Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Create a Blogging Tribe by Tina Radcliffe

Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Creating a Blogging Tribe
By Tina Russo Radcliffe
How many blogs are there? These statistics are from Snitchim.com
Tumblr.com shows it has over 101.7 Million blogs with 44.6 Billion blog posts
WordPress.com has over 63 Million blogs
Livejournal reports to have 62.6 million blogs with
Weebly states it has over 12 million blogs
Blogster has over 582,754 blogs
How do you rate a blog? By the number of followers? Subscribers? Commenters?
In my opinion, a blog should be evaluated by how well the blog is doing the job it was created to do.


Seekerville, a blog of 13 authors began in 2007. The blog was an offshoot of a Yahoo group we formed to actually pray and help each other into publication. The members were all inspirational romance contest entrants who knew of each other because of our virtual meets through contests. Most of us had never met in real time.


How did a group of strangers build a strong blogging community? Of course it’s a God thing. But good business principles played into our community as well. From our Yahoo group came the strong desire to give back.
"No Marine Left Behind – A mantra that speaks to teamwork, loyalty and brotherhood that exists between Marines.” Our philosophy is similar, in the context of writers. We add an additional facet of reaching readers in a very real way. This is our underlying philosophy.  
But how do you create a successful blog? Joe Friedlander provides the best post I know of on this topic. No need to reinvent great content. I agree with everything he says!
1. Produce evergreen content.
2. Write with a plan.
3. Build community.
4. Foster interaction.
5. Build a list.
6. Give readers a path to follow.
7. Build traffic with guest blogging.
8. Write what’s right.
9. Provide practical help.
To this I would add that baring deadlines, natural disasters, internet fail and out of office days, we expect everyone to show up (the 13 Seekers), and we expect all posts to go up at midnight. Consistency counts.
Behind closed doors Seekerville is like an orchestra. I am the unofficial conductor. To be clear, I help direct the many instruments of Seekerville. But there is no Seekerville without each and every instrument. Over the years we have divided up the responsibilities among us, and this makes the blog run smoothly.
We have also learned something about the dynamics of our blog and its role and responsibility. Some lessons were learned the hard way, through stumbles. Here are some of our unwritten rules and rules written in our guest blogging guidelines that steer our daily operations:
1. We aren’t about controversy.
2. We know our target audience and direct our posts to that audience.
3. We rarely do interviews and we don’t do book reviews.
4. Our posts do not proselytize but we aren’t afraid to share our beliefs.
5. Our post content covers these areas: inspirational and encouraging or educational.
6. We are not about blatant self-promotion.


Personally, I think of Seekerville as Seth Godin’s, Tribes meets Ree Drummond’s, The Pioneer Woman. We are building a tribe, yes, but it’s in our kitchen, with coffee, snacks and a welcome to our house attitude. Why does it work? Because we sincerely believe in it.
These are two of the many features of Tribes that we utilize. (This pdf of Tribes Q &A can help you understand Godin’s book.)
Transparency. Another factor that creates our sense of community. There is no distance between us and our community. There is no outside looking in aspect. We are not experts doling out opinions. There are no levels of hierarchy. Additionally, we are real, and we share our triumphs and failures.
Tribal Pulse Taking. We do watch our stats and comments to evaluate which posts and speakers are impacting our community. We also take a yearly survey to determine what our community wants and needs.
From The Pioneer Woman we have borrowed the down-home, come to dinner quality we have in Seekerville.
Our mental image is a visitor walking into our house. You become our family. What’s the natural response to family? We greet you by name, we chat with you one-on-one. We commiserate when you have problems. We cheer your successes and we create opportunities for you to succeed. Finally, we provide a safe place for you to share.
Every good hostess has the responsibility to not only feed her guests, with good blog content and a welcome smile, but to send them home with something. This is why we do our very successful giveaways. They aren’t required of us or our guests. We also provide giveaways as a way to say thank you.
Another unique feature of Seekerville is that we often have several conversations going on in the comments. Most are directed for our host blogger in the form of questions and answers. But, a day in Seekerville means we share news and greet new faces.
Have you ever been a blog guest and no one shows up? Lonely isn’t it? That’s not Seekerville. We believe that if you are a guest, the Seeker who hosted you is responsible to ensure your visit is successful. We do the PR for your visit, and we stay and support you and encourage interaction.
Our successful tribe building is based on word-of-mouth. While we have begun to advertise, 90% of our new traffic is from word-of-mouth. I believe consistency, useful content, along with staying true to our core philosophy is responsible for our success.  
I hope I’ve been able to share Seekerville in a way that encourages you to stop by. Go ahead and feel free to hum the Cheers song as you mosey on over, we’ll save you a seat and a cup of coffee.
Thanks to the Alleycats for having me today.
I look forward to your questions about forming your own tribe. And because I like to bring gifts for my hostess and her friends, today I am giving away a Tina Russo or Tina Radcliffe ebook of choice- one for my hostess, Julia Reffner and one for a commenter. International winners welcome.



