A New Look and Changes

Three parrots are chatting under the header "Did you hear Mae's news?"Hi, friends. I usually reserve Tuesday for book reviews, but today is different for several reasons. As usual, I had my nose buried in a book last week, but it was a beta read for a friend, which means I can’t share my review just yet. Bummer, because I’mΒ super excited about this novel. You’ll have to wait several months for the release, but rest assured, I’ll be dancing around and chanting “rah-rah” as I cheer my friend on!

Secondly, a few weeks ago, I made a change in how I keep up with the blogs I follow (if you’re reading this, that means you! πŸ™‚ ). Because I follow so many blogs, my inbox balloons each day like a mushroom on steroids. A friend suggested I try Reader, something I’d avoided in the past. I have no idea why, because using Reader has made life so much easier. This means I no longer get a notification when you make a new blog post, but by scrolling through Reader I’m able to see it. Sounds good, right?

There is one downside. I have not been able to find a way to organize which blogs appear first in my Reader, which means I have a long list to scroll through. If I’ve missed any of your posts, please excuse my lapse. I’m still on a learning curve but getting better.

Finally, you may have noticed the look of my blog has changed. Also that all of my secondary pages have disappeared, replaced by a single new entryβ€”VISIT MY WEBSITE.

Creating a website is something that has been on my to-do liist far longer than I want to admit. It’s embarrassing. Seriously.

I finally took the time over the long Labor Day weekend to cobble one together (if you’re a regular follower of my blog, you’ve probably noticed I like the word “cobble”).

I’d be seriously jazzed (that’s another favorite word), if you hopped over to MaeClair.com, poked around, then let me know what you think. The website supports everything that was previously on my blog with a link to this site. I’ve learned from others to keep the blog where it’s currently homed. There’s too much history involved to start over.

You’re currently visiting my blog home, which is MaeClair.net.Β My website is MaeClair.com. Each connects to the other. I hope you’ll use them both.

Next Tuesday, look for a return to book reviews which will continue to be a regular feature. I’m also hoping to introduce a few other regular weekly posts, returning to a habit I haven’t been able to maintain for years due to looming publisher deadlines. With those behind me, I’m excited by new prospects for expanding my blogging schedule.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll visit my new WEBSITE,Β bookmark it, and let me know what you think. How do you like the look? Does it work for my genre?Β Did I do a good job?

70 thoughts on “A New Look and Changes

    • LOL! I’ve had several days of wretched complications with technology. Today was probably the worse, but hopefully, the worst is behind me.

      The changes aren’t so much about reducing my workload but in having a website. My blog is on the “Free: WordPress plan which limits what I can do with it. The website is hosted, which means I pay a monthly fee for it, but it offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to design and creating new content. For now, I have the basic information loaded. Down the road I will probably add a few additional pages and continue to tweak it.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I love the website Mae. The background image is creepy, but the site is so warm with its section called β€œhello”! Cutely incongruent πŸ€—
    Tell me, what’s the difference between .net and .com? I don’t quite get the whole blog V website thing…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you like the site, Jess. I wanted to keep it a bit mysterious, but not have it come across with a horror vibe.

      I’ve owned both the .net and .com domains for years, but both have always pointed to here to my blog. Since I have two domains, I thought I’d point the .com to my website. The blog is on the free WordPress platform but I’m limited in what I can do with it. I pay a small monthly fee for the hosted website (I use Blue Host) but it allows me more flexibility with design and plug-ins. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long while, but never set aside the time to tackle.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well, the domain extensions could be reversed, it’s that the HOSTED sites have more flexibility than the free blogging platform So you could have a .com domain on the blogging side and a net domain on the hosted side. It all comes down to paying for a hosted site.

        And I’ll shut up now, before I make things any more confusing πŸ˜€


  2. Congrats on the new website! How fun πŸ™‚ and yes, Reader is definitely your friend. I only have a few sites that I get notifications for, the rest I explore through reader.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really like using Reader. I just wish there was a way to organize which blogs I see first. I can’t believe WP hasn’t come up with an option for that.

      And I’m glad you like the new site. It felt so good to finally finish it!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Priscilla. And it’s great to hear the site is easy to navigate. It’s always a challenge looking through themes and choosing one that works.

      Reader and I are becoming fast friends. I hope WordPress develops an option to sort based on preference and reading. I can’t believe they haven’t done that!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the new website, Mae! My internet connection is being stubborn this morning, so I’m still exploring. Like you, I’ve started using the reader more often, but I do wish there was a better way to organize posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I completely agree on Reader. It’s so handy, and yet what should be a basic feature–organizing–is missing!

