1st Blogiversary and Giveaway

This week marks 1 year of this blog. WOW, how time flies! The first six months things were off to a really S–L–O–W start, but since then things have been happening BLAZING FAST due to my involvement with the Cybils, PiBoIdMo, Perfect Picture Book Friday, and 12×12 Challenge. I feel blessed to have met so many wonderful people along the way. A

Big Thank You

to all my readers.  Your wonderful comments on-line and in-person are what keeps me motivated. In celebration of you the reader I am doing my first ever giveaway!! Enter for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Amazon. More details further down.

Flowering Minds on the Internet

Just wanted to let you know I have expanded the presence of Flowering Minds on the Internet. Here are the list of places and what each has to offer.

  1. Flowering Minds Blog  – This site which contains all the book reviews and additional book related posts.
  2. RSS Feed – Read all the posts from the blog in your reader. To follow via RSS click on the orange button in the righ-hand side toolbar.
  3. Facebook Page – All book reviews from the blog are posted to the FB page. In addition, since I spend way to much time on FB everyday, I am also share interesting links, publishing news, and photos related to children’s literature. If you would like to follow via FB click on the blue button, then click “Like”, so posts will show up in your News Feed.
  4. Goodreads – All book reviews from the blog will have a link in Goodreads. I read a lot of books but only write a review for maybe 1 in 20. If you would like to see my thoughts and ratings of other books then checkout what’s on my shelf. Click the beige button.
  5. Pinterest – Yes I have joined the latest craze. I am still figuring out how to utilize this medium effectively. I have a number of boards related to kids, crafts, organizing tips, and of course kidlit. For all you writers, I have a board called “Kidlit Writing Posts” where I collect posts on writing children’s books, agenting, etc.

Now that you know where to find out more about me, my thoughts and likes, I would like to know more about you and your thoughts about this blog. I am considering broadening the scope of my posts and your feedback will help me in deciding what direction to take.

Questions
Q1. Are you reading this blog primarily as a parent, teacher, librarian, children’s author, or just a general lover of kids’ books?

Q2. I mainly post children’s book reviews. I am thinking of doing more posts about my own writing journey and maybe even “Gratitude Sunday” posts as Julie Hedlund does. I am definitely one of those people who forgets to stop and smell the roses. If I do start writing more personal posts would you be interested in reading it? (its okay to say no :-) )

Q3. Most of my reviews are for picture books, does this meet your need or would you like to see reviews of other kidlit genres. If the answer is Yes, which ones?

Top 5 Posts
Posts with the most hits in the past year.

  1. Reflections on Panem – I think the recent release of the Hunger Games movie might have something to do with this. Lot of search references for “panem capitol”.
  2. The Big Orange Splot – A lot of searches for “big orange splot activities”. I am guessing it is from teachers. Good to know the book is being used in the classroom a lot.
  3. The Gruffalo
  4. Shark in the Park
  5. How to Check Out Kindle eBooks – Step by step guide to checking out Kindle ebooks from your library.

Giveaway
Still with me. Great!

Prize: $25 Gift Card to Amazon
Deadline: Sunday, April 1st 11:59PM PST
How to Enter:

a) All existing and new members get one entry for being a follower. Please list in your comment how you follow the blog via email, RSS, Facebook, etc.

b) One entry for answering any or all of my questions earlier.

c) One entry for spreading the word about Flowering Minds on your Facebook, Twitter, or blog. Please leave a link in your comments.

Winners will be announced here on Monday, April 2nd.

Thank you to all my readers.
Good Luck with the giveaway – may the odds be in your favor.

-Darshana

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45 Comments to “1st Blogiversary and Giveaway”

  1. Happy Blogiversary, Darshana! I’m so glad to have met you! I’m constantly amazed when people announce their first blogiversary to discover that people I thought were well established when I found them actually started their blogs around the same time I did – or in your case, even more recently!

    To answer your questions:
    I read the blog primarily as a children’s book author and general lover of children’s books, although I am also a parent and former teacher.
    I would definitely be interested in more personal posts – I like getting to know people and there are only so many book reviews I want to read per week (not that I son’t like/enjoy them – of course I do – but variety is nice.)
    I am happy with PB reviews, but I would be interested in other ages groups too if you reviewed them. I don’t read much MG, but I read A LOT of YA.

    I think your blog and FB page are terrific! Keep up the great work and I look forward to continuing to blog alongside you and getting to know you :)

    • Thanks Susanna. When you reached out to me during the summer, it was one of the key turn-around points for this blog. I didn’t feel like I was talking into a black hole, it was nice to know that someone was listening.

  2. Happy Blogiversary :)
    I follow your blog by email and I just liked your facebook page (I also tweeted your post).
    I am a general lover and reviewer of books and I like to read what others like and think.
    I like to read posts about writing. I learn a lot from them. :)
    Erik

  3. Happy blogversary to you Darshana!

    You’ve done a terrific jobs integrating all the interwebs opportunities, and I loved seeing the top 5 posts drawing blog traffic!