Tina Radcliffe writes Inspirational romance for Harlequin Love Inspired and romantic comedy as Tina Russo.

Her next release, a novella, The Christmas Angel is available now.

127 comments:

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Oh my goodness, this was a fabulous post! One of the things I love best about the Seeker blog is the fun conversations in the comments. Such camaraderie and love...it is addicting!

I've got a question...what kinds of jobs do you divide up between the Seekers to make it run smoothly?

Mary Vee said...

Tina,
Seekerville also provides sister programs, such as your visit here to the Alley. I think I can safely speak for all of us here that the 13 Seekerville gals have encourage, and rooted for the Writers Alley, building us up in so many ways.

Thank you Tina and all the other Seekerville gals. You are our kindred spirits.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Thank you so much, Tina for posting and for all you do at Seekerville. We have been so blessed by you and I've been so excited about posting this because you guys do such an awesome job of building community.

Mary Connealy said...

It also works because we're all scared of Tina and obey her INSTANTLY.

Cara Lynn James said...

There wouldn't be a Seekerville without Tina. Thanks, Tina!!!

Pepper said...

Tina,
This is truly remarkable and I've read it twice already. Good grief! It's like a little nudge of understanding that I've needed so much!!

And personally, the Seekers have made an amazing difference in my life. Your constant encouragement and faithful prodding in the right direction has taught me so much!

THANK YOU!!!!!!

Pepper said...

Btw, post-specific tabs! I love that idea.
To see what works better.
What people are reading.
Who is responding and to what!

Oh man, this is a good swift kick in the right direction for my way of thinking :-)

Pepper said...

Mary C
I'm scared of Tina too.
and Ruthy.
and sometimes I'm scared of you, but only when you start talking about mice...or pistols

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Tina, loved this. I actually discovered Seekerville after Julie blogged over at MBT Ponderers. Loved her blog, checked out the link...and I was drawn in. You ladies are truly encouraging, and patient with "dumb" questions I've asked. I've learned much over there.

This post is one I need to read a couple more times to grasp everything you're sharing. As a blogger of ten months, I've learned some, but I've got so much more to understand! This post gives me a greater understanding of how to blog well, and hopefully build a tribe. It takes time, yes?

I have a question: my hope is to draw readers to my blog who might become readers for my books, whenever they become published. What's the best way to do that?

Tina, on a personal note, you're such an encouragement to me. Thank you for that!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good morning Alleycats! What a treat to be here in your lovely home.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Sherrinda, as for jobs.

Here is our run down.

We have folks in charge of the calendar to make sure we have no holes.

There's our giveaway spread sheet that is done weekly or so.

Two Seekers alternate tracking down Weekend edition blurbs.

Someone is in charge of the moderation and spam comments.

We now have a welcome letter and we rotate that.

We also have folks in charge of bookmarks and advertising.

Someone is in charge of the Yahoo Group as well.

I am saying this without checking the chart. There is a chart for who does what.

Patty Wysong said...