      Thanks for exploring the new website. I did have fun putting it together πŸ™‚

      I hope your internet connection settles down. Glitches are no fun!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Really like the new look, Mae. I use reader, but also get emails from some blogs. It feels like I’m always struggling to keep up, so I can’t say it’s a perfect system, but that’s the way things seem to go most of the time, lol. Off to your new website!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Teri. I hope you like the new site πŸ™‚

      I always feel that I’m struggling to catch up too. My inbox was imploding with notifications, so I had to do something. Reader is great, but it still involves a lot of scrolling and searching.There should be an easier way.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Seashells and poppy pods. Looks nice. I went to the other place and learned of your fear of bears. It looks nice too. I lucked out on reader back when they allowed me to make lists, I made one. When they stopped allowing that option, I was allowed to keep the one I made. It’s a nice way to filter down to the interactive bloggers out there. I kind of wish they’d bring that option back.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks! Glad you like the new look, Jacqui!

      Reader really does make life easier, and keeps my inbox far more manageable. You can always try it for a few days before you turn off notifications. And for those blogs you absolutely don’t want to miss, you can continue to receive email notifications. I still do that with a few of them, but I am glad I made the switch. There’s less stress over my inbox!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Mae,
    I would say the new look was a success and worth the effort. I try to change mine once a year and usually I am bored with the look way before I make the change. My world as you will remember has changed and I’m still not got my feet on the ground. I haven’t been doing much with my blog. Just recently began writing again.
    You are someone I use as a role model as I learn the craft of writing and blogging. BTW, your color selection and coordination throughout is superb.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, Chuck, what a lovely comment you gave me. Thank you so much! That’s so kind of you to say. And I’m thrilled you like the site, including the color scheme. I worked hard on that one πŸ™‚

      I’ve noticed I haven’t seen you online or new posts on your blog. I’ve been thinking about you an how you are coping. I know it has to be so hard to find a new normal in your life. It’s encouraging to hear that you’ve started writing again.

      It’s wonderful to have you visit today. You have been missed, my friend! {{hugs}}


  7. Congratulations, Mae!!! I am heading over to visit your website. I have used Reader before, but I am so paranoid about missing something that I still let them come to my inbox. However, I discovered that inside my inbox, I could elect to have “Social” separate from “Primary” and that has made a huge difference for me. It’s a pet peeve of mine, but I have to keep my inbox down to a manageable number or it makes me crazy. πŸ™‚ Anyway, love the new look and hopping over to visit the website! Way to go!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s kind of how I’m feeling right now, Jan—paranoid that I’m going to miss something. I scroll and scroll and scroll, but when I don’t see a post from someone who I know usually posts, then I start worrying.

      My gmail account offers social and primary, but the account I use for writing is through GoDaddy and that doesn’t, I do love the gmail feature!

      And thanks for checking out the website πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The website looks great! I see you went with WordPress- is that self-hosted as well? I had a website through GoDaddy a long time ago, bu was frustrated with paying the extra yearly fee (and it wasn’t all that user-friendly) so I decided to cobble πŸ™‚ mine all together. Is there a productive reason for both? Just wondering if it’s something I should look into again.
    I signed up for the newsletter (can’t believe I hadn’t already!) and love the pic of Raven.
    As to Reader, I switched to that format a while ago and really like the ease of use. I get a lot of news reports as well, which makes it like reading a newspaper, lol.
    The blog looks awesome, by the way!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can’t believe how many friends have been using Reader successfully and I was still stuck int he Dark Ages, LOL. It really does make life easier.

      Thank you for signing up for my newsletter! I thought Raven would do well on that page. She’s so photogenic! πŸ™‚

      As for the website, I used WordPress, but host with Blue Host. When I first started publishing, I had a website through GoDaddy, and I agree that it was not user friendly. It was clunky and hard to work with. I got rid of it after 2 years.

      Blue Host is very affordable at $2.95 per month, and there’s no learning curve because I’m using WordPress. Plus I have access to so many more plug-ins and themes. I’m really happy I finally took the plunge!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, John. That kind of feedback makes my day, especially when you said it was easy going between the two. And I’m glad you liked my 12 weird facts πŸ™‚

      Yes, it is the self-hosted side of WordPress. I use Blue Host for hosting the site. Very affordable at only $2.95 per month. I locked in that rate for 5 years, but you can do less. Self-hosting opens up so much more flexibility with themes, design, and plug-ins. I’m sure I’ll keep tweaking the site, but I’m pleased with the way it turned out!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your new look is lovely, Mae, and I will pop over to visit your new website tomorrow morning as it is already late here [you are my last visit for tonight]. I am also putting together a new showcase website [I have had a disaster with Bake and Write but it is fine because I am changing my angle to adult books for the new one so it worked out] so I am doing something similar. I think it works best [having experimented] to use the free WP blogs for blogging as it is so much easier to network and share posts and use the website for connecting to Amazon and Goodreads. I pick up blogs through the Reader for Robertawrites and use my outlook email for Robbiesinspiration. The downside for me with the Reader is I don’t get notifications of replies to my comments so I don’t always pick them up unless I actually go and look for a reply.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I look for replies in the notifications section in the upper right corner. Do you use that. You just click the bell then select COMMENTS and all of the replies are in one place. It will alert you with a dot on the bell when you have notifications. Or is that not what you were referring to?

