Bacon Aporkalypse: The Cookbook

Bacon Aporkalypse by L.A. Lewandowski, cover by K. S. BrooksOne of the writing projects I assigned myself in 2014 was a cookbook. I love cookbooks and have collected them for years. The last time I counted them I had seventy-three, not including the over-stuffed binder and the pile of gourmet magazines. I’ve cooked from all of them at one time or another, and often a dish I prepare is a combination of several recipes. I have also maintained a food blog since 2009, which has been a labor of love.

The best cookbooks combine stories, whimsical or factual, with the recipes. One of my favorites, Italy — A Culinary Journey, contains many classic recipes organized by region. The photography of the food and the landscapes, cities, et cetera, is breathtaking, and the historically based stories that accompany each section are charming. I have read that cookbook countless times and dreamed of seeing the coast of Puglia where my grandparents were born.

I did not have the energy or resources to take on a project of this magnitude. I decided to do something a bit quirky — to combine my newfound affection for flash fiction with recipes I’ve prepared. Better yet, because I love bacon, I included bacon or pork in as many of the stories as I could, and attached a link at the end of the story to a yummy recipe. Sounds easy, right? Um, no. Continue reading “Bacon Aporkalypse: The Cookbook”

Block Those Comment Spammers

Guest post
by Gordon Long

For those of you who run blogs (and don’t we all?) and are getting a lot of spam emails and attempts to put up garbage in your comments section, I’ve been doing some work on it. Last month I got trouble from my website host for too much database use. In trying to figure out why, I discovered that I had over 10,000 spam emails in my mailbox! In one month. Sort of fills up the disc space.

So what can you do about it? Most of us think, “That’s too complicated,” but I found out I could at least get started. It’s a learning process we all should take a stab at.

Continue reading “Block Those Comment Spammers”

When did you last back up your blog?

button-2076_640 pixabayThe answer may not be ‘never’ of course, although I’m as guilty as everyone for panicing when it’s too late. But if you have a WordPress site you may have used their handy little ‘export’ function assiduously, under the impression that your site would be instantly restorable if necessary. Unfortunately the download this creates, sitting smugly in the Cloud somewhere, will have a few details missing.

If you are a whizz with databases and FTP clients, the most comprehensive way to back up a WordPress site is with the free plug-in WordPress Duplicator but if your dashboard is as far as you want to go into the engine room, here’s a quick, easy way to cheat. We’re going to use screenprints to capture all the bits your exported file will have missed. Continue reading “When did you last back up your blog?”

How I Didn’t Make a Million Dollars Running a Book Blog

No MoneyRecently Martin Crosbie wrote a post where he talked a bit about money, communes, and paying it forward. In that article he raised some questions about the fine balance between ethics, money, and the reasonable desire to make a buck or two. The article generated some good discussion in the comments. Another discussion away from IU about the economics of running a website made me realize that many people don’t understand the financial reality. This post is going to discuss this, a bit about monetization of a blog or website, and give a hint for what readers can do to support the websites they like and frequent. Continue reading “How I Didn’t Make a Million Dollars Running a Book Blog”