Seekers is one of my all time favorite blogs. I love it there--the posts and the community. My problem: I get sooooooo sucked into the comments that it's hard to get anything else done, so I limit myself to reading the posts in my inbox. =[ It's nowhere near as much fun and I miss all there is to learn in the comments, but it's a self-preservation and time management thing for me. =[

A huge thank you to the Seeker ladies for such an awesome site!! And you Alley Cats? I love it here too and read you guys in my inbox too. Great posts and great community make a fantastic site. =]

Hugs all around--cuz even though I don't comment, I feel like I know you guys. =]

...and Merry Christmas!!

Pepper said...

Thanks, Patty
And Julia was smart enough to invite Tina over to teach the Alley Cats how to rock the blog like the Seekers!
We're all up for learning from the best!! :-)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well thanks, Mary Vee. Other projects do come up and generally we divide and conquer. Such as the New Year's Eve Party.

24 hours of fun and giveaways!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, for the kind words, Julia! And for being my hostess!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, for the kind words, Julia! And for being my hostess!

Now here's a hint. The capcha form.

We found a way to avoid that.

We got rid of it but do not allow anonymous comments.

That cuts down on spam and allows folks to comment and bypass the capcha. Which hates me this am.

Pepper said...

Hopefully I took care of CAPTCHA, Tina

Tina Radcliffe said...

WELL, PEPPAH!! THAT WAS NICE OF YOU!@


Waving hi to Patty Wysong.

Yes. Seekerville sure does cut into your time.


This is another reason we post at 12 midnight EST.

It allows folks-including us to post before bed and early am before the writing day begins.

That makes for 24 hours of straight posting time during all possible time frames. Before work, after work.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yes, Jeanne T. It takes time and patience to build a tribe.

I had a blogging boss once who told me not to look at numbers because those change daily and is not a good reflection of who is reading content.So while followers is nice, I am often tempted to remove that. What really counts is who is reading, not who is following.

Good content, and consistency and interaction is what builds a blog.

Remember that it's all about your philosophy as well.

If you are about writing, you don't post pictures of your family on a daily basis or your trip to Hawaii and consider that your post for the day.

But you DO find ways to incorporate your family and trip pictures into your writing post. HA! That's the secret (aka Ruthy and Sandra do this so well).

Sherida Stewart said...

Tina, thank you for posting here at The Writers Alley. Very interesting to see how you have built your tribe. I do think your success comes from the way you all show your caring hearts so effectively.

I been a Seekervillager for a little over a year. Everyone in Seekerville is truly a FRIEND....amazing since I haven't "met" any of you. Seekers do an awesome job of teaching, encouraging and inspiring. I'm thankful for Seekerville!

Good to find The Writers Alley. I see I already "know" some of you! I'll enjoy reading your posts. Thanks!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, Sherida.

And here is a secret. Once I accidently emailed Sherrinda thinking I was emailing Sherida. Sherrinda very nicely let me know my error.

:)

Tina Radcliffe said...

I didn't address the fear factor. Silly me.

It is totally a myth.

No one fears me.

Pepper said...

Sherida,
Welcome to the Alley. We don't have as longstanding history as the Fabulous Seekers - but we're continuing to grow and refine.

Seekerville has been our 'mother' blog, so to speak, so we're learning from the best :-)

Tina Radcliffe said...

We're the mother ship and you are the pods.

hahahahahaha

Sherida Stewart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanne Sher said...

Tina - you LIE. I am TERRIFIED of you ;)

LOVE this post. Love the Seekers. LOVE the Alley Cats. And I wonder if they're trying to tell me something - cuz I've been SERIOUSLY pondering "almost dropping" my blog for various reasons. But I keep getting little (and not-so-little) nudges from here, there, and everywhere about continuing blogging. Back to praying, I guess!

And by the way, I'm with Patty (in more ways than one LOL). I MISS having time to comment on Seeker AND Alley posts (though I was never super-involved in the comments at Seekerville - on purpose LOL).I am NOT gone, ladies. Truly.

Pepper said...

Ha! It works! Out of this world and a little weird

Patty Wysong said...

Tina, you said, "Yes. Seekerville sure does cut into your time." It's the time and effort you invest in us that makes you and the Seekers so very special and successful. It's what makes those of us who read but don't often participate smile when we see the updates in our boxes. =] It keeps you guys at the TOP of our favorites list.

