Sunday, 16 August 2009

Passionate About Blue October

I love music, most music.. Blue october have blown me away with theirs, the lyrics, history ~ the individuals.. this is beautiful music at it's deep meaningful best...


18th Floor Balcony - Blue October

The Texas quintet Blue October formed during the post-grunge boom of the mid-'90s, when vocalist/guitarist Justin Furstenfeld began penning angst-ridden rock songs with the help of his brother, drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld, and violinist Ryan Delahoussaye. Bassist Matt Noveskey and lead guitarist Brant Coulter completed the band's initial lineup, and Blue October released an independent debut album, The Answers, in 1998. The band's emotive brand of post-grunge led to the sale of 5,000 copies in their native Houston alone. Two years later, Blue October made their major-label debut on Universal with Consent to Treatment.

By the time Blue October began prepping for their third album, 2003's History for Sale, guitarist Coulter had left the group and CB Hudson (guitar/vocals) had been added. The band itself had also left Universal for Brando Records. The album's first single, "Calling You," became a Top 40 hit thanks to its inclusion on the American Wedding soundtrack, and Universal re-signed the band in the wake of such newfound success. The live CD/DVD package Argue with a Tree was released in February 2005, following 18 months of touring. Noveskey briefly left the band shortly thereafter, but returned in time to record Blue October's first studio album in three years, Foiled, which was issued in April 2006 and went platinum one year later. Before the band went on tour with Yellowcard in September 2007, Universal Motown Records released Foiled for the Last Time, a two-disc set consisting of a full version of Foiled, 14 newly recorded songs performed live, and several alternative remixes. Recording sessions for another studio album, Approaching Normal, commenced in mid-2008 with producer Steve Lillywhite, and the finished product appeared early the following year. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, All Music GuideMore

Blue October

The Hand Holding Blog System, Why Every Author Should Blog!

Source :

Posted by : Blogging Leader / Social Media Expert - Donnette

Want to Blog? Need help and advice and technical support? You need a ”Blog Coach”
The “Hand Holding” Blog System –
Why Every Author Should Blog!

The popularity of blogs has soared in the last few years. There are now over 100 million blogs tracked by Technorati, a popular blog search engine. According to demographics collected by the Pew Internet Study, blogs have become mainstream and represent virtually every audience and topic area.

You can use blogs to:
• Develop an audience for your work
• Promote your book

A blog bears many resemblances to a book. Both have a title and subtitle that reflect the content of a book. Blog posts can be organized into categories which serve as a kind of table of contents to classify and group related material. Blog posts, typically 300-500 words in length, represent the raw content of a book. Links within posts or on the blog roll serve as a bibliography, showing references to source material.

How do you attract people to your blog? Initially, through searches individuals make on popular search engine sites like Google, Yahoo and MSN. By using popular keywords in your blog title, subtitle, categories and posts, your blog will begin to turn up in these searches. You can discover these keywords using keyword discovery tools or simply checking out popular blogs in your topic area. The more you blog, the more others discover and link to your blog content, the higher will be the ranking of your blog site in search results, and the greater the traffic you will receive.

Blog software usually provides a basic set of statistics that allow you to track important information such as number of visitors, page views, referring sites and average time spent by each visitor. Page views and comments left by visitors for specific blog posts provide an indicator of popular content. This makes blogs an excellent way for you to field test
and select material to be included in your book.

Once you have cultivated an audience, you can transform your blog into a great marketing platform. For example, you can promote your book on a special page, featuring your bio, a book description, excerpts, press releases and testimonials. Thus your blog can double as a book website. You can also promote your book to a wider audience by arranging a blog tour. A blog tour is a series of scheduled guest appearances on related blogs, where you have the opportunity to talk about your book. This is a low cost, high impact method to discover new readers for your work.

Whether you are publishing independently or trying to sign on with a traditional publisher, blogging can be key to your success. More publishers are now starting to view the blogosphere as a fertile ground to find
promising writers. Why? As an author who blogs, you can quantify your audience and this is attractive to risk averse publishers.

Blogging is a low risk, low cost way to build your audience while you are developing your work, and then promote your finished book to that same audience. Give it a try!