    Q1. I am reading this blog primarily as a parent, writer and general lover of kids’ books

    Q2. I would greatly enjoy posts about your writing journey and how you got into this topic!

    Q3.I enjoy picture book reviews and books on the craft of writing, etc.

    Congrats again on your milestone!

  4. I’ve never heard of a Blogiversary! What fun! Congratulations! I read your blog as a fellow writer and picture books capture my attention. And yes, I enjoy reading what people are thankful for.

    • thanks for the feedback! blogiversaries are great, i have been looking forward to doing this post for the last few months. i feel like i get to step out of my normal posts and really connect with my readership. hmm.. probably need to do that on a more regular basis.

  5. Darshana — Congratulations on your blogiversary! It is an amazing accomplishment to keep a blog going for a whole year. I wish you the best of luck in the coming year. It sounds like you have some great things planned!

    I follow your blog as a parent but also as a children’s author.
    I would read your gratitude post. I like when people reflect on things they are thankful for. It makes me stop and think about my own life.
    I prefer picture book reviews.

    I follow your blog on Facebook.
    I tweeted the giveaway – https://twitter.com/#!/birthdayblog/status/184280044020039682

    • Thanks Eric! Yes it is very hard to keep the blog up and running. But I enjoy talking to all of you wonderful folks. Thank you for your feedback and for spreading the word.

  6. Congratulations on your first blogiversary, Darshana! I just counted up, and I guess I’ve been reading for nearly eight months of that year.

    Q1. I read primarily as a children’s writer and lover of children’s books.

    Q2. I’d love to read more about your personal journey — gratitude, your writing, the sky’s the limit.

    Q3. Perhaps as your children get older, you’ll be naturally branching into chapter books and middle grade novels?

    I have shared this post (as you know) on my FB, and also on my FB page — which automatically tweets it. I’ve been following your blog by email for quite some time.

    Congratulations again — it’s so good to celebrate with you, and to call you friend.

    • Hi Beth. Really its been 8 months already. Wow time really does fly by. I am so glad we met is person last summer and that our friendship has grown further on-line. Thanks!

  7. Happy Blogoversary, Dar!

    1. I read as a fellow children’s author and as a reader!
    2. More personal stuff, more cultural stuff, your writing journey….
    3. Yep, I am into PB’s

    I follow you on FB and in my Google reader. Have just tweeted ($25 gift card drawing at Children’s Book Review Site – Flowering Minds – 1st Blogiversary and Giveaway wp.me/p1ciU9-pd #12X)

    Happy to follow on Pinterest and Goodreads… good idea to promote these.

    • Hi Joanna, yes i still need to finish linking my reviews from Goodreads to this blog. Its hard keeping up with the multitude of social media sites, but fun. thanks for answering my questions and spreading the word.

  8. Congratulations and Happy Blogoversary. Just realized I celebrate my first anniversary of my blog this week. You have made some major accomplishments this year and I enjoy your site.
    1. I read as a children’s author and a lover of children’s books.
    2. Would enjoye hearing about your personal journey, and more about your culture.
    3. Yes, I like picture books, but also like middle grade and YA fiction. You’ve been helpful to me in the past in recommending material.

    I follow you on WP blogs, e-mail and FB.

    Again, congratulations and have a great week!

  9. Hi, Darshana. Congratulations for making it to one year!! And one very successful year!!

    1. I read as a children’s writer and as a lover of picture books.
    2. I prefer focused blogs, but if you have a special day of the week or day of the month to write about your personal journey, I think that would still work…or perhaps just sprinkle things into your posts when appropriate?
    3. I love picture books and always want to hear more about them, so I vote for staying devoted to picture books! However, I certainly wouldn’t stop reading if you expanded, as I like to keep up with children’s literature in general, too.

    I follow you on Facebook (and through PiBoIdMo 2011). I’ll help spread the word on Twitter and Facebook, too :) Congratulations again!!

    • Thanks Kerry! Good point about doing specific topics on certain days of the week, making it easier for readers to follow the topics they are interested in.

  10. Darshana,
    Congratulations! I follow you by email.
    1. I read your blog as a children’s book lover and a writer. Blogs, including yours, have been a wonderful resource for me as I study the craft of writing.
    2. Hearing about others journeys is always interesting to me.
    3. My main focus right now is picture books. I love listening to YA as I exercise and walk, so good suggestions always help…but when it comes reading blogs, I usually head straight for the posts dealing with picture books.
    Thank you and Happy Blogiversary!

  11. Applause! Applause! I hope I make it that far!

    1. I follow your blog via your posts on fb. And I read them as a picture book junkie (and children’s author/illustrator!).
    2. Yes! Love getting to know the author! Honest from the start though: my attention span is limited so I appreciate musings when they are kept short.
    3. I would like to see reviews of other kidlit genres for variety.