Community and building a top-notch blog is an investment. Thanks much for this post--it helps many of us in our blogging efforts. =]

Julia said...

Tina, I'll admit I wasn't terrified but was a bit, uh, startled by the fact that you called me by name at ACFW the first time I met you (and it was before I had a nametag on). Then after I turned around I figured out who you were :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Did I do that, Julia? I am a bit of a information hoarder. I remember names, faces and details about people. I have at times, a photographic memory. Which helps for test taking, but really has no other fiscal value.

I should go on Jeopardy.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, Patty!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Joanne,

I really am far more nervous than you would ever be of meeting me.

I hide a lot at conferences.

A LOT!

Amber Perry said...

Great to see you on here, Tina! You go, girl! ;)

Mary Connealy said...

We really have people in charge of all that stuff, Tina?

Uh oh. I should probably offer to be in charge of something then right?


Tina frantically waving shiny object to distract Mary before she can be in charge of anything and screw it up.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hi, Amber. Amber is not afraid of me. That makes one.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Mary, you have been in charge of the October birthday party giveaways for the 2011 and 2012. Remember?

Julia M. Reffner said...

Yes, you did. I wish I had your trick for remembering names. We've been at our current church for a year and I still have to ask people.

Piper Huguley said...

Hello all!

I came over to leave a comment about how wonderfully Seekerville works because Mary got on Twitter and said Tina was giving all of the secrets away! Very effective enticement Mary!

And I'm scared of both Mary and Tina so when they say do something...

Thank you Writer's Alley for an informative post!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Apparently fear works. Who knew?

Hi Piper!!!

Myra Johnson said...

I wouldn't exactly say we are afraid of Tina.

However, if Tina asks me to do something, I just do it. Mine not to reason why, mine but to do or . . .

You get the picture.

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL, Myra. This has been an enlightening morning.

Myra Johnson said...

On a more serious note, I could not be prouder to be counted among the Seekers. Our adult Sunday school discussion this week was about what makes a truly effective team, whether for ministry or otherwise, and I realized Seekerville is a shining example of everything a good team is supposed to be. We are unified even in our diversity, and working together we accomplish so much more than any one of us could alone.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Amen, to that, Myra.

Julie Lessman said...

HOLY FREAKIN' COW, GIRLFRIEND ... WHAT A POST!!!

I'm going to send the link to Susan Reichert at Southern Writers -- it's AWESOME!!

MEGA THANKS to the Alley Cats for having the Teenster on!!

Hugs,
Julie

Tina Radcliffe said...

Uh, thanks, Julie.

Now, Julie is someone who SHOULD scare you. She is a tornado at Mach 5.

Debby Giusti said...

Tina is being her usual humble self today...Seekerville wouldn't have grown into a "place to call home" without Tina!!!

She's our rock!

An aside, we love meeting Villagers at conferences or signings or wherever. Having that personal connection makes those friendships even stronger.

Of course, we're more than friends. We're family.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Meeting Villagers in person IS the icing on the cake. Especially in elevators. See, I had elevator fun with TWO Alley Cats.

Not many can claim that path to fame.

Andrea Strong said...

As I read this I think of what Paul wrote about the church as a body and the members of the body each having a unique role. Without any one member, the body is incomplete and just doesn't work like it should.

Seekerville is like that. It is certainly uplifting and encouraging to me.

I just love it!

Great post, Tina.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

I heard of the Seekers five years ago when Mary Connealy told me about this new blog just for aspiring novelist like me. So thankful to her and other Seekers for all they do behind the scenes. I appreciate their transparency and the spirit of unselfishness. No comment or question is overlooked by the gals at Seekerville as they strive for the community's success. A big thank you to Tina for this post and her labor of love at Seekerville.

Angie said...

Oh, Tina! What a great post!! We Alleycats LOVE Seekerville!! I am so glad I've had the chance to see you at conference, and you are as lovely in person as you are in blogland. Thanks for sharing on the Alley today!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well, Angie, thanks. I am humbled. Was I speaking coherently at all times? What strikes me about the Alley Cats is always that they are always wearing cute clothes I can only dream about fitting into and they are always so happy and nice!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Andrea on a road trip book signing in Tulsa. She actually is NICER in person, if that can be possible. Even prettier too.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks, Pat Jeanne!