(lnformation from Tom Masters, author of Blogging Quick and Easy)

Benefits of Blogging
By Rebecca Talley, Blog Consultant

The internet has provided authors with a worldwide audience for their work. One of the best ways for authors to connect with that audience is through a blog. Blog is a catchword that refers to a web log. Blogging, the act of maintaining a blog, allows authors to promote themselves and their books.

A few benefits of blogging include:

1. Blogs provide an opportunity for authors to connect to their readers in a personal way. Those who visit an author’s blog can leave comments and develop a more personal relationship with an author. Cyber friendships develop between bloggers and their audience. Those who become fans of a certain blogger, or author, may be more likely to purchase books.

2. Blogs allow an author to create name recognition. Every time the author posts a blog, the search engines pick it up and those who blog frequently find their names at the top of the search engines. Utilizing the tag function of blogs will also drive traffic to a blog and increase a blogger’s audience.

3. Blogs can guide interested readers to an author’s website where readers can learn more about the author and his/her book(s).

4. Blogging helps an author hone his/her writing skills and provides an opportunity to obtain feedback on book ideas.

5. Blogs can be used to promote books by offering contests and other incentives to purchase books.

It’s easy to set-up and maintain a blog. Several services provide free blog space and templates including, Blogger and WordPress. By following the simple instructions, an author can have a personalized blog set- up and running in less than an hour. It’s simple to add gadgets like counters to track visitors, links to other bloggers (who will generally link back to the author), photos, images of an author’s book cover(s), links to websites the author has found helpful (visitors always like to find something useful at a blog), and other functions.

John McLain, a relatively new blogger, who is the author of, How to Promote Your Home Business, says, “It’s a good medium for self-expression. It’s also an opportunity to share information and knowledge with others who may benefit from the experiences I’ve had in launching and running a home-based business.” He also believes that blogging is an excellent way to make contacts and network with others. Using a counter has allowed John to track his visitors and with regular blogging, he believes he will see those numbers increase.

The best advice for building a blog readership is to blog regularly and to visit other blogs consistently. Authors need to leave comments for other bloggers so they can track back to the author’s blog. The way to gain regular readers is by visiting, and commenting on, other blogs. This will increase readership dramatically.

Blogging is an effective way to build a base of people who are interested in what an author has to say and will be most likely to purchase books that the author writes. The internet allows authors to communicate with a worldwide audience and blogging is the easiest and most effective way to tap into that audience.

Virtual Book Tours Via Blogging

Virtual book tours are becoming more popular with authors who have the desire to promote their books but lack the resources to fund a traditional tour. Virtual book tours, or blog tours, involve contacting bloggers who are willing to post a review on their blog and/or website. Usually a Virtual Tour Consultant coordinates the dates so that the author’s book receives a promotional blitz within a certain time period.

Recently, John McLain toured blogs with his book, How to Promote Your Home Business. John had never heard of a virtual book tour and did not have his own blog. With some guidance, John easily set up his new blog and joined blogland before we scheduled his virtual book tour.

While touring the blogs, John’s book received excellent reviews.

Rachelle Christensen, an owner of a home-based business called Story Time Felts, wrote on her blog, “I have been a home-based business owner involved in direct sales for the past ten years, so I was interested to see how John McLain’s book might help me. Would it have anything I hadn’t already learned in the past ten years? I must report that YES it does! McLain covers everything from press releases to trade fairs to websites in his book. He writes in a succinct and interesting way to excite and
motivate his reader to have a successful business.”

Author Anne Bradshaw, a regular virtual book tour participant said she noticed a surge in her blog readership when she reviewed John’s book. She also said she notices that when she posts a book review her readership increases.

The main purpose in maintaining a blog is to develop a readership. When bloggers with a loyal following recommend a book, their readers take note. In scheduling a blog tour, it’s important to include bloggers who have a following because their recommendations can have a positive impact on book sales.

