Category Archives: Announcements

The Lemon Guide, Review Policy & More

Japanese Zen Garden in Portland, Oregon
Japanese Zen Garden in Portland, Oregon

Until recently I didn’t understand Japanese zen gardens.  The raking, the bare-bones simplicity — what did they offer compared with profusions in bloom and colors slamming into the senses?  Where was the glorious disarray of nature’s genius?  Japanese gardens were about sparseness, control, and concentration, and I relished rambling cottage chaos.

I used to be the same way about labeling and using organization systems (the word systems still makes me shudder).  I thought of it as dullness multiplied, but it’s really dullness subdued.  What I mean by that is, it takes a looong time to find things which aren’t at one’s fingertips.  If there’s no system, then one must rely on the cranial database which is prone to a) locking up at whim b) spitting out information three days after it’s desired and c) generally failing to execute concise, retrievable neuro-filing.

Save that there’s a search function–without pretty pictures and that is of little help if you’re browsing for enjoyment–blogs are no different.   The old posts don’t get read , and one post gets stacked on another post indefinitely.   Don’t even get me started on monthly archives:  *scrolls, scrolls, scrolls*  Gar!  Why have I just wasted 10 minutes scrolling? Gar!

To prevent such problems, I created a linked page called The Lemon Guide, partly for my sometimes dull elf self and partly for your ability to easily explore the site (or just find typos in old posts).  It’s mostly alphabetical and sorted by topic, and I hope you’ll find it more useful than archives.  I’ve also excised all  filler posts like announcements, awards, etc. so you don’t have to tramp over posts like this one.

You’ll also notice a review policy next to the guide page.  This should help clear up any queries from writers/publishers.  It also has a quick contact form.

Georgian Ladies by Patricia Beykrat

The last bit of news I have is in plain sight, but it’s worth pointing out.  What is that lovely image you see?  Behold my beautiful new header with Georgian ladies on it (with the full size drawing on my author website).  The work is by the multi-talented Madame de Pique, otherwise known as Patricia Beykrat.    I’m interviewing her on the blog this Friday to celebrate the release of her novella Vicious, so be sure to stop back!

Two Awards Wherein I Break All The Rules

I’m writing this while listening to the True Blood Score and surmising this post is a lot like the scene where Sookie chooses between Eric and Bill and decides she deserves both.

Mash two things together, muddle those righteous southern lines, and hope everyone’s hunky-dorey about it.  (How much Erookie and Billookie hate mail you think they got?  How many were like “Uhn, dun’t care.  I wanna see sumbuddy die again!)

I hated that scene.  It felt . . . superfluous.  Not that I’m saying anything about awards here or my own awesomeness in receiving them.  I’m not.  I’m grateful to be nominated for these awards, but I am going to break/modify all their rules.  Every.  Single.  Rule.  Because, really, does anybody else notice they’re getting longer?  And they’re pinging around blogs faster and faster?

My head spins upon an axis of obligations.  Unless rules keep society in order, I don’t like ’em.  Does this mean whichever blogs I name get two awards?  Ring-a-ding.  Sure it does.  Why not? *Deadpan*  Seriously, why not?  I invite the bloggers to pin up their awards, keep their silence, toast themselves, or do whatever feels natural when receiving recognition.  I invite them not to follow the rules.

I must, however, name the fine lady who gave me the awards.   This post is coming to the intra-net  very belatedly (and therefore, perhaps, ungraciously).  I extend my apologies to Madame de Pique.  She has been thoughtful and deserves a proper shout-out for her contribution to the blogging community (thank you again, cherie).  If you’re inclined, do gambol over to her blog where writes though the gamut of art and aesthetics with aplomb.  She also likes Oscar Wilde and there are few things more respectable than a man whose alleged last words were:  “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.”

A List of Bloggers and Visual Curators Whose Blogs I Recommend

The contributors at the Women Reading tumblr

J. Langille’s Eighteenth Century Fiction (I’m crazy about the teapot of the week!)

Ancient Serpent

Spirit Dweller 

Lost in the Renaissance

Passionate Scribbles

turtle wings

In case you must, must have the rules.  And in case you want to know them before you break them.

Versatile Blogger RULES:

  1.  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  2.  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy.
  3.  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  4.  Include a link to the mother-site: Versatile Blogger.
  5.  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Liebster RULES:

  • Mind your manners and give thanks.
  • Tell 11 things about yourself – subheadings,  charts, etc. are not necessary.  If  you like bunnies, for Christ’s sake just say so.
  • Answer to the best of your ability the 11  questions that are asked of you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers for this award – let them know too, surely, since keeping it to yourself would be mean.
  • Ask the above nominees 11 questions of your  own if you like, but remember you can also dispose of the questions you were asked.