Next trip to Philly we are going to do lunch!

Pepper said...

Julia,
I'm pretty sure I scared TINA the first time I met her in person....because I tackled her in the elevator.

Let's just call it a southern hello ;-)

Pepper said...

Julia,
I'm pretty sure I scared TINA the first time I met her in person....because I tackled her in the elevator.

Let's just call it a southern hello ;-)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yeah, really, all she needed was a glass of sweet tea and it would have been perfect.

Pepper said...

Oh great! Tina, am I the reason you hide at conferences? It's true isn't it? That first impression...(literally) terrified you, didn't it?
Sigh....

Pepper said...

Okay, I saw the word 'spread sheet' in Tina's comment above.
Um...yeah....any AlleyCat enjoy those little organizational devices made up of boxes, because someone else might have to manage that! ;-)

Pepper said...

Piper,
Welcome!!

Pepper said...

Aww, shucks, Tina.
I forgot the tea!!!

Pepper said...

Myra,
AMEN!!!

Pat - definitely! I LOVE the Seekers transparency and gift of encouragement.

btw, we became Seekervillians about the same time. 5 years ago. It was one of the best decisions I made as a writer, and REALLY encouraged the idea for The Writers Alley

Jeanne Takenaka said...

TINA—HOW did you know I'm going to Hawaii?! You're a mind reader on top of everything else, aren't you?

BTW, I've never been scared of you. And I loved chatting with you over lunch and dessert in Dallas last year. And I've been so grateful for your critiques. And...

Thanks for the reminder not to look at my "number of followers" too closely and put too much value on that number. I love when people stop to comment. It lets me know some people are reading. :)

BTW, I love the Alley Cats too. They're beyond nice and thoughtful, fun and stylish.

Okay, I'm rambling and I should be packing. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom, Tina!

Pepper said...

Jeanne,
We love you back!

Mary Connealy said...

PIPER there is NOTHING scary about me.

And I will SLAP ANYBODY WHO SAYS THERE IS!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

PAT JEAN You make it sound like we're helpful and generous, but truly we're just a bunch of trouble loners who can't believe someone will talk to us.

We're all desperate to 'answer' your questions.

You haven't been under the impression we know what we're talking about have you?

(well, except for Tina of course)

Karen Schravemade said...

Patty, so nice to meet you! Thanks for being part of our community! I feel all warm and fuzzy. Hugs back atcha! :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Tina, when you said you had "elevator fun" with 2 Alley Cats...what kind of fun would that be?

And Mary...I'm with Pepper. A bit scary with all those pistols and near-death-experiences. But really what scares me is the use of CAPITALS that you and Julie use!!!!

Bwahahahahah! Scary, indeed.

Karen Schravemade said...

Yay, Sherida! Glad you found us. xo

Angie said...

Oh wow, Jeanne, stylish? Haha...perhaps I am a minority among my Alleycats...I still have clothes I wore in college and I still wear 'em!
Love ya!

Karen Schravemade said...

Yes we do!! Group hug for Jeanne! :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Elevator fun...

I am minding my own business in the elevator. Doors open. Pepper is standing there. She launches herself on me, screaming my name.


Then Mary Vee and I had the fun of riding an elevator alone with a drunk.

Elevator bonding.

Karen Schravemade said...

I'm a little bit scared.

But I'm scared to admit it. ;)

Tina Radcliffe said...

I am a huge introvert. I also get nervous when I am not working at something. So sitting around schmoozing is really tough.

Pepper only temporarily marred my psyche.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hawaii. In the winter. Fun. I recently read that Denver is the city with the longest winter. Who knew? So you deserve it. The Springs probably have an even longer winter.

Karen Schravemade said...

LOL! You're so funny.

Karen Schravemade said...

I'm... n-n-not... s-scared. o_O

Karen Schravemade said...