The internet has opened lines of communication previously unavailable to authors. People from all over the world can now connect with authors through blogs. Virtual book tours can help promote a book worldwide and develop interest. The more buzz about a book, the better. Books involved in virtual book tours can jump to the top of search engines, which can create even more interest in the book and the author. Virtual book tours can help authors stand out from the crowd.

John McLain thought his virtual book tour was very successful and that the reviewers were all thoughtful in their comments. When asked what he learned from the tour he said, “Primarily I learned about virtual book tours and how they can be helpful in connecting you to others online with similar interests.” He also commented that a virtual book tour is “certainly worth doing.”

While virtual book tours are only one way to promote a book online, with the ease of technology, virtual book tours are an accessible promotional tool for authors and are definitely here to stay.

Author and blogger Alison Palmer had this to say,”How to Promote Your Home Business: Free, Easy & Low-Cost Ways to Market Any Enterprise is just the type of resource I’ve been looking for.”

How to Promote Your Home Business is short, sweet and to the point. It gave me the “here’s what you need to know” and “here’s how to do it” information I like without a lot of fluff. Mr. McLain is also serious about the “low-cost” aspects of self-promotion.

How To Enter The Blogosphere
By AEG Staff

For lots of people, starting anything on the computer, particularly the Internet, can be a daunting task riddled with the fear of breaking something, opening yourself up to scams, and signing up for something you never intended to.

So for our AEG and Eloquent authors who are just getting started, here is a step-by-step guide about blogging.

1. Visit

2. Click on the “Start a Blog Now” link at the top.

3. Follow the instructions. It’s that easy, and most importantly, you will have access to a Blog Coach at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What’s a Blog Coach?

A. We realize that different people have different experience and skill levels when it comes to using a blog or website. So when you have a question, that’s what your Personal Blog Coach is for! Your Personal Blog Coach goes beyond just answering your questions. We provide step-by-step, click-by-click examples, video tutorials, and more. We make promoting your book EASY!

Your Personal Blog Coach is a completely different kind of tech support. It’s tech support that’s available to hold your hand along your journey to blogging success!

Q. Can I use my own domain?

A. Yes. Your Professional Author account allows you to use your own domain name. Your Personal Blog Coach will help you with this.

Q. Why isn’t this a free service?

A. You know, it’s really strange, but the consultants that will be helping you, your Blog Coaches, won’t work for free. (smile). Seriously, this is a great platform for you to get started with the assistance you need, and then later, you can always move to a free platform if you wish.

Q. Why not just use, it’s free?

A. Yes. (and Blogger for that matter) are free. But remember, you get what you pay for. (Besides, we include many features not even available on, or that you would have to pay for anyway…such as Advanced Site Statistics, Advanced Widgets, and the ability to easily integrate YouTube Video into your posts.)

WordPress and Blogger fail to provide the most professional publishing platform that authors, such as yourself need.

Most importantly, they fail to promote your writing in the professional way AEG does. Being a member of the community provides you promotion that is simply not available any where else. AEG and Strategic Book Publishing are experts in book promotion. That’s why you are already an AEG Author! Now is your opportunity to take advantage of all the promotion they are willing to provide you!

Monday, 09 March 2009

Sunday, 08 March 2009

St. Patrick’s Day Activities for children, parents and educators

St. Patrick’s Day Activities for children, parents and educators

St. Patrick’s Day is the National Day of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, celebrated in honour of Saint Patrick the patron Saint of Ireland, on 17th March. Celebrate this year with our many pages of activities and free ebooks adaptable for all ages and which include colouring in sheets, crafts, recipes for mums, dads and kids, card making, alphabet and numeric activities, teaching ideas and lesson plans, a full St Patrick’s Day Project, music, riddles, songs and action rhymes, wordsearches, crossword, Quiz, story comprehension, stationery and many more activities!

Download links within the pages will give you direct access to 179 pages of sheet music and over 175 midi files.

My favourite pages are:

March Events can be found here and pages will be updated and linked daily with fun eduational activities and downloads.

In the meanwhile new additions have been made to the Activity Books and Activities sections, and I hope you will find some material beneficial to you and your little ones there.

As always I welcome input, suggestions and criticisms.

