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The Actual Official Launch of GeekMom!

Thursday, September 30, 2010
San Francisco Artist & Television Personality ...Image via WikipediaIf you follow my not-oft-updated blog here, you would know that some people and I recently started GeekMom, the companion blog to GeekDad, where I've been writing for a year and a half. September 1st was our soft launch, a dry run of sorts. It's a good thing we've had that month to work out the bugs, because there have been a few. I'm sure there will be a few more in the future, but hopefully a very few.

In any case, Monday, October 4, 2010, will be our hard launch of the site, where we pull out all the stops, have advertisers, and start our monthly segment where Kari Byron of Mythbusters fame writes her own posts! Yes, this new GeekMom will be a contributor to our brand new blog. So please come visit, especially next week, and see on what we have been working so hard.
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Announcing GeekMom!

Thursday, September 02, 2010
The four moms at GeekDad, including me, plus our fearless leader, Ken, have started a new blog called GeekMom! We aren't associated with Wired.com, but there will be plenty of crossover with GeekDad. We hope it will be similar to GeekDad in content, except with a mom twist instead of a dad one. We're only in soft launch, so we'll be working out the kinks over the next month. Our official launch will be October 1.

So please, visit the site, read some articles, and write some comments. Let us know what you think!

Counting Down in 3... 2... 1...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Little Joe 2Image via Wikipedia
Tomorrow is a big day! The start of a new venture. I think we're mostly ready. With school taking more time than I thought it would this year, though, it will be a challenge for me to keep up the pace of the writing I'll need to do. The more I do it, the easier it gets, though.

I'll write more about it soon!
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Strange Things Are Afoot...

Saturday, August 14, 2010
party on, dudesImage by krupp via FlickBut not at the Circle K.

I recently realized that I have been completely silent here all summer. I suppose there is a reason for that: my insane load of work this summer. Despite not homeschooling over the summer, I am always busy. It is my time to catch up on projects that I have neglected during the year, and this summer also included catching up on my dozen unwritten reviews for GeekDad. I am almost caught up with that, and I did get quite a few other projects completed, too. But, as usual, I only got about half of my Summer List done. Part of the reason for that is that during the past month, I've also been working on a new project, to be announced soon. So I hope to have more things to talk about this year. Also, I am planning a ginormous road trip for next summer with my half brother's wedding and my 20th high school reunion as bookends. I figure, if I'm going back east for two things, I might as well just go once. Despite the events likely being 5 weeks apart. Watch my Wandering Gnome blog for updates on that.

As summer vacation wraps up, and we start school on Monday, I feel like the summer was way too short to accomplish what I need to do. Next year's summer vacation is going to be even shorter, as the kids and I will be gone from home almost the entire summer break. But we'll have many adventures before then, which I will try to write up for my Homeschooling Adventure blog.
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Just Back From the Maker Faire!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Maker Faire Flickr BadgeImage by marymactavish via Flickr
Just got back last night from the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California. We had a GeekDad booth there again this year. It was a ton of fun, a little different from last year, though. We were selling our editor's new book, also called Geek Dad, and he sold out of all the copies that he had brought. I met great people from LEGO Education, Craft:, and ThinkGeek. I got some decent swag from some other booths. The kids had fun with the activities, and playing with the other GeekKids. This was my second year helping run the booth, and I hope to do it every year!
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Going Viral

Friday, February 19, 2010
50 Social Media IconsImage by Ivan Walsh via Flickr
I've been writing for GeekDad for about 11 months now. They have always been able to count on me for writing regular posts that are of a good length, with the occasional one which is fairly interesting. But I'm not usually the one who writes the very popular or controversial posts.

Writing has gotten easier with practice, though. I have gotten a bit stuck in a rut of writing reviews. Between asking for a few cool things and my contacts continuing to send me more and more stuff (some of which I didn't ask for), my list of reviews to do is growing. I'm trying to knock them out before asking for new stuff, but it's hard when something comes across my desk that really excites me.

