebook? Do you think we should make the Riskies Facebook page a more active venue for discussions and posts?

    I am on Facebook and I will follow the Riskies wherever they go. I do love visiting the blog though because it seems like our own little house party at times!

  9. ki pha says:

    Wow, that plum pudding is hot hot hot!!

    As for the questions….

    I read the blog a couple times a week, I mostly see the updates on FB therefore I then tune in on the blog but as you know it, FB is changing their pages feed stuff so it’ll be a bit difficult to tune in that way from now on out. But then if you have chats on the FB page…it’ll be awesome! We can finally have chats at the same time~ 😀 But then you’ll have to figure when and what time zone would work best for everyone. I still prefer the blog stuff though, it just makes it easier.

    As for the blogging, I don’t pay attention to the schedule and I don’t have a preference to whom is blogging and on what topic they’re blogging about. I always find it fun and enjoyable to read anything you ladies post and then of course sometimes I have nothing to contribute to the post so I don’t leave a comment. And if the blogging posts were to drop down to 3 posts a week, I don’t mind. I’ll still check in, plus it’ll give you ladies more time to work on your projects.

  10. Thank you so much, Laurel, Wanda, Julie, HJ, Nancy, Keira, Louisa and ki pha!! Great feedback today while I was off at work –it’s going to be a big help. I’m loving all the love, on behalf of all the Riskies, and send it back out to you all!! Sorry to hear about your email loss, Nancy. I hope in time you’ll be able to restore your subscriptions.

    We are still looking for more feedback, if someone is reading these comments and hasn’t posted. Really, your input is welcome at any time, but especially this week as we consider possible schedule changes and other ideas for the blog.

  11. Sharon says:

    I read the blog most days, using Bloglovin.

    • Sharon, thanks for joining in! It’s actually helpful for us to know how our readers keep track of our blogposts. I think it tells us that even if we do decide to cut back a bit on the quantity, most of you will still know when the posts go up!

  12. Mary K says:

    I read only Diane’s posts, and I see them on Twitter. I have FB but I’m mostly active there with art, not much else. Diane is the only romance writer I read. (No offense!) My reading time is severely curtailed, as I work in a public library. The social work features of this job (about 80% of my day) exhaust me so much so that I come home and pretty much conk out at night — and no, we don’t get to read at work, irony of ironies… 🙂
    Some might say “get a different job” — but we all know how hard that is when you’re going on 59! Besides , the energy required to change jobs would make that impossible. Hoping to retire in 5 yrs and read A LOT!!!

  13. Joanna says:

    I read the blog every few days to catch up with what I have missed, preferring research related topics. I am not on FB so do not see anything there.

    • Thanks, Joanna! I think if we do decide to do anything on the FB page, we should make sure we do it here as well –you’re in good company with many others who have resisted the siren pull of FB!

  14. I’m subscribed to Riskies via RSS at work. As I only work part-time (three days/week), I read whenever there are available posts when I am at work.

    A change in posting frequency doesn’t really bother me.

    I probably wouldn’t read through FB, as I tend to use FB only at home, and only for certain reasons.

    I’m rather fond of blogs, and have been for the past fifteen years. I like their long-term structure.

  15. I read the posts every few days on Bloglovin, too! Cheers and Happy New Year!

    • Thanks for joining in, M. Denise!! And also for the holiday wishes (and for reading the blog!). We Riskies will be talking over all of these replies as we consider what we want to do. Expect to hear more!

  16. SusannahC says:

    I read the blog every few days. I read everyone’s posts, but my favorites tend to be the history- and research-related posts. I will still read the blog if fewer posts are published each week. I am on FB, but not every day or even every week.

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