      I’m sorry to hear about the issues you had with Bake and Write, but glad it’s still working out for you with your switch to adult fiction. I can’t wait to see your new site.

      And I completely agree with keeping the blog on the free side, especially when you already have history established there. An easy transition between the two allows users to go from one to the other. That’s what I did with mine and from the comments it seems to be working well!


      • Hmmm, I didn’t even notice the bell. Good thing I mentioned this as now I have learned something from you. I had a look at your site and it is looking very good. I remember reading somewhere else that you had seen a UFO at a young age. That is an interesting experience. Michael and I had a most strange experience in the Edinburgh vaults which I will share soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Robbie, I’m so glad I was able to help you by mentioning the “notifications bell.” It makes finding comments and replies so easy to use.

        And I can’t wait to hear about your UFO experience. I shared mine years back on my blog, but I will probably trot it out again. I drew on in for one of the UFO encounters I describe in my book A Cold Tomorrow. I’ll never forget that experience!!


    • Oooh, Nice website, Noelle. I’ve been thinking about adding scrolling testimonials to mine. I started it and then abandoned it, but need to focus on it again. I know I’ll keep tweaking my site. Thanks for checking it out.

      And I look forward to seeing your new blog look, too!


      • Well, I’m not sure what I’ll do with my author website but it’s one of those things that seemed like a good idea, LOL.

        Glad I was of inspiration. Good luck with your new blog look. I’m looking forward to the “unveiling” πŸ™‚


    • Heehee! I was going to mention the title of the beta read but wasn’t sure if I should. Come on, 2020!! I can’t wait for others to discover The Reckoning Squad πŸ™‚

      Your comment about graveyards is exactly why I’m drawn to them–the history. It’s profound thinking about the lives others lived, especially when gravestones date back to earlier centuries.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love inventing a new history for some of the gravestones. Especially those of folk that lived long ago.
        “The Reckoning Squad” was a joy to write, and I’m so thrilled you enjoyed it. I wonder if I can hold my breath until New Years Eve. πŸ’•πŸ˜Ž

        Liked by 1 person

      • My next book, Eventide, releases on December 31st, so I’m holding my breath with you. How cool is it that we have books releasing pretty much the same time? πŸ˜€

        I like the idea of inventing history for those past lives!

        Liked by 1 person

      • New Year’s Eve is shaping up to be huge, my friend. I’m so looking forward to the release of Eventide. What a great way to kick off a New Year! Now I’m off to buy a stockpile of hangover cures. 😍

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Good to hear from you, Mae. I have not been very vocal on my blog because I have been painting rather than spending the time commenting. I have been a bad blogger. I do read blogs tho. I’m thrilled with your new website. Well done! It works perfectly for your genre.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Susan! Great to have you drop in. I think you’ve found your true creative love with painting πŸ™‚

      Many thanks for the checking out my new site. I’m excited about it.
      And I’m praying you and your hubby are safe from Dorian!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Cool… I’m going to give the Reader a try, too. Much like you, I was hesitant and concerned with missing something. But my inbox has gotten waaaaay out of hand. Yikes!
    Bravo on the new website! It looks awesome. I signed up for your newsletter!
    High five, my friend! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reader makes life much easier, Natalie. It’s made a huge difference with my inbox. I was nervous about using it at first, but I’m feeling more confident about it now.

      Thank you for checking out the site and for signing up for my newsletter. I need to send one out soon, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Frederick (for both).
      I’ve think I’ve got Reader down now, but I will admit to being intimidated when I first started using it. Like you said…so many trees. Now, I’m starting to manage paths through them!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The website looks great, Mae! Gives me a few ideas for adjusting mine. I host through siteground. Love the simple elegance of the site. I’ve been focusing on writing, and like you, my inbox fills to bursting, even though I don’t get notifications for *every* blog I follow. I might try Reader, but I find lately I haven’t been keeping up as much. Someday I’ll figure out a routine πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Julie. i was waaaay overdue on developing a website. I took the long Labor Day weekend to work on it and know I will likely be adding to it and tweaking in the future, but I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

      I’m somewhat familiar with SiteGround. I used them in a class I took several months ago. They seem pretty easy to work with, too.

      I had to do something about my inbox. It was turning into a quagmire, and Reader has helped a lot. It took me a while to adjust, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it now and can scroll through the posts fairly quickly, looking for those I want to comment on.

      Finally, I agree that it is so hard keeping up with everything. It’s easy to burn out. That’s why I take weekends off! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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