Now I'm picturing the elevator scene with Pepper running at you holding a glass of sweet tea. Terrifying!! ;)

Karen Schravemade said...

Enquiring minds want to know - who was the drunk?? It was Mary Connealy, wasn't it.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Wow, leave to go to a funeral and come back to this hoppin' conversation!

This is WAY more fun!

Oh, Tina I had to reread your statement because this is what I read:

Pepper only temporarily married my psyche.

Then I put my glasses on :)

I'm thankful you're so nice to your village peeps, Myra. :) We've learned a lot from you.

Julie, I was SUPER excited at this post when I saw it. Tina expresses it so well and I learned A LOT. I hope it gets published somewhere else where it will get even more exposure. Let me tell you I am making notes literally.

Ang, you go girl! Fitting in your college clothes is an accomplishment after having kids! Wish I could!

Karen Schravemade said...

It's very flattering that people think of us as stylish. (NOTE TO SELF: invest in new clothes before next ACFW so as not to dispel this lovely myth)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh Tina, this is fantastic! Thanks for sharing all your Seeker wisdom! And I think we are going to have to meet... I'm usually the scary one. Possibly for different, sometimes more fictional, reasons but we could compare notes. :) All of us alley cats have been so blessed by the Seekers! Thank you, thank you!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

And yes, I can definitely see Pep tackling someone in an elevator. We love our spicy lil Pepper! This story made me grin like an idiot. Oh, Pepper, dahling... I miss you!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh, no. We must not start rumors. LOL. Well, we could but not this one. Perhaps we could start a rumor that I am having Henry Cavill's love child? KIDDING@!!!

The drunk was not a conference attendee.

Tina Radcliffe said...

So Amy, I read your comment as...all of us have cats and have been blessed by the Seekers.

I have cats. Two.

LOL. I need new glasses.

Mary Connealy said...

HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! NOW DON'T BE STARTING ANY DRUNK RUMORS!

I'M STILL TRYING TO END THE SNORING AND THE SLEEP WALKING RUMORS AND THAT EXTREMELY DAMANGING LURE-HER-OUT-FROM-UNDER-THE-TABLE-AT-HER-FIRST-BOOK-SIGNING-WITH-A-HOSTESS-TWINKIE RUMOR. I DON'T NEED ANYMORE STINKING RUMORS.

Mary Connealy said...

BTW SHERRINDA, IT'S NOT JUST THE CAPITALS THAT MAKE US POWERFUL WE ALSO KNOW HOW TO DO BOLD AND IN A PINCH ITALICS SO BE AFRAID!

Karen Schravemade said...

I don't have cats. But I have been blessed by the Seekers! :)

Tina Radcliffe said...



Only some of us know how to do bold.

The rest of us do HOTLINKS.

Guess Where This Hotlink Leads??

Tina Radcliffe said...

Do you want a cat?

I can mail you one.

Karen Schravemade said...

Tina, REALLY??! That IS juicy. You know anything you confess on the Alley may be tweeted, pinned and facebooked... Or was that supposed to be, what happens at the Alley stays at the Alley?? I can't quite remember....

Karen Schravemade said...

Yes please to the cat. Although I'm pretty sure it might be dead by the time it reached Australia. Punch lots of holes in the lid, 'kay?

Karen Schravemade said...

Mary, those are great rumours. But I'm too scared to perpetrate them in case you use capitals on me.

Tina Radcliffe said...

AUSTRALIA!! I forgot about that. Wow, you Alley Cats have the blog covered 24/7 in two hemispheres. Good planning!!!

Missy Tippens said...

I'm late!! Great post, Tina. Looks like I've missed a lot of fun today (have been focused in on revisions).

Hello to all the Alley Cats!

Missy Tippens said...

Joanne, I like your new photo! Sherida's too!

Mary Vee said...

Been on the road. Good grief have I missed a great party. Although I hear party crashing is fun.

Just for the record, Tina is a life saver in elevators. She has a nose for trouble, grabs her friends by the arm, literally, and drags the friend out of danger. I AM A WITNESS.

Pepper said...

