#BlogCrawl and Bookishness


The brainchild of author Cairn Rodrigues, #BlogCrawl was originally envisioned as a sort of Twitter happy hour for introverted writers running blogs. Hang out, make small talk, get tipsy, and then – at some point – everyone agrees on a writing prompt and runs off for about an hour to see what they can come up with. No pre-writing, no editing – just hit publish and come back to share with the rest of the crowd.

Give that it’s kind of hard to drink and type and keep track of hashtags (even if all we’re drinking is water, because fiction writers can fake “tipsy” with the best of ’em) we’ve toyed with the idea of moving the party elsewhere but never really had the impetus to do it before Cairn’s inaugural blog book tour.

A book tour that got slightly sidetracked by life. Cairn started to beat up on herself for not being – what – a more scintillating author on the virtual book tour circuit? Ironically, she did some amazing writing on her blog that I think a lot of us can relate to, in some way:

Crumbling of a Caregiver
Gun Control

Collateral Damage
Slippery Slope
Let This Be The Last Battlefield


If ever there was an author in need of a little levity, it’s Cairn. Here’s a recap of her tour stops:

Let’s Write About Sex
Is Cairn Rodrigues Truly The Last Prospector?
Travellers Welcome
Book Review
Twin Goddesses!
A Book Warming Party
Fantasy Food
Of Cats and Men
Cairn Rodrigues and The Last Prospector
Book Review
Color My World
Who’s The Boss?

Wednesday’s Guest – Cairn Rodrigues
The Last Prospector by Cairn Rodrigues

My original idea was to interview her on camera about the names in The Last Prospector – to get her drunk and then see if even she could pronounce them. I asked Mitch Mitchell – who has been a friend since around 2009 or so, and who is a seasoned video blogger and interviewer, for advice. Somehow, that turned into Mitch interviewing me on the writing process – which was so not the original intent of the question…

Ultimately, the notion was so daunting, once I realized what it would involve, that I decided to crochet a book cover, which we dubbed The Prospector’s Last Book Cozy, and give it away, instead. Congratulations to winner Marian Allen – I have renamed the accompanying bookmark the “Meadow of Flowers Boa” in her honor. Picture a teeny, tiny version of me, wearing it.

A funny thing happened along the way, though – I stepped out of my comfort zone and had a lot of fun doing it. My first reaction, when Mitch was done interviewing me, was “OMG, yay! I didn’t DIE!” No, seriously, I was not joking. My second was, “When can we do it again?” I even got a better webcam and revamped my YouTube channel. Mitch created a little monster. Trockle was just rolling his eye over there, under the bed.

So of course it seemed fitting that I convince Cairn to have the next #BlogCrawl in a Google+ Hangout On Air.We did not spend the entire time on the pronunciation of names in her book, but we did talk about how she came up with them, how they’re pronounced, and the etymology of one of the strangest names – that actually does exist.

We had so much fun that I’m envisioning a whole series, now, and if any other Science Fiction/Fantasy authors want to get in on this and take the challenge, let’s go for it.

Barbara Walters Has Nothing to Fear from ME

As Cairn says, this is why no one’s called to ask me to host the Oscars. Mitch may have put me at ease on camera, but I still feel like a deer caught in the headlights when it comes to “interviewing” anyone else. Oh, it sounds like a fine idea in my head – but that’s just not how it works out. The following is an hour and a half of unscripted laughter and digression as Cairn tries to tell us about her book, The Last Prospector. Mitch Mitchell tries to mentor the unruly crowd — could this cherry soda swilling tea-totaller be the only one who’s sober enough to do it? — but somehow manages to turn both Whovians and Daleks against him. Watch out for upside-down trash cans bearing toilet plungers, Mitch. Ron Reed pops up, now and then, to talk about the psychology of book cover design and remind us all to run with scissors. Wait, what? Though Ron never appears on camera, in person, he adds awesome insight, moral support, and levity.

We forgot all about the writing prompt. So here’s one: Someone is called to do something that is way outside their comfort zone, but it turns out to be a positive experience.

Share your links in the comments, below.


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/hollyjahangiri. For more information on her children's books, please visit http://jahangiri.us/books.
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12 thoughts on “#BlogCrawl and Bookishness”

    1. Absolutely! As for “many more” – only ten can actively participate (as opposed to “tune in and watch live”) at a time. But now that people can see we don’t bite, everyone will have to get there early (like Marian, only…stay!) to get in on the fun, live!
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…#BlogCrawl and BookishnessMy Profile

    1. Oh, NO – all are welcome. It’s only for writers who want to have fun and aren’t afraid of looking silly in public, though. And active participation is limited (by Google) to 10 people – so watch for announcements and get there on time. “Fashionably late” won’t cut it, once this thing gets popular! 😉
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…#BlogCrawl and BookishnessMy Profile

    1. Hahahahah… cute. Uh huh. Kirk vs. Weeping Angels. Spock vs. Cybermen. Fox vs. Daleks. Whovians rule. Well, no – my money’s on Spock. Spock ON Dr. Who? That’d be priceless. (You know, he WAS on Fringe!)
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…#BlogCrawl and BookishnessMy Profile

  1. I see that a nice collaboration going on. I like the little group you formed as bloggers and writers. I will hang around a little more and see if I could pick up a few things from you guys, if you don’t mind.

  2. Well it sounds like writing prompts can have fun and zany results. I have never done anything like this with my blog, but back in the day I used to write some fun impromptu stories for myself. I have a novel I wanted to publish at one point, but I sort of have decided to put this off as I worked on my artwork and photography a bit more. I am visiting everyone below me on the list from the A to Z Challenge get a head start. Hope you have fun with the challenge.

    1. Indeed! I think – for me – writing prompts kind of free me, mentally, from the idea of coming up with some profound thesis statement on life or humanity. And sometimes, what starts out as sheer stupidity and fun ends up as something more meaningful – entirely by accident. My writing is at its best when I’m “taking dictation” from the little people in my head. 😉 I’m convinced that when we impose too much will on our writing, we end up with something less original. Our “inner voices” speak for all the experiences and impressions that bubble under the conscious surface – where the dreams and nightmares live. Our brains are amazing in how they process things and play with information when freed from the constraints we impose on them. If we force our conscious thought too rigorously, we’re writing non-fiction. We’re reporting.
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