Once in a while, to break up the reviews, I'm moved to write a post that has nothing to do with a product. Sometimes the ideas just come to me and I sit down and write. Those posts are usually very fast to do. Other times they require a lot of research and end up more trouble than they are worth! Sometimes they are inspired by others, such as my recent 10 Ways to a Geeky Girl's Heart. Ed had the original idea for the post, as well as a couple of ideas for items for the list. My friend Alan completely inspired the treasure hunt item. I'd written most of the post a couple of months ago, but it just didn't sound right. So I let it sit, eventually realizing that it would be great timing to put it up for Valentine's Day. Somehow I thought that I'd just get it up for Valentine's Day itself, but it occurred to me, about 8 or 9 days ahead of time, that if people wanted to take my suggestions they might need time to prepare! So I got the post up a week ahead of the holiday, and it ran on Monday, February 8, when I was on my way to Disneyland with my kids and stepdad.

I had no idea if the post would go over well or not. Then, in the middle of Disneyland, I got a call from Ed who told me that it was doing VERY well. It was on the front page of Wired.com, it was the second most popular post on the whole site, etc etc. As the day went on, he kept filling me in on all the details, such as Mythbusters tweeting the link to their almost-million followers, and how it totally went viral. I was so excited! I was having fun at Disneyland, but also wished I could be at home, in front of my computer, enjoying and participating in the buzz from my post.

Marian Call even started following me on Twitter. And it went popular on Digg. It was on Slashdot. By the next week, it had gotten almost 150,000 page views! That's about 10% of GeekDad's entire monthly page views in a good month.

Fortunately, at the last minute before posting it, I'd thought to include a few Amazon Associate links for some things. Good thing I did. I made a bunch of money that day on referrals!

Because Wired.com had several Valentine's posts rolling around that week, they decided to put us all up again on the front page for the entire weekend of Valentine's Day. More page views!

This whole thing has been very exciting for me. Going viral like that... It's never happened to me before and it's a great feeling. The comments on the post are (for the most part) very supportive and good. I think I struck a chord with a lot of geeky women out there. I hope I can do it again in the future!
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Small Town Life

Friday, January 29, 2010
I love living in a small town. It's big enough to have a hospital, a Costco, a Target, far too many Wal-Marts (two, and that's two too many), and a mall, albeit not a great one. But it's small enough that we're constantly running into people we know, the library is often actually quiet, and we really feel at home. We don't have things in common with everyone in the town (there are a lot of retired Republican gun owners, for example), but we've found a few niches where we fit in really well.

Another advantage of living in my town is that when someone like Alan Dean Foster shows up at the library to do a talk for the local professional writer's group, there are only about 50 people there. It makes for a much more intimate talk, and you feel like you're in the room with him, rather than just watching him from the audience. I won't quote him, as I don't have his permission. But needless to say, it was a great talk, and he covered many things that are different from what I learned when I interviewed him for GeekDad last spring.

So thank you, ADF. Learning from your experiences in writing, Hollywood, traveling, and local small town living is invaluable. Thank you for sharing with us all.

Creating My Process

Monday, January 11, 2010
And What shall I WriteImage by tomswift46 via Flickr
I'm still relatively new to this whole writing-as-profession thing, and I'm still working out the kinks. I don't have any set time set aside for writing. I am very busy and have the kids at home with me all day. Sometimes I have time in the evening to write, but by then, my brain is usually only operating on half power. Early morning usually works, except that means I have to get to bed early, which rarely happens.

So it'd be nice if I could get a regular time each week to write. Preferably every day, but since each day is a little bit different, it's hard to work it in. Perhaps I can work in a couple of post-lunch hours, a couple days per week.

I do have a pretty good writing process, though, once I do get writing. First I write down everything I want to say, either as a review or another kind of article. Then I go through it a second time, rearranging paragraphs, filling in big holes, making sure all of the parts are there. Then I go through it a third time, making sure it sounds right and I didn't leave anything out. Occasionally I have to read it a fourth time, and once in a blue moon I only have to do it twice. But a pattern has emerged, and it is working for me. But I can't write in 10 minute increments. I need to focus on it for a while.

I need to find time to focus, since my mom brain is always got its antennae up listening for the kids. That's my challenge recently.
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