Running after ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ with Bonbons in Hand

In the spirit of the holidays–generous, frenzied, lots of bonbons making everybody very, very merry–Life Takes Lemons has been selected to join a club of bloggers who, if their lucky stars are aligned, will receive a 6-starred ‘Blog of 2012’ award.  I’m overwhelmed with this blog love, guys, and I really don’t know what to say except . . .

As this is the eleventh hour of 2012, I’m joining the festivities as an ode to all those who’ve made 2012 merry for me. Thank you to the two bloggers who have each given me a star: La Dauphine, she of the jewels and tiaras that brighten up the wintriest of days, and Madame de Pique, a pink-hued blogger who never ceases to entertain me with her posts.

To my faithful readers, I promise to not invite annoyance with further blog posts about awards and whatnot.  If I’m fortunate enough to gain more stars, I solemnly swear to make amendments to this post and not clutter your inbox.  The 18th century is, after all, waiting.  She’s a greedy madam and I cannot refuse.

How ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Behaves

1 -Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2- Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3- Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award  and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 -Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5- You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6- As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

These are a few of the bloggers who have filled my laptop screen lately and whose day I hope will be made all the happier for receiving a star for their efforts.  Congratulations!

Madame de Pique

Jeanne de Pompadour

Isis’ Wardrobe

One Lovely Blog Award

A most thoughtful Madame de Pique, history obsessive and blogger of peculiarities, has bestowed upon Life Takes Lemons the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’, so here I am, passing on the blog love.  This, incidentally, is the best part about awards, discovering fantabulous new-to-you blogs.  There are also rules guidelines to this sort of thing, but they are generally the same across time and space:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.  (Thanks again, Madame P!)
  2. Add the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’ image to your post.
  3. Share seven things about you. 
  4. Pass the award on to seven nominees. 
  5. Include this set of rules.  
  6. Inform your nominees* by posting a comment on their blogs. 

7 Random Things about Your Host

I decided it would be more fun to reveal in pictures 7 places I’ve been . . .

Hoh Rainforest outside Forks, Washington | Olympics
Hoh Rainforest outside Forks, Washington | Olympics
Window from inside the palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Window from inside the city palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Crocuses in my backyard
Crocuses in my backyard
Path from Aiguille d'Midi station onto Mt. Chamonix, France
Path from Aiguille du Midi station onto Mt. Chamonix, France
Close-up of the semi-precious jewels on exterior of Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Close-up of the semi-precious jewels and flower relief on exterior of Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Random cow chowing in his field near the Blue Smokey Mountains, North Carolina
Cow chowing in his field near the Blue Smokey Mountains, North Carolina.  Possibly annoyed with me.
Sacre Couer, Montmarte, Paris
A view from the side of Sacre Coeur, Montmarte, Paris

Bloggers I recommend on account of their excellence in loveliness

Joyful Molly – Molly keeps a wonderful blog on naval history with lots of 18th century posts to boot.  Her ‘list of naval and historic resources’ is so, so useful.

Number One London – I could spend afternoons browsing around this blog on English history and daily living in the Georgian, Regency, and Victorian eras.

Treasure for Your Pleasure – a tumblr curating all things Marie Antoinette (and Versailles court) that’s visually diverting.  Good luck trying not to Pin during your visit.

The Virtual Victorian –  I’m getting more and more interested in the Victorian era and Ms. Fox is partly to blame.  Her ‘facts, fancies, and fabrications’ are delightful.

Regency History – Rachel Knowles’s blog on a well-rounded variety of  topics from the late Georgian period through the Regency makes for pleasurable and informative reading.

World of Poe – a self described ‘crotchety, contrarian chronicler of the stranger and more neglected highways and byways of all things Poe’.  Pretty much, yeah.  If you like a sharp-tongue, you will absolutely love Undine.  Her tweets are amusing as well.

Dressed in Time – One of my go-to blogs for historical costuming.  Caroline’s posts make me wish I could attain the patience for sewing, but for now I have her creations & inspirations to drool over.

To the seven bloggers named above, thank you for keeping our web spaces lovely!

*If you’re curious about the ‘nominee’ part, I’m not sure either.  One supposes we are all winners by default of nomination.  Either way, enjoy!