With blessings for your educational journey

Donnette E Davis

St Aiden’s Homeschool

Folow me on Twitter for updates on great free resources or visit my blog as I discuss the resources at length.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

A fantatic list put together by Parentwonder - these are just a few of the vast library!

General Parenting Tips

1. Speaking So Kids Will Listen - 25 simple ways to get your message across to kids - By Michael Grose. Ever said this to your kid: “I have told you a million times can you just turn that TV down!” If so, this ebook will show you a better to get cooperation from kids without saying this. Plus other great tips like building confidence and self-esteem in children, talking about sex, drug and violence, and more. PDF file. 18 pages.

2. Raising Children Network: Make a Book - You can select and make your own books. Select from various stages of development and individual chapters, then the book appears as you requested. Very cool! However, only Baby & Child Books available now:

  • Newborns (0-3 months) - Essential information on caring for a newborn baby
  • Babies (3-12 months) - What to expect during the sitting and crawling phase
  • Toddlers (1-3 years) - A guide to parenting when your child discovers her own two feet
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years) - The basics on helping your child thrive during the preschool years
  • School age (5-8 years) - Essential information to help your child make the most of the early school years

3. Backpack Buddies Fact Sheet Index – By Ohio State University Extension. PDF files. Topics include:


  • Get Off To a Good Start
  • Nurturing Your Child's Self-Esteem
  • Helping Your Child Succeed In School
  • Holiday Stress Busters for Big and Little People
  • Discipline and Your Child
  • Nutrition and Fitness
  • Reading Skills and Journal-Keeping
  • Caution--Is Your Home Safe?
  • Summer Activities for Fun and Learning

First Grade:

  • Dealing With Morning Madness
  • Understanding Sibling Rivarly
  • Good Study Habits and Homework
  • Holidays--What A Great Time!
  • Keeping Our Children Safe
  • Setting Limits with Your Children
  • Nutritious Food For Cool Kids
  • Children's Friendships
  • Fun Summer Time Activities and Games

4. Monitoring your child’s growth and development - A quick run down of what to monitor from birth to 4 years old. PDF file. 3 pages.

5. The Bully – Make Sure Your Child Knows How to Handle Bullies - An interactive book with nice pictures on what to do for bully victims and parents. A bully quiz for children as well as for parents and educators. EXE file. 46 pages.

6. Tantrums - By Parenting SA. What parents can do when tantrums happen? Big and small. PDF file. 4 pages.

7. Understanding Children: Disciplining your preschooler - By Iowa State University. This books discusses topics like what a toddler wants, communicating with a toddler, time-out and spanking. PDF file. 4 pages.

8. Understanding Children: Sibling Rivalry - By Iowa State University. 9 awesome tips on handling conflict between siblings. One of the tips is to leave your kids alone and let them work it out for themselves. PDF file. 4 pages.

9. Discipline: Help your children develop feelings of self-esteem - By New Mexico State University. “Children develop feelings of self-esteem, competence, independence, cooperation and responsibility when they grow up with guidelines. Two effective ways to discipline children and create sensible guidelines are through rewards and punishment.” The ebook includes ten rules of discipline and how to handle parenting differences. PDF file. 4 pages.

10. How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night
- By Permanente Medical Group. 4 strategies on getting your baby to sleep uninterrupted and its pros and cons respectively. PDF file. 4 pages.

11. Balance Your Life: The Complete Guide to Managing Work and Family - By Golden Goose Ventures. From the page: How would you like to get control of your life? Stop working those 80 hour weeks. Get to know your family again. Get some FUN and FREE TIME into your life. Excellent advice. PDF file. 51 pages.

12. The Kids Are Driving Me Crazy - By Lisa Barker. An ebook excerpt from Just Because Your Kids Drive You Insane…Doesn’t Mean You Are A Bad Parent! Not quite a how-to book but a funny tale of how kids can really mess things up and challenges a mother faces. Lisa has a great sense of humor. PDF file. 60 pages.