Okay, so I come back from my anniversary dinner to ummm rumors that Tina and Mary were TACKLED by a drunk cat, while Karen stood stylishly by... laughing.

I KNOW I need to get out my glasses now

Pepper said...

LOL, Julia
I married Tina's psyche. Good gracious. Can you imagine? Tina's brain and mine combined?!?

I think I might be scared now - with or without Mary's CAPITALIZATIONs :-)

Karen Schravemade said...

LOL!!! You're hilarious. :)

Karen Schravemade said...

Hey there, Missy! :)

Mary Connealy said...

I think I know how to do other stuff too, except I forgot, so technically I guess I don't know how to do it. So just forget I mentioned it.

Still, that live link led exactly where I thought it would.

I can do that.

But I won't.

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL, Mary Vee. I have a nose for trouble BECAUSE, I AM TROUBLE!!!

Mary Connealy said...

TINA I AM BEGGING YOU, THIS TIME WHEN YOU START MAILING CATS, AIR HOLES, GOD PLEASE HELP HER REMEMBER THE AIR HOLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oops there I go with the capitals again. What's up with that?

Tina Radcliffe said...

I am putting the cat on a bus to Australia. No worries. First class ticket.

Karen Schravemade said...

Hahaha! If I was a cat I'd be totally scared.

Wait. I already am totally scared. Mary keeps shouting at everyone and now she even knows which continent I live in!! There's no safe place to hide!

Karen Schravemade said...

Wait - a bus ticket?? GENIUS!

Karen Schravemade said...

How did we start talking about cats again?? Hahaha!

Hang on. You've all been messing with my mind, haven't you. A BUS CAN'T DRIVE TO AUSTRALIA! The cat doesn't have a passport! I'm onto you lot...!!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Did someone mention Henry Cavill??? Be still my heart. He is the the image of every hero I read. ;)

WELL WELL WELL....BE AFRAID, MARY...VERY AFRAID!!!!!! MUWWAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAA!!!!!!!!!!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Hey...it worked! I can be bold whenever I want now!

Carol Moncado said...

Oh my stars y'all are fun!

[Don't tell Ruthy I stole her phrase!]

And so ooooooooooo timely! Because a group of us are getting ready to start a new blog geared at readers. Y'all will hear about it soon, I'm sure.

And we're totally steal... er, going to learn from Seekerville and Writer's Alley, among others. I'll be sharing this post with everyone else. In fact, one of them shared it with me :).

As for who to fear... I fear Tina. And Ruthy. And Julie. And Mary... And... well, pretty much all of them at one time or another ;). Except maybe. Audra. And Janet. And Sandra. And... um, anyone else I forgot to mention who isn't one of those four ;).

I've made some fabulous friends because of Seekerville [including AlleyCat Pepper!] and can't thank y'all enough. You are one of the first places I point aspiring authors.

Plus I guest posted once. That means, ladies and gentlemen, I have arrived.

[I'm not sure where I arrived, but I'm there... ;)]

Tina Radcliffe said...

That Karen takes a bit of time to catch on...but then she is onboard the Seeker Goofball Train.

Way to go, Karen.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Carol! If you've arrived you need to bring some snacks. Some of us are late night munchers.

Seriously, though, The Alley Cats are very blessed by wonderful Alley Cat friends.

Speaking of cats, our daughter thought it would be hilarious to place our cat (20 lbs of mega-furry white ragdoll) in the garbage can. Yeah, he actually had pieces of eggshell on him and so we ended up washing him...which we all know is one of the most fun jobs with cats. I've got a soft spot for cats, but today I've got my hands full. I think wet cats come close to the ugliest creatures alive.

Wow, you gals sure know how to throw a party. Even this wallflower feels at home :)

Karen Schravemade said...

Tina, are you calling me a goofball?? o.O I insist that I'm perfectly normal. *cough* I swear!! *cough-cough*

Karen Schravemade said...

Julia! You're no wallflower. You're the belle of our ball! (Wet cat and all!
Your story made me laugh.)

Karen Schravemade said...

