When I began my own blog in January, I started reading other blogs to research page layouts and designs, post topics, creative writing challenges, and photography hints. In the process, I’ve lost countless hours to the black hole of cyberspace, but I’ve followed various links to some truly amazing sites. Here are five that I return to over and over…
Rarasaur…frightfully wondrous things happen here.
I am in complete awe of Rarasaur. First, I think she lives in some alternate universe where there are 48 hours in a day, not 24. She has apparently boundless stores of energy, all of it positive, which come through in every single post. I love the variety she offers–everything from poetry, to how-to instructions, to childhood stories, to healthy eating tips–all of it is presented with humor, grace, and style. Reading a Rara post is like getting together with a good friend for a chat over tea.
Photographer Bob Mielke posts some amazing shots here, but what draws me to this photography blog above the thousands that are out there in the blogosphere is the fact that he takes photos in locations that anyone can access. He spends massive amounts of time at the zoo, shooting animals and people alike, and shares details about why he chose a particular subject and what he was trying to accomplish with the lighting, exposure, angle, etc. He’s also posted some fabulous pictures from local farms, festivals, and shops. Every time I view his blog, I think, “With a good camera and a little bit of practice, I could do that!” I like that he makes great photography feel accessible to the average Joe.
This is a relatively new blog, started by Dieter Rogiers as a personal challenge on his 35th birthday. He felt the need to write more, so set himself a one year mission to write 300 stories of 300 words or less. He’s 45 stories into the challenge (as of today), and some of them are quite creative! Since I’ve been dabbling in flash fiction myself, I love reading (snooping through) other writers’ work to gather hints on how I can more effectively develop characters and plot in limited space.
Nouveau Scarecrow~A ragged soul investigating the human condition
Michael J. Cahill writes with sensitivity and insight, and something about his style just resonates with me. His posts are always thoughtful, and inspire the reader to think as well. One of my favorite posts is Williker, a finely crafted tale that reminds us all that outer appearance is less important than what lies inside.
Helen has a no-nonsense approach to blogging that draws readers in with frankness and humor. I can relate to what she writes, and feel like I’ve just been chatting with a next-door neighbor, not reading a stranger’s online journal, when I close my laptop. I also learn something every time I visit, like alternative uses for Kotex (doggie wound care) and how to get free books (write reviews for BookSneeze.com).