    Celebrate!

  12. Happy Blogoversary Darshana! You are doing an amazing job. You inspired me to start my own blog. Here are my answers to your questions.

    Q1. parent, children’s author, and general lover of kids’ books?

    Q2. I would be interested in more personal stuff, especially your writing journey

    Q3. I would mostly just be interested in PBs since that is what I write and that is what I read to my kids. Occasional very popular kidlit books like Hunger Games that cross into general pop culture are also interesting.

    Hope that helps!

  13. Congratulations! I love your blog!

  14. BIG CONGRATS on your blogiversary. I love when new words are created, especially if it’s in celebration of someone!

    A) I saw your post on FB and wanted to join in the celebration of your anniver oops, your blogiversary. I am a lover of kidlit and loving the top 5 post!
    A) Continue with the reviews, although I’d like to hear your story
    A) I love the pbs; however, chapter book reviews (for early learners) would be fun!

    I will share this give away on all my social media: twitter, fb, LinkedIn (the children’s book group would love this). Thank you for allowing all of us to celebrate your 1st year.

  15. Hi Pamela. Thanks for stopping by and giving me your feedback. A big thanks for spreading the word!

  16. happy Blogsiversary, Darshana :) the time flies so quickly.

    I follow as a parent and writer and would love more postf of your writing career and anything else you’d like to post :) it all interests me. I love PB’s too :)

    Great Post, Darshana :)
    Love,
    Denise of Ingleside, PEI

  17. Happy Blogiversary Darshana!!

    1) I’m reading your blog primariary as a children’s author
    2) I would definitely stay with you if you blogged about other things such as your writing journey (love to hear about it)
    3) Yes, your posts on pbs meets all my needs, thanks!!

    Fun post!

  18. Congratulations Darshana! I’m so impressed by your social media skills. In only a year, you’ve managed to show a noteworthy presence in cyberland. How do you do it? Anyway, here are my answers:
    1) children’s author
    2) Would be MOST interested in your writing journey!!!
    3) Because my genre is PB, that’s what I’m interested in reading.

    I tend to follow people by placing your link on my blog under “blogs I follow.” And from time to time, I’ll refer to my own blog and click the links on my own list. I know it’s the round-about way. But it works for me. On a few blogs (those that share writing tips, info, and documents their journey), I’ll follow as an e-mail subscriber.

    Hope this helps. Again, congratulations!
    P.S. I’d really like a step-by-step account of how you manage your social networking skills with work, family life, and writing.

    • Hi Romelle. Thanks for you feedback. Yes I would like to know how to manage my blogging/writing time with work and family life. It is a bit of a juggling act. Periodically I do seem to drop the balls, but I am working on that.

  19. Happy blogiversary! I follow you via email and FB. To answer your Qs:

    1. as a children’s writer
    2. would love to see more personal posts
    3. I love PB reviews as that is what I’m focusing on, though I would like to see more reviews out there for children’s poetry as well. In fact, I think I’ll start doing that!

    I just shared your link on my No Water River author page.

    Here’s to another great year!

    • Thanks Renee. I don’t think I am anywhere near qualified to review children’s poetry. But I would be happy to learn from you. I just picked up Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems. Looks funny. I am totally in awe of people who can write poetry. Thanks for spreading the word!

  20. Congrats on your anniversary! I’m happy to have found your blog.

  21. Happy blogiversary! Great post! I’m going do some catching up now and look back at your older posts from the past few months (was following you via fb but quit fb a few months back).

  22. Hi! Just found your blog through Susanna Leonard Hill’s PPBF. Love it!

    I follow you on Pinterest.

    I posted a link to Pinterest on my Facebook page.

    Q1: children’s author, then parent, then teacher
    Q2: I might read a gratitude entry, especially if it was super short and only mentioned ONE thing, AND if it tied into to WHY you feel so grateful and maybe had a way to help others somehow by example or simply sharing your feelings on how you were changed in a positive way.
    Q3: Picture book reviews meet my needs. I would not be interested in reviews of other books.

  23. I just left a long comment on 3-30-12. Hope it shows up even though I don’t see it right now. Also forgot to say:

    CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 1 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!

    • Hi Christie, welcome to this blog. thanks for stopping by and your feedback and spreading the word! Since you were posting to this blog for the first time your comments were in moderation. From now on your comments should appear right away.

  24. Congratulations on your anniversary:
    I follow via email, FB and now Pinterest.
    Lets see if I can answer the Questions:
    1- parent and writer — I love book suggestions for my son.
    2-I’m OK with reading more than book reviews. I like to learn more about people I follow. :)
    3-I’m in the picture book stage as a writer and as a parent. So, I’m good with the PB stage.
    I’m glad you listed your top posts. I think I’ve figured out how to check out Kindle ebooks. It took a few more steps than I expected (or maybe I’m not doing it right).

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