Carol - love the idea of your new blog!! A blog geared at readers: I'd love to hear more!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Okay, it's late, especially for me. I just have to tell you I'm holding back loud giggles, and outright cackles, because of the conversation here. :) You all make me smile. Big.

CAROL—your idea for a reader blog sounds great. I'd love to know how you guys structure it and make it successful.

Now, this tired hula hip mama needs to get packing and maybe even get sleeping.
Thanks for a fun fun time on the Alley!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good for you, Carol. A blog for readers is a great plan.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I cannot even imagine washing a cat, Julia. So sorry. Wear gloves.

Angie said...

Oh Carol, how I've missed you! Been off of Facebook for over a month now. Glad to see you here...quite a party with these gals!! Just love it! Excited to hear about your new blog more. What fun!

All this talk about cats and I can't stop thinking about the cat in the legend of Melanie Schmooter on Sweet Home Alabama. You know, the one with dynamite strapped to its back and blew up the bank? And survived. ;) What a cat!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

The fear is not a myth.

Pfft.

As if.

We tremble and quake daily, and if I could tell you how many times Tina has pulled me to shore....

Jan Drexler, are you reading this?????

Tina's careful eye on posting times, the prize vault, etc. is clutch. She's amazing.

And last night I went to a junior high band concert, absolutely lovely groups of young people... they had a jazz band (3 numbers) a 7th grade band (3 numbers) and an 8th grade band (3 numbers)... and the conductor was their version of Tina Radcliffe.

He drew out the subtle greatness of each band, each unit, each section of brass/wind/percussion... and the result looked flawless except that a Ruthy-type member had to run off stage and oil a valve... and then another Ruthy type had to run off stage and get a new "reed"...

And he carried on, chatting and joking while he waited patiently.

Wait.

Okay, so THAT PART might be a little different in Seekerville. :)

Tina, what a great post about the nuts and bolts.

I think the balance of multiple crazy personalities (and that's just Mary's schizophrenia I'm referring to) helps to feed the fire of interaction.

And that's what makes it so fun to hang out and eat cyber food.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

OH, I love Myra's comment...."we are unified even in our diversity..."

I'm stealing that, Myra.

No credit, either.

:)

Great line, and true. And Piper, yes: FORMER NAVY PERSONNEL, think NCIS.... Fear is good.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my stars, I'd mail the cat to Australia....

I'm sure it would be FINE.

(survival of the fittest)

And this is fun, partying in TWO SPOTS.

Carol, yes, it is all right to fear me. I own my fearsome nature and wear it proudly unlike some of my counterparts who pretend they are NOT SCARY AS HECK!!!!

They are scary, but pretense is their middle name. Pshaw.

No one fears Audra. She's.... nice.

Ridiculous, really.

Pepper said...

Cats do have 9 lives.
How many would they need to use for a trip to Australia?

Carol Moncado said...

Don't worry, y'all, big announcements will be coming in January and I'm sure it'll be plastered all over my Facebook page ;). [I've missed you, Angie!!!!]

But a WE shout out wouldn't be turned down either come launch time :D.

We're ironing out the details [minutiae some of it] now and this blog is making the rounds.

I did bring chocolate chip cookies for anyone interested :D.

Ruthy - I went to a Middle School concert last night. It was supposed to be 6th grade only. But with the weather last week, the 7th and 8th grade and jazz bands got canceled. So they added 285 [or something] kids for a grand total of close to 500 kids in the bands. In an okay sized gym. Wowza was it crowded! Me and my little two kids only stayed for the 6th grade [my kiddo] because they weren't going to make it through the whole thing [6 people, 4 too small stadium type chairs].

Audra:nice::Ruthy:scary

Sounds about right... :D

Audra Harders said...

Tina, no one says it better than you! Tribes are the best.

Merry Christmas, Alley Cats!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Merry Christmas, Audra! We love you!

Pam Hillman said...

Karen Schravemade said...
I'm a little bit scared.
But I'm scared to admit it. ;)

ROFLOL! I know I'm way late, but this made me lol. Spew alert.

Must read all the comments. The Alley Cats and the Seekers team up for a hilarious day of fun. We could host our own workshop and be our own audience at the same time.