Better Days for the Blue Ridge

* I started to call this little cluster of paragraphs SUNDAY SHORTS but the very idea made me go looking for my long-johns.

* I see Yak-Tracks (“Walk, Jog or Run on ice“) showing up over in the ads strip in the side bar (the recent posts referening to frozen water has drawn a disproportionate number of ad-links to that topic). These shoe and boot friction grippers are highly recommended. We discovered them after the Ice Storm of 2006, and both have a pair and won’t leave home without them! Take a look.

* Speaking of ads sidebar, I’m hoping to reach the $100 mark soon–maybe today!–and so many thanks for your interest, not always because these commercial pointers are as context-relevant as I might have hoped. The relationship between clicked links and income-per-click is bewildering (everywhere for me from two cents to almost two dollar a click) but this article–Making Sense of Contextual Advertizing— helps me understand a little better.

* I’ve recently discovered a FireFox extension that will serve me well–maybe it will help you as well if you want a streamlined way to upload images to your gallery. It’s called FotoFox and it will help me get much more value out of my SmugMug account. This morning’s picture, you might notice, is uploaded there.

* If you’ve never used a WIKI or had any idea that you needed to, give pbwiki a look. I’m using this very easily edited webpage utility for the book’s website. Recently, the free basic service has gained a WYSIWYG interface that makes the process very easy. You may be one of the ten folks to whom I shamelessly sent a pbwiki solicitation as a way to double my image storage space there. Apologies, but if you can’t abuse friends, who CAN you abuse?

* Good news — bad news. Slow Road Home’s page has the good news regarding the book: “Only 2 left in stock–order soon (more on the way).” Yes, some books are selling via direct order, but not many yet–a total of nine, last time I checked. I’m disappointed that the book’s only had one review at Amazon after being on the site for more than six weeks now. I’m expecting book-related events to increase soon. There is a review of the book to “hit the streets” soon (circulation 75,000) and I hope that piques renewed interest. More about that soon.

* Do stop over at Nameless Creek if you haven’t already. I’ll be pondering how to use that “overflow” blog in the coming weeks, and open to your suggestions. Read the sad news from this week: The Day the Music Died.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I submitted a review for “Last Sleep: The Battle of Droop Mountain” a couple of years ago, because they had a review from the author’s best friend, and a cranky lady who didn’t think her ancestor was properly acknowledged. I thought something that accurately described the book would be useful.

    Amazon thought otherwise, and I don’t know why. They “accepted” my review but never put it on the page. Too many reviews for a “niche market” book?

  2. Who knows what politics hold sway over at Amazon; or B&N; or Google.

    They all hold an inordinate level of influence on the buying public (and in America, there’s hardly any other kind.)

    And now I’m part of the frenzy of commerce with products to sell, hoping for some unreasonable influence in my favor.

    Hard to stay neutral, selling creative works, but not one’s soul.