Dance in our footseps DVD - Dzagbe Cudjoe,

In this DVD -

Learning some traditional dances in the Northern Region of Ghana.
Further details;

Dance in Our Footsteps - A fun DVD introduction to African dance

African dance is the perfect antidote to stress and that down-in-the-dumps feeling. Give yourself a tonic which leaves your mind, body and spirit feeling refreshed and invigorated. Dance to the exhilarating rhythms of Africa.

This DVD Dance Video offers a demonstration of the featured dances. It is not intended as a conventional instructional product. Enjoy yourself while experiencing the de-stressing and pleasurable effects of African dance. Try and copy the dancers if you wish or just use their movements and the music to inspire you to create your own authentic, original dance. But most importantly have fun and if possible have a party at the same time.

Free Parenting eBooks

The following eBooks are provided free of charge for your information and
reference. Please note that the content of the eBooks does not necessarily
reflect my own personal views, and my providing the eBooks does not
necessarily indicate an endorsement to the author of the publication, their
affiliated websites, or the contents thereof. This page will be updated regularly
as new publications become available.


Saturday, 24 January 2009

St Aiden's Homeschool - Free Teacher Resources & Downloads 24-01-2009

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2009. First and foremost I would like to thank everyone for their valued and continued support throughout 2008. It was a busy year with a lot of new changes which hopefully we can use to our benefit in 2009.

This year will see a focus on providing more in depth unit studies on international social studies, as well as continuing to add to our already huge library of free teaching/parent/student resources on all subjects. Look out for our specially created PDF ebooks and tutorials aimed at parents, child-minders, health care professionals and educators.

This coming week I am looking forward to uploading more Valentine’s Day Activities, as well as even more literature unit studies.

In February we commemorate inter alia the following:

2nd Groundhog Day

2-7th National School Counselling Week (USA)

4th National Girls & Women in Sports Day

7th Charles Dickens; Birthday

14th Valentine’s Day

Read to Your Child Day

18th Adventures of Huckleberry Fynn Published in 1885 (I will have a PDF of this available with our next newsletter as a reading comprehension literature unit study)

24th Mardi Gras (USA)

26th Tell a Fairy Tale Day

27th National Polar Bear Day

New units added to Valentine’s Day include PDF eBooks for the whole family, Valentine Copywork & Poems. Included in the titles are:

Chocolate Modelling Clay
Create a Valentine's Day Centrepiece
Creative Valentine's Day Activities
Decorating Ideas for Different Occasions
Free Valentine's Day Greetings Cards
Give a Gift of Poetry
Happy Valentine's Day
Healthy Chocolate (Oh yes??) :)
Hobbies & Crafts for Valentine's Day
How to make a string of hearts
Kids' Valentine's Day Gifts
Make Your Own Gift Baskets
School Fundraiser Riche - Valentine's Day
Teach Your Children to Show Themselves that They Care
The Origin & History of Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day - Where did THAT Come From? :)
Valentine Gift Boxes - Tips to Create
Valentine's Day - Moments With Your Children
Valentine's Cards - An Art Project
Wolves, Goats Martyrs and War a History of Valentines Day

Heart Cut-Out Picture Frame
From the Heart Basket Weaving Pattern


We have created lower and upper case heart-themed alphabet flash cards, as well as a set of number flash/sight cards from 1-20. The files are in PDF format.

Looking further afield for a comprehensive Valentine's Day Portal, covering the origins, history and traditions of Valentines Day, crafts & activities, the meaning of Valentine's Day, gift ideas for men, women and children, you will find everything you need to know at
this link.

To celebrate Reading and Fairy Tales in February, we have a large number of free printable Early Readers and Comprehension Literature Unit Studies and invite you to download as many units as you may require.

Thank you for sunscribing to and reading this newsletter.

As always any suggestions, comments and criticisms are invited and welcome.
I can be contacted at

I wish you and your child/ren well on your Educational Journey


Donnette E Davis

St Aiden’s Homeschool

To understand children, you must continuously study child development.

5 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children With Their Reading ==========================================================

1. Read books that contain print in the pictures.

2. Reread your child's favorite books.

3. Talk with your child as you read a book.

4. Read rhymes to your child and emphasize rhyming words.

5. Separate the sounds in a word, for example: D O G and then ask your child to put the